Smoothing Out a Rocky Relationship with an Appraiser

Smoothing out a rocky relationship with your real estate appraisers

Take a second and try to remember an instance where you experienced a rocky relationship. Maybe it was with a classmate, a teacher, a family member or even a boss. Whatever the situation, as adults we understand that rocky relationships are just a part of life. In fact, you can probably hear your parents saying something along the lines of, “There’s always going to be someone that you might not get along with…” And while that’s true, when it comes to relationships with real estate appraisers, it’s not something that you can simply ignore. In some cases, tension exists between real estate appraisers and lenders focused on closing loans. In others, it’s about the lack of communication, and with others it comes down to disputes about the appraised value. Regardless of the circumstances, rest assured there are ways that you can smooth out a rocky relationship with an appraiser.

Avoid a rocky relationship from the beginning.

Before we get into ways that you can smooth out a relationship, we wanted to identify how relationships can get to a possible breaking point…and what you can do to avoid it. First things first: from the beginning avoid rocking relationships by choosing real estate appraisers who are certified to be working on your appraisals. According to the Appraisal Institute, for commercial appraisals, that means “Someone who is qualified to appraise all types of real property. To be a state certified general appraiser qualified to do appraisals for federally related transactions, a state must have requirements that meet or exceed this minimum standard.” For residential appraisals, that means “Someone who is qualified to appraise one to four residential units without regard to value or complexity. This classification does not include the appraisal of subdivisions. To be a state certified residential appraiser qualified to do appraisals for federally related transactions, a state must have requirements that meet or exceed this minimum standard.” Hiring appraisers that fit the bill will ultimately cut back on anyone who shouldn’t have a relationship with you in the first place.

Identify when the relationship is changing.

How do you know if you’re experiencing difficulty beyond expertise? Chances are you’ll notice almost immediately, but other things to look for include a lack of timely and/or appropriate responses to inquiries such as the status of an appraisal or a request for revisions. Another indicator is if an appraiser says they cannot meet or answer the questions from the reviewer. These are major red flags, and it’s best if you communicate your expectations with them sooner than later.

Be direct and frank with real estate appraisers.

If even after hiring qualified appraisers, you’re still encountering an appraiser who is difficult to work with, the best advice we can give is to be direct and frank with them. Too often a lender doesn’t want to offend the appraiser. While we completely understand not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings or bruise their ego, it’s far better to explain to the appraiser what the issues are directly. Not only does this cut-out any unnecessary communication, but it also gives the appraiser a chance to correct any problems with your relationship. If it comes time to remove an appraiser and the situation fits, consider using our dispute resolution form. With the form, you can cover your bases and dispute any disagreements in your reports.

At MountainSeed, we provide data to our banks and credit unions on appraisal report quality and delivery timeliness. By providing this information to our clients, we’re hopefully aiding the client’s request for removal. Additionally, we provide information to the appraisers on their appraisal report quality as well as their delivery. This gives the appraiser a chance to use the feedback we provide to improve their report quality and/or delivery times which in turn, will hopefully help smooth the current relationship as well as any future ones.

Over time, it can become tedious to weed-out the great real estate appraisers from the not-so-great ones, and you might find yourself in that very predicament.  Maybe it’s time to get a partner who can identify when the relationship is going south, so you can focus on your tasks at hand. Learn more about how to hire the best AMC for your financial institution, and don’t hesitate to contact us, too. If you’re ready to move on, let’s talk. We’re ready when you are.