You’ve got a contract on your home and you’ve just sailed through inspections without a hitch. All’s well, right? Maybe.
It used to be that once you get through inspections it was all downhill from there. Closing is just around the corner and unless the buyer decides to bail on the contract then the property should close (Incidentally, buyers are really in charge and have lots of protection in Colorado. More on that another time ). But with the way that the lending industry is reacting, and often overreacting, to the recent housing meltdown, there is a new hurdle that’s often more treacherous than inspection: The Appraisal.
I have no problem with an honest, experienced, reliable appraiser doing his or her job and placing a proper value on a home. And if that value is less than the contract price then so be it. Appraisers serve a very important function in the real estate world. And honestly, if there were more rigorous appraisals in years past then maybe we would have had the severe run up in housing prices we saw over the last decade or so…that’s debatable, but an interesting issue none the less.
The problem I have with the way that appraisals are currently done is that we are getting inexperienced appraisers who are often NOT familiar with the neighborhood trends and micro-market they’re working in. Does this sound like typical BS from a Realtor who just wants the deal to close? Sure, I understand skepticism like that. But all real estate IS local. And you truly need to understand how pricing works from one city and one neighborhood to the next if you’re going to put a proper value on a place.
What to do? Well, since there’s really no way for sellers to change appraisal laws/rules and force lenders to hire experienced, impartial, LOCAL appraisers, then we have to do the next best thing: make sure you have pricing support IN HAND at every moment when your home is for sale. Sounds obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. Maybe you’ve had your home listed for 9 months and you started out at $350k, and dropped to $345k a few weeks ago. You remember the comps from 9 months ago and they clearly supported a price of 345-350k, so you priced on the high side (which is not the best tactic anyway…). But it’s quite possible that the market has dropped significantly since then. And when an appraiser comes to value your home they’re only going to be interested in the last 3 months of sold comps. And there had better be about 3 of them.
So be sure you are constantly updating your sold comps as you sit on the market. Numbers don’t lie. If home values are dropping significantly in your area then it’s best to SET the market then to chase the market. Price just under what the numbers support, generate some interest and get your place sold.
Remember that www.realasave.com can help you save lots of cash on commissions with our Colorado commission rebate program and flat-fee listing service, so email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.