Five Things to Know About Appraisals if You Need to Sell Your House Fast

Five Things to Know About Appraisals if You Need to Sell Your House Fast

Indeed, like some realty moguls who have become famous around the world, appraisal professionals hold their cards to their chest and often don’t report accurate values – or what institutions such as Fannie Mae (as just one example) are doing about it. We’re here to cut through the fog of misinformation and sometimes misleading interpretation when it comes to getting an appraisal at the point you’re ready to say, “I Need to Sell My House…Fast.”

The challenge has always been getting the proper appraisal, as an improper one can definitely hurt your profits when it comes to the sale of your home. It’s just an unfortunate fact that most average folks don’t understand the ins and outs of how an appraisal affects their mortgage, and, making matters worse, appraisers are infamous for manipulating a home’s value. This results in the selling party receiving less than they should on the sale of their current property.

We want to provide a counter-solution to this scenario so that you completely understand how the appraisal process works when it’s time to ask, “How Do I Sell My House?” and to ensure that you don’t fall victim to appraisal fraud – thus saving you thousands of dollars in lost profits and overpriced homes.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the five things you need to know about appraisals if you’re looking to sell your home fast.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that financial institutions such as Fannie Mae have recently delved into creating a blacklist of appraisers that they deem as having “questionable practices,” with the list serving as a warning to banks and mortgage lenders to be careful about doing business with such appraisers. Since the inception of such lists, appraisal databases have been scoured to identify appraisers who routinely submit appraisals that are unacceptable – with red flags that include inflating the appraised value of a home, failing to use the best comparable sales of physically similar properties and misstating the characteristics of a house.

This is just to give you an idea of how serious the fraudulent appraisal arena is, and how major forces in this sector are attempting to protect you, the consumer. Let’s be honest here: You can’t get money from a credible financial institution without an appraisal, so they’re pretty important.

All that said, let’s address some of the most recurring questions we hear: “How Do I Sell My House?” and “What Should I Be Looking for When I Need to Sell My House?”

The Difference Between an Appraisal and an Assessment – One of the primary things you should know when you need to sell your house fast is the difference between an appraisal and an assessment. These two types of home valuation are performed for different reasons and within different time frames; assessments are completed on what’s referred to as a “town-wide” basis, usually for purposes of equitably levying taxes, while an appraisal focuses on a particular property and attempts to ping its value to similar houses that have ideally sold within the past six months – and which fall within a mile of the property being discussed.

1.  Understanding Who Owns an Appraisal – This is one of the trickiest areas in this sector; the individual (or organization) that orders the appraisal owns it, and all the information contained in that report. None of that information can be released to anyone else, period, without written authorization from the party that ordered it.

2.  How Long an Appraisal is Good For – In today’s rather challenging real estate environment, a lender might not want to go over six months, but that can be handled through a re-certification of value so that the borrower doesn’t have to pay for a whole new report. Here’s what’s vital in this situation: An appraisal’s estimate of market value is always stated as of a specific date – which is the date the property was inspected. Also, bear in mind that a home’s value can change drastically in just 24 hours, given that a fire or flood could occur or a contractor could walk off a job.

3.  Know What You Can Do if You Don’t Like an Appraisal – Feel your appraisal was unfair or inaccurate? Ask questions and discuss with the appraiser exactly what it is you don’t understand or what you believe are discrepancies or errors. But, also keep in mind and accept that the appraiser approaches things from a very different perspective than the homeowner, broker or lender does.

4.  Understand the Final Estimate of Value – This is what’s otherwise known as the bottom line – the only barrier a lender, broker, home seller or others really care about; in other words, the final figure for the estimated market value of the property. While appraisers have been accused of just about every tactic to arrive at this figure, there are clear, consistent guidelines that must be followed (with the discretion of a professional, of course). Appraisers from coast to coast use a standard form, with the most common type of report for a single-family home being the 1004, developed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

5.  Get to Know the Different Types of Home Appraisals – While appraisals requiring both an exterior and interior inspection of a property is the norm, an exterior-only inspection – aptly referred to as a “drive-by” – may also be ordered; for obvious reasons, this approach is not as comprehensive, but a drive-by is likely to be used when there’s little question regarding the value of the home supporting the loan amount requested…and that’s important for you to know.

If you’ve been considering selling your home quickly, you are going to want an appraisal to get an idea of the home’s value prior to talking to a realtor or attempting a for-sale-by-owner transaction. To get moving forward right away, contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.


Northwest Home Buyers - Idaho


If you find yourself facing foreclosure and unable to find tenants or maybe just inherited a home, in any case, we can help you sell your home in Boise in 7-10 days. If you’re thinking of selling and are exploring your options, consider selling directly to us.

Call our team at (208) 214-3365 

Fill out our quick home seller information form.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle and headache of selling to the market, then we might be able to help. We’ll give you a quick call once we find out a bit more about your property in Idaho, and make you an offer on your home the same day.

Andrew Wheeler
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