How do you find a fair Appraiser?

Asked by Eliot, Metairie, LA Thu Feb 7, 2013

Does anyone know some guidelines for obtaining a fair appraisal report? It seems that when you hire an appraiser, there is no guarantee that the report will give a fair value for the buyer. If you're not satisfied with the appraiser's report, it's costly to hire a different appraiser for a competing valuation. Is there a way to see some of an appraiser's previous reports on other properties to have an idea of the quality of his/her work?

Thanks for your thoughts and advice!

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nolaappraisa…, , Metairie, LA
Thu Mar 7, 2013
If an appraiser is not doing an appraisal for a bank, then there is no need for them to see the contract. This will give you the best idea of his/her opinion of market value. This only applies to cash sales though as what Mr. Niles said is correct, that the bank chooses from an automated system. Also if you tell your appraiser that you are trying to obtain the most likely sales price (for better or worse) then they should look at it from the eyes of a typical buyer. As an appraiser and Realtor, I tend to look at the property with a discriminating buyer's eyes as this is what we have encountered in this market.
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David Niles, Agent, Blasdell, NY
Thu Feb 7, 2013
Usually finding an appraiser that works in that specific area is most important as they know the trends and areas best. I see you reference a buyer in your question, in a sale, the bank / financing company hires their own appraiser to keep everything "at arms length" meaning they have nothing to do with either side of the sale or anyone involved in it thus making their opinion unbiased.
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Thank you for that explanation. At one time we thought that every certified appraiser would arrive at pretty much the same valuation, give or take one or two percent. That's not the reality of the appraising business, apparently.

I have heard of a situation where two independent appraisers who each have the MAI certification could provide valuations that differ by 10%. It may seem like a small difference to you, but to us it's a very large difference. That's why it would be advantageous to know the particular bent of the appraiser.
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