A real estate appraiser plays a significant role in any situation that revolves around real estate.It can be a tax appeal, a purchase, an estate settlement, divorce or bankruptcy. The role of the appraiser can never be downplayed, since they can be the difference between a successful real estate transaction and a bad real estate investment.
Therefore it is vital that that you hire a ‘qualified’ appraiser for whatever the need may be. There are a lot of things you should consider before hiring an appraiser, and below is a list of the ‘Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an Appraiser’:
1. What is Your Name and Telephone Number?
You will need to know this information should you need to contact the appraiser in the future. In addition, their phone number prefix may indicate whether or not they’re located within your local area.
2. What is Your License or Certification Number?
This lets an appraiser know upfront that you’re serious about the task at hand. An appraiser should have no concern about providing you with this information, and if they do, pass and move on to a more forthcoming appraiser.
3. Where is Your Office Located?
Hiring an appraiser from outside of your area can be a big mistake as there’s a good chance they may not have the knowledge necessary to complete a credible assignment within your market area. You need to ensure the appraiser is familiar with your marketplace so don’t hesitate to ask a few “local” questions in order to test their knowledge of your area.
4. Do Your Work Out of Your Home or A Professional Office?
Many professional appraisers prefer to work from their home instead of an actual office since it’s more convenient for them. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether an appraiser works from home or from an office, as quite often the most experienced and qualified appraisers work from their homes.
5. Have You Ever Been Disciplined Before?
It is important to know about the disciplinary record of the appraiser before hiring them. Disciplined appraisers may have cut corners in the past so you should always be wary of hiring appraisers who have been sanctioned in the past. If you do hire an appraiser who’s been sanctioned at some point in the past then at a minimum you should ensure their license is active.
6. Are You a Full Time Appraiser?
It is important to know whether an appraiser works full time or part time. It can be difficult for part-time appraisers to keep up with continually changing market trends, let alone remain dedicated to the cumbersome appraisal process. Generally, you should only work with full time appraisers and at a minimum part-time appraisers who have a lot of experience in the industry and your local market area.
7. How Long Have You Been Appraising?
An appraiser’s experience and knowledge should be your main concern when hiring an appraiser. We recommend hiring an appraiser with 5+ years’ industry experience for basic and non-complex properties and a 10+ year veteran for more complex and difficult properties.
8. Are You Licensed or Certified?
It is important to understand the difference between a certified appraiser and a licensed appraiser before hiring. A licensed appraiser can’t appraise FHA homes, homes valued above $1M and normally more complex residential properties. A certified appraiser can typically appraise any type of residential property as they require additional education, experience and training which most often makes them a better choice.
9. Have You Ever Appraised Properties of this Type in this Area?
It’s critical that you hire an appraiser experienced with your property type and experienced with your market area to ensure the more accurate appraisal report possible. Never assume appraisers are all the same and never hire someone simply because they were the cheapest, as this could cost you dearly in the long run.
10. Are You a Member of the Local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
It’s important that you hire an appraiser who is a member of the local MLS. The MLS collects data of all of the local homes currently listed for sale as well as homes that have recently sold, which is critical information required for the appraisal process. If you’re talking with an appraiser who doesn’t have local access to the MLS, hang up, and move on to an appraiser who does!
I hope you found this helpful and if you have any additional questions, thoughts, or comments please leave them down below.
Altermatt Appraisal Services specializes in appraisals for divorce, bankruptcy, estate, date of death, tax appeals, pre-listings, and more throughout the greater Toledo area. For more info contact us at (419) 754-3396, visit our website at ToledoAppraiser.com, or email us @ email@example.com.