Appraising Smart Homes: Does 'Smart' Really Matter?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Jan 19, 2017 1:59:28 PM

How much will modern smart home technology affect an appraisal, if at all? Nowadays, a homeowner can control just about any home device, remotely, via a smartphone: computers, HVAC, audio/visual equipment, surveillance cameras, ovens and slow cookers, you name it. Will a home that’s set up to handle all those capabilities be valued higher than one that’s still pretty 20th-century in terms of modern conveniences?

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Topics: accurate appraisals, appraisal trends

The Power of Transparency and Communication in Appraisals

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Jan 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Appraisers are usually able to disclose quite a lot about their methods and the information they’ve used—and it’s best to be prepared to share that information promptly, especially if the appraisal is not what was hoped for. Transparency and communication in appraisals is essential.

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Topics: accurate appraisals

Trendspotting For Appraisers

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Dec 19, 2016 11:09:14 AM

How do you spot and judge market trends and news events that might influence your appraisal, or that you should bring to the attention of the client? If you’re in a situation where the value of a property could rise or fall dramatically from its current appraised value, depending on various factors, how can you take the variables into account and provide the most accurate appraisal possible? The short answer is that your appraisal will be applicable to a certain effective date—but you shouldn’t neglect to let the lender know how market forces might affect the appraised value down the road.

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Topics: USPAP, appraisal market, appraisal trends

Arriving at an Accurate Appraisal, Even When Comps Are Few

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Dec 15, 2016 10:00:00 AM

You’ve been assigned to appraise a property in a remote area, or in a neighborhood where few sales have occurred lately. How do you arrive at an accurate appraisal if you’re not sure of your comparable sales? Can you take an approach to the appraisal that you wouldn't usually use? How could one unusual event or another throw your calculations off?

McKissock recently went over those questions with three expert appraisers—and their consensus is, you can always find a way to give an accurate appraisal.

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Topics: accurate appraisals

4 Ways Appraisers Can Make Time for the Work That Matters

Posted by: McKissock Date: Dec 8, 2016 11:14:00 AM

No matter what industry you’re in, when things get busy it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It can seem impossible to get all of your work done with only 24 hours in the day. But there are some tried-and-true methods for eliminating the minutiae to drill down on the real estate appraisal work that matters.

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Topics: real estate appraisal work

Why the Appraisal Engagement Letter Isn’t Enough

Posted by: McKissock Date: Nov 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Should you execute an appraisal engagement letter with your clients? Absolutely. Is the engagement letter enough to ensure that you remain compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)? Not necessarily.

An appraisal engagement letter is a legally binding document that defines the terms and conditions of your arrangement with your client, addresses the scope of the assignment, and establishes your compensation, so you should execute one with each appraisal client to protect yourself.

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Topics: appraisal engagement letter

How Groundwater Emergencies Affect Home Values

Posted by: Roni Robbins Date: Nov 17, 2016 11:00:00 AM

It’s been a few months since the national state of emergency was lifted from Flint, Michigan. But the city’s housing market may be in a state of unrest for several years as water pipes are replaced and the real estate market continues to stabilize from its recent lead poisoning crisis, according to appraisers consulted for this story.

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Topics: Groundwater

Are You Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Appraisal Business?

Posted by: Joseph Dobrian Date: Nov 10, 2016 3:13:05 PM

By Joseph Dobrian

Editor's Note: Our recently published blog post, Hiring a Remote or Virtual Assistant: Can It Really Increase Your Earnings?, received several comments and questions about hiring a virtual assistant for your appraisal business. This article is a follow-up to that post to show how two appraisers found success with their virtual assistant.  

Appraisers can save themselves astonishing amounts of time and money by hiring a virtual assistant, that is, an assistant who works from a remote location, with little or no face-to-face interaction with the employer. Intelligent, hard-working, English-speaking personnel can be found all over the world through online sources. By taking the least-profitable work off your shoulders, they’ll allow you more time for the tasks that only you can do or like best to do. And because wages are considerably lower in countries with large talent pools—such as the Philippines—hiring an overseas virtual assistant will make it easier to add professional-level employees closer to home.

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Topics: virtual assistants for appraisers

Ever Wondered How to Appraise an Abandoned Theme Park?

Posted by: Alexis Petersen Date: Nov 3, 2016 3:30:51 PM

Six Flags, New Orleans (formerly known as Jazzland), is a 227-acre, abandoned theme park that closed when Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on the state in August 2005. The park grounds, situated on a low-lying section of Eastern New Orleans, created an artificial basin that was prime for flooding. Drainage pumps at the park failed during the storm, causing the berm to retain rainwater and seawater overflow from Lake Pontchartrain, and submerged the entire park grounds in four-to-seven- feet of water for over a month. Given the extensive damage, the park was closed indefinitely with no plans to reopen.

The site is now owned by the Industrial Development Board (IDB) of New Orleans, who continues to look for opportunities for redevelopment of the site. Peter McEnery, Founder and President of The McEnery Company, a real estate appraisal, brokerage and consulting company in New Orleans, took on the challenge of appraising the site for IDB.

Mr. McEnery shares valuable insights on this high-profile appraisal with us. You can also learn more about this appraisal assignment in our upcoming webinar, Commercial Case Study: Theme Park or Developed Site Value, on Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00 PM EST. 


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Topics: commerical appraisal, pre-series webinar

LinkedIn Profiles for Appraisers: What You Need to Know

Posted by: McKissock Date: Oct 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Social media has become more than just a way to communicate with your friends and family. In fact, 67 percent of adults now use social networking sites—a nearly tenfold jump over the past decade. For the savvy appraiser, the use of social media can help you grow and scale your business and career. From promoting your services to buyers and sellers on Facebook to growing your professional network with your LinkedIn profile, social media is essential.

Unlike other social media platforms—such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—LinkedIn is more business-focused and allows professionals to connect in a more professional setting. Your LinkedIn profile serves as your online resume and offers a snapshot of your background, your professional recommendations, and more. LinkedIn is a management tool for your career.

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Topics: Professional Development, Tips & Tricks