When you hire an appraiser, you are hiring someone to provide their opinion. Granted this is an unbiased and professional opinion based on analyzing data and forming that opinion, but it is an opinion, nonetheless.
To find a good home appraiser you should consider their experience, credentials, references, speed and cost, complaints and communication.
When you hire someone to provide an opinion, it is critical to ensure the person who you are hiring can actually provide the independent, unbiased, educated and well-reasoned value you deserve.
What should you look for as a consumer for valuation consultation? Experience? Education? Ethics? Competency? Cost? Speed? Only you know what is most important to you. The list below is intended to help with your interview so you can choose someone to help meet your needs.
Before interviewing appraisers, ask yourself what the problem is you seek to resolve? Is it to settle an estate? To divide assets with a marital dissolution; do you have a buyer for your home and need to know market value; thinking of building an addition and want to know what the return on your investment will be? These are some reasons to obtain professional assistance but think carefully about what you need and be prepared to answer questions from the appraiser, too. It helps them gauge exactly what is needed and the time required to do the job properly.
Here’s how to find the best home appraiser:
Ask about experience for the property type you need valued. An appraiser who is intimately familiar with residential housing may not be competent in dealing with apartment complexes; an appraiser who regularly values hotels may not be able to handle a residential property.
Ask about experience in the marketplace where the property is located. Some markets are highly diverse, and the appraiser should be familiar with nuances and market influences.
Ask about their experience in the type of valuation (is it for an estate, eminent domain, litigation, etc). Appraisers who routinely handle mortgage work may not have experience handling relocation work, and vice versa.
Ask the appraiser to give a brief summation of the valuation process. This will give you a level of comfort in their ability to explain it in the reporting process.
Ask the appraiser about their professional credentials and awards. Those with many credentials prove they went beyond minimum requirements for licensure. It indicates they take professional development seriously.
Ask the appraiser whom they would recommend if they cannot help you.
Ask your friends whether they have hired appraisers, and if so, who might they recommend.
Google the appraisers name for information, check for any complaints. Not all complaints are valid, but the appraiser should be able to answer questions satisfactory to your needs.
Speed & Cost
Is speed important in your particular situation? Ask if the appraiser could rush an assignment for you. It is common however for there to be an additional fee to accommodate the schedule.
Cost? Appraisal analysis and reporting can take a lot of time. As professionals, appraisers are paid for their time. One word of advice is that if an appraiser cannot adequately put a value on their time, then they are likely not a good candidate for valuing your assets.
Ask the appraiser if they have questions? If they did not initially qualify what it is you needed, this is the opportunity for them to do so. The appraiser will need to know what the intended use of the analysis is for, and who is going to rely on the appraisal as it sets the stage for how the report becomes structured.
Remember the appraiser is unbiased. They will not take one direction in value or accommodate special interests. They remain independent, impartial and objective in their valuation practice. If you have concerns that the appraiser cannot act in that manner after the interview, call another.
A solid resource for finding appraisers who specialize in consumer valuation consultation is FindMyAppraiser.com. You can preview each appraiser’s profile for the market area you need. It is a good resource for the consumer public and a place to start where everyone is willing to assist with knowledgeable information.