156 Hamilton St., Leominster, MA

By Amy Tierce

Real Estate appraisals are performed by independent, licensed and in most cases certified appraisers.

How an appraiser views a property and the nature of the appraisal investigation is highly regulated and restrictive. Among many data fields, the appraisal report is required to address:

• Town and registry data on the property

• Recorded data on the immediate neighborhood

• If the property is legal per city and town records

• The condition of the property along with major systems

• Room count, size and general dimensions

• If improved, if proper permits were issued

• Market statistics and conditions

• Comparable sold properties

• Comparable properties on market

• Complete photographs as required by secondary market

• Floor plan on property is drawn by appraiser

Any errors or discrepancies on the appraisal report as compared to other data in the application process must be resolved. This means that all data throughout must match, for example street address, zip code, and property tax figures.

Much of the frustration with the appraisal process comes from the selection of comparable properties to support the value of the subject. It is required that these comparables be as close as possible to the subject in terms of style, age, size and proximity and timing of the sale.

Condominiums require additional work by the appraiser because the appraiser must validate the condominium information and many times this information can only be acquired by obtaining a completed condo questionnaire. To assist the appraiser and help expedite the process a copy of the lenders condo questionnaire will help.

Depending on market conditions, an appraisal can take up to two weeks to obtain. However, your lender can have the full credit approval completed on the borrower while waiting for the appraisal to be completed.

In this competitive market be sure to speak with the lender about the risks associated with the waiving of an appraisal or mortgage contingency.

Admittedly, the appraisal can be one of the most frustrating components of the mortgage process especially if the seller and real estate agent believe that the valuation is low.

Content courtesy of
Amy Tierce, Regional Vice President, Fairway Independent Mortgage

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