Darci Marchese, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - If inexperience can lead to a lower appraisal, how can you protect yourself?
It's all about preparation.
Don Boucher, an area appraiser for nearly 40 years and president of Boucher and Boucher, Inc., says once the appraiser has done his or her work, getting a change "can be a hard battle to fight."
"Once an appraiser has gone out with their number and their report, they really don't want to change it," he says.
So sellers and real estate agents need to do what they can prior to the final report.
Boucher advises sellers to have their real estate agent tell the appraiser every specific detail about the house. For example, if there was a recent addition, give details on the cost, the type of products used and if they were high-end.
You as a seller also can offer the appraiser some specific comparables of your own. If you know the house down the street that sold had an outdated kitchen, tell the appraiser.
But also make sure you're not pushing inaccurate comps.
"As soon as you give an appraiser comparables that they know are the wrong comparables, then it just discredits anything that you're telling them," Boucher says.
Boucher says real estate agents also can take some control. He knows of agents who have refused to let certain inexperienced appraisers into properties.
"If they tell the seller not to let somebody into the property, that's their recommendation to the seller," he says.
WTOP has talked to area real estate agents who say they will turn down appraisers they know are not from the area.
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