Buying and financing a new home can be a daunting task and many of us turn to friends and family for advice. Watch out for mortgage myths. The only experts in the mortgage field….are the experts in the mortgage field! Friends and family might not be the experts they think they are. The mortgage guidelines and interest rates are changing so frequently that unless someone is in the mortgage field as a full-time job, you should only take advice from a mortgage professional.
Blog Category: appraisal
In my experience, there seems to be a lot of confusion about appraisals. I hear a lot of misstatement about how appraisal values are determined. If an appraisal comes in below the agreed upon sales price there is usually a lot of push back, anger, and harshly worded statements about the intelligence of the appraiser. Many sellers, some buyers, and even some realtors use methodology and data that is not accurate. The reality is that there is a way to challenge an appraisal that is quite simple.
I told a realtor once that appraisers do not appraise a home, data does. I was trying to respond to their over-hyped level of concern about where the appraiser lives or works. Realtors’ hope that the appraiser will have some sort of intimate knowledge about the subject property’s market area, only by living nearby.
I blogged just a few days ago about how a client chose an online lender instead of me. And that lender sent an appraiser to the client’s home who was not local to the marketplace. The appraised value ended up coming in low enough that the client had to pay $45,000 out of pocket to pay the loan down. I am not sure how spending $45,000 in cash
When sellers set an asking price for their home I always imagine big dollar signs in their eyes. Most human beings suffer from wishful thinking and confirmation bias. How should you price your home: high, low or right at market value? In other words, should you overprice or underprice, or price it right at market value? If sellers are underpricing they may hope to sell faster, or hope for a bidding war. Overpricing a home may allow you to get more for your house than it’s really worth with luck and hope that one buyer loves your home. Underpricing or overpricing your home can be a gamble. And the best thing you can do is come to terms with how much your house is really worth.
Most people that own a home make some home improvements. Some home improvements are modest and some are substantial. It is important to get some enjoyment from whatever improvements you make, but it is also important to remember to watch the economics of your projects. Many people don’t consider the return on investment when they take on a renovation project, and some people make poor assumptions about how much they will get back from their cost to remodel.
I recently had a refinance client who got their home appraised for $1,000,000. You would think this would be good news, except that the client was expecting $1.2MM. Uh oh, I guess we didn’t get good news. However, the more important question is, did we get accurate news? In other words, was the appraisal valuation accurate and were the comparable sales used in the appraisal appropriate? This is where the debate started.
I sometimes get asked about waiving one or all contingencies in a real estate contract. This helps make for a more aggressive offer in a competitive sellers’ market. The main contingencies in most real estate contracts are the appraisal contingency, the financing contingency, the termite inspection contingency, and the home inspection contingency. I am not a proponent or an opponent of any of these strategies. I simply want to discuss the pros and cons of each since it is a question I do get. Let me take these one at a time.
When a homebuyer is getting a mortgage to buy a new home everyone seems to be on pins and needles waiting on the appraisal. When the appraisal does come in if the appraised value is below the contract price the response is usually alarm from the realtors. And confusion by the homebuyer. At that point there is a lot to talk about and coordinate.
Who knows more about a home appraisal? Realtors often think appraisers are not the most accurate assessors of real estate values. And appraisers often think realtors know less than they do. Maybe they are both right? I have had appraisers admit that a good realtor will likely know more than an appraiser about the value of a certain home. This is because most appraisers are appraising a wider geographic area a than a realtor may specialize in. Many appraisers cover a multi-state area. Whereas a lot of realtors specialize not only in one state. Also maybe only in one city or town. So, it is hard to expect