6 tips to help avoid an appraisal disaster

As lenders, we look at a LOT of appraisals, and we see a lot of the same common mistakes that can be deal-killers.  Here are 5 ways to help ensure that your borrowers’ appraisal supports their application and doesn’t actually become a liability.

  1. Tell your borrowers to take their mother’s advice before the appraiser shows up – “go clean your room and make your bed.” The pictures in the appraisal are part of the story about who the borrowers are and how they take care of things in their lives.  What do they want that story to tell us?
  2. Warn them that the appraiser will need to see every room. Even if the baby (or teenager) is sleeping, they need to see inside.  Refusal to grant access to any part of the house will almost automatically spell disaster for the mortgage application.
  3. Don’t tell the appraiser the value they need to get. They’ll typically just ignore you because they’re liable to the lender, not the borrower, if they exaggerate.
  4. Control the borrowers’ expectations early. Let them know that the appraiser’s opinion of the value of their house may be significantly less than what they think its worth.  This saves a lot of grief after the appraisal is completed.
  5. Let the borrower know that they’ll be paying for the appraisal up front and the appraiser will expect payment before they get to work. Most take credit cards these days.
  6. Maybe the most important point – make sure the appraiser is familiar with the lender’s specific appraisal guidelines. There’s nothing worse than having to go back to a client because the appraisal is unsatisfactory due to the fact that the appraiser didn’t include all the information or pictures that were required.

If you have questions about an appraisal requirement, the friendly staff at Kokanee Mortgage are always happy to get your borrower off in the right direction.