By the time the appraiser is called, the buyer and seller are anxious to close. Negotiations are complete, the contract is signed and the loan is approved. Now all parties are waiting on the appraisal. The last thing anyone wants is a delay in the appraisal delivery. So how do you reduce back-end problems and help avoid a delayed closing? Here are a few common-sense tips:

Provide requested information upfront – This is the single biggest cause for delayed appraisal reports. The appraiser will need operating statements, a currentrent roll, a survey if available, copy of the earnest money contract, construction/renovation budget and any other pertinent documents.

Accurate Property Contact information – Accurate property contact info and a responsive contact are critical. The sooner the appraiser can make contact and schedule the site visit, the sooner the appraisal is completed.

A Clear Scope of Work at Engagement – Appraisers and lenders re-use standard, canned engagement letters many times over. Sometimes the parameters of a prior assignment are not updated or the current assignment is not clearly delineated. Perhaps a property is appraised “As Is” when “As Is” and “As Renovated” are needed. Communication upfront about exactly what value or values are required is key to avoiding problems when the report is delivered.

There will always be instances where the appraiser is simply running late and he will have to answer to the client for that shortcoming. But for the parties involved in the transaction, covering the above “Big Three” will greatly increase the likelihood of timely appraisal delivery and no delay in closing from the appraisal.

John Fisher CCRA, LEED AP
Managing Director, Appraisal Services
O’Connor & Associates