Questions for the Appraiser Before Hiring.

1) Are you a certified or licensed appraiser?

A certified appraiser is the highest level of authorization by a state. Licensed appraisers aren’t allowed to appraise complex or expensive homes and they are limited to price range and size for lending purposes. FHA does not accept appraisals from licensed appraisers, only certified appraisers.


2) Are you a full-time or part-time appraiser?
Appraisals require focus and time. Most part-time appraisers who have full-time jobs will accept an assignment for quick cash regardless of their knowledge of the area or the current market trends. A full-time appraiser is a better choice for you because they stay current on the industry, market, and area.


3) How long have you been appraising?
We recommend a minimum of 5 years of experience for simple properties and 10 years for complex and unusual homes, waterfront, large homes or view properties.


4) Do you have a Designation?
A designated appraiser indicates that this person has taken steps to become better than the minimum. In Georgia, the gold standard is the Association of Georgia Real Estate Appraisers (AGREA).


5) Have you done homes similar to mine?

You want an appraiser who is familiar with the area to give you the best detailed report possible with the most updated comparable sales.


6) Are you a member of the local multiple listing system (MLS AND FMLS)?
Most appraisers who are dedicated and serious about performing appraisals are members of MLS. The MLS is a database of the homes that are listed and sold in your area. The MLS is local, there is no nationwide system. If your appraiser isn’t a member of MLS or FMLS, find another appraiser.


7) How much will your appraisal cost me?
Keep cost in mind, but don’t let it overshadow the fact that experience matters! Fees are set by the individual appraiser based on quality, experience, expertise, and the type and size of home to be appraised. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to quality appraisals.


8) What will my appraisal report consist of?
Your appraisal report should state the kind of value being determined, such as fair market, replacement, liquidation. It will describe the property being valued, analysis of comparable sales, and relation of the appraisal values to a specific point in time. It should include the signature of the appraiser responsible for validity and objectivity, and should specify the personal qualifications of the appraiser.


9) What’s your turnaround time?
Most reports shouldn’t take more than 2 days. However, the turnaround time is determined by what you’re asking for, as well as the type of appraisal being done. Be cautious of an appraiser who is willing to give you the report at the inspection, or immediately following the inspection.