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Read your real estate appraisal.

One reaction to the housing crisis was for the government to increase supervision of real estate appraisers. Appraisers are governed by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) too. No amount of regulation can replace the knowledgeable review of the appraisal by the property owner though. The reports are written in their own language but the “facts” they report relate to your property. Take control. Read it through and through. Check the accuracy of each fact.

Why? Because appraisers make mistakes. They overlook important aspects of the real estate. They are only human. Every feature about your property, or the “comparable properties” to which your property is being compared, matters. If the appraiser reports you only have 1 fireplace but you have 2, that matters. If the appraiser reports you have 7 rooms but you have 9, that matters. If the appraiser reports that you have average construction but you have granite counters, that matters.  Does this really happen?  You bet.

How much does it matter?  One recent appraisal increased by $50,000 after the property owner showed the appraiser the additional/correct facts.

Why didn’t the bank take care of that?  The lender may not have an incentive to adjust the appraisal.  That could be one reason.  But, also, lenders are less inclined to question appraisals now that the government is watching the housing market more closely. That means you have to do it.

The value of property set by the appraisal can make a huge difference in the lenders’ handling of a loan. Do not assume the appraisal is right, especially if you are losing your home in foreclosure. The process only works right if the true value of the real estate is used.  If you take this simple action, you will be better prepared to mediate a sound resolution to the foreclosure litigation with the lender.

Rhonda Smiley

Resolution Guru

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