Active Rain October 10, 2010

Attending Appraisals: Uber Time Wasting

Comp Number 1I know I’ll hear dissent on this post, but it is my belief that the buyer agent (or listing for that matter) attending an appraisal is a waste of time in most cases. I have had situations where the borrower themselves wanted to go, and after they were ignored by the appraiser, who left 10 minutes after arrival, they turned to me and wondered aloud why the event was so, well, uneventful

We don’t play a part. 

I received a phone message today from a listing agent telling me that she was upset that I did not accompany an appraiser to their inspection this morning. I don’t want to ruffle her feathers, but other than opening the door, I serve no purpose. As a matter of fact, most appraisers would like to be left alone to do their job without me to contend with. In New York, appraisers are licensed and insured. They are MLS members and do not need supervision. They take pictures, measure, and leave. On average, appraisals I have attended for a regular starter home of 1500-2000 square feet take about 15 minutes or less. 

I have nothing against attending if nothing else is scheduled, but I don’t see how it helps except in rare cases, such as in a short sale. Given their rather mundane nature compared to a home tour or home inspection, I would characterize appraisals as more of a “back of the house” thing than something for public consumption. For example, a diner at a restaurant would not be very helpful in the kitchen (the back of the house), nor would they be viewed as welcome. They would pretty much get in the way. That is how I see my presence at most appraisals. There might be instances where my attendance is helpful or at least not hurtful, but being there for the sale of just being there strikes me as unneeded busy work, and I am busy enough. Appraisers don’t need me to tell them where the basement is. 

Given the local nature of our business, other areas may differ, and there are times when it can make sense. As a general practice in most of my own cases, however, I find that the only beneficiary of my trip is the gasoline companies. 

Would you as listing agent be upset if the buyer agent did not attend the appraisal?