Appraisal Advice for Builders

A letter from Sandy Dunn, 2008 NAHB Past President

For the past several years one of the major problems our builders have been facing are low appraisals. NAHB has been working diligently to help solve these problems. Two Appraisal Summits were held in the last quarter of 2009 and the third Summit was just recently held. All the players were gathered in one room at the Housing Center to try to come up with solutions. Progress is being made.

In the meantime while NAHB is working to solve the problems with the process I thought I would tell you some things you can do to help bring your appraisals in at Market Value:

1) Help yourself by helping the appraiser… appraisers today are under such a short time line that they only look at sales that are recorded in the MLS. A lot of new construction never makes it to the MLS, therefore you should talk to other builders to see what they have sold….this will be beneficial to both of you. Then access courthouse records and see what other sales have been recorded.

2) offers a generic appraisal form which collects the same information the appraiser gathers. Fill this form out for each sale you can find – download by clicking here. Then take a picture of each house that has sold and attached it to the form. When the Appraiser comes to appraise your house give him/her this information and tell them that this is some information you have gathered that you thought they might find helpful. This is legal and trust me when I tell you it will be greatly appreciated! I am a Certified General Appraiser and if a seller did this for me I would kiss the ground they walk on.

3) Last but not least make a list of all of the up-grades you have put in your house that might not be in a comparable sale. Meet with the Appraiser and explain all of the pluses your house has that may or may not be seen by the naked eye.

If you follow these three simple steps I promise that your appraisals will improve….they may not be perfect, but you will get better results than you’re getting now.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Sandy Dunn
2008 NAHB President