How To Avoid A Low Appraisal with Judy Mitchell

Hi everybody, I'm Judy Mitchell from William Pitt Sotheby's Realty and today we're going to talk about how to avoid getting a low appraisal if you plan to sell your house.

Okay, here's how it works - now pretty much all buyers use a mortgage. So when you're selling your house, you can bet that your buyer is going to finance the purchase of this house with mortgage. After you negotiate a price, after you go through inspections, after your buyer signs the contract, then it's time for the appraisal. What happens is, the appraiser will call the listing agent and the listing agent will make an appointment to go out and let the appraiser into the house. Now, what most listing agents do is just simply let the appraiser in and says, you know, "go and take a look around and let me know when you're all set." Maybe they're on the phone, maybe they're in their car. Well, that is not how we work. You do not want an agent that does that. The first thing that we do when we get that call from the appraiser is we start to prepare for that appointment. What do we mean by that? First thing we're going to do is look at the list of improvements. The list of improvements that you gave us when we put that house on the market. We're going to review that list with you and then we're going to provide that list with ballpark estimates of how much things cost when you put these improvements into your house. So that the appraiser has a really good understanding of exactly how much money there is in the house because that helps prove value.

The next thing we're going to do is we're going to scour the MLS for the appropriate comparables. These are houses that have sold nearby your house that are similar ideally in condition, design, and close proximity, of course. Generally speaking, we're going to know or have been in thouse houses that have sold recently. We're going to be able to talk to the appraiser about the condition of those homes and also really and truly how they do compared to your home. Is your home worth more or is your home comparable to it? This is a really important facet. And this is why it's really important to use a local listing agent because the appraiser could be from out of town. Maybe they're from a very different part of Connecticut. I've even had appraisers come from Long Island and they don't really know the specialness of our area. They may not be able to pick the appropriate comparables. They may not even know that one street is more valuable than say another street or even a portion of the street. It might be more valuable than another portion of the street. Those comparables make the difference. We print those comparables out and then we present those to the appraiser. That saves him or her from having to pull their own comps. We can also talk to them about the details of those comps. 

Now the next thing we're going to do, of course, is build rapport with the appraiser. This is super important. Let's face it, real estate, it's a relationship business. We work with appraisers every single day. We show up. We get to know them. They get to know us and we have a trust built between us. That usually helps our houses appraised a little bit more than maybe they naturally would.

Let me give you a perfect example - we just had a house appraised at $98,000 above a similar house that recently sold just next door to this house. These houses were just about exactly the same. But there were some key differences. Those differences need to be pointed out to the appraiser so that they understood the difference in price and the difference in value. We were able to prove more value for the house that we represented and that helped the house appraised. Why do you want a house to appraise? Well, because like I said, you have already been in contract with your buyer. You're essentially off the market or pending a deal. So when that's the case, if your house doesn't appraise, you as a seller are not in the best negotiating position. Our job as your listing agent is to keep you in the best possible position to keep the deal together and always get you the maximum when it comes to your sales price.

So, if you are thinking about selling your house, you want an agent that is going to have this level of attention to detail. I suggest calling me, Judy Mitchell, at Judy Mitchell Group which is at William Pitt Sotheby's here in Southport. We will help you try to get your house appraised to the highest possible value. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate to call, text me, or just reach out online. You can find me at or call me at 203-293-0039.

I hope this information was helpful. If it was, click the like button or share it to someone you know who maybe thinking about selling their house. Thanks!

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