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Appraisal Inspection Interview

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vargasteve

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
For some time now I've been wanting to put together a good list of appropriate questions to ask the home owner prior to the inspection. I know we all occasionally have a 'dud comps' thinking we have one type of property, come to find out we were way off - on the way to get new comps we realize what we forgot to ask, or missed. Anyone have a good resource, or form that you use when trying to get ALL the information from the home owner during the interview?
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
Steve:

I tell homeowners on my way in through the door, that I would like them to "Spend a few minutes thinking about their house, and tell me before I leave, about any repairs or improvements they have done that made thier check book squeal or thier credit card curl when they paid for it> I can see al the things on the surface, but is there anything which is now covered up or hidden or really, REALLY expensive that you have done in the past few years." You can see their eyes unfocus and they really concentrate.

It is astounding what folks come up with after just a few minutes of reflection when you put it in those terms.

Most often the information IS exactly what I wanted to know in terms of "Oh yeah I forgot to tell you all the plumbing was replaced last year... etc etc."

This also usualy gets them off my heels as I do the inspection :roll:

Have had very few ever come back and tell me they 'forgot to mention...thus and such' post inspection.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Steve,

You post brings up an intersting side question. Do you pull comps before you see the property?
 

Joker

Elite Member
Joined
May 28, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
Vargasteve,
PRIOR to inspection, I simply ask the homeowner what type of home they have, so I can recognize it when I get there. They usually respond with someting that gets the dialog going such as "ranch", then I ask age, stick built, modular, or doublewide, etc. I hope you do not select your comps PRIOR to the inspection. That's putting the cart before the horse and at a stretch, could be considered as a predetermined value.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
I gave up on this idea years ago - the last straw fell when I asked the homeowner to describe her house. She started the conversation by saying - "when you walk in the front door there is an umbrella stand to your left " - I lost it completely, havn't been the same since.
 

airphoto

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Dug and Bill-NC,

Yes, I pull the comps before inspection .. in a rural area it only makes sense, as I don't care to regularly waste an 80 mile round trip to go back out comp looking/photographing. Am told that we'll be able to download MLS into PDA .. but haven't made the investment. Still rely on laptop ..

Have a 5-10 percent error rate .. yesterday, in fact, assessor rated as 'cape COD' when, in fact, I'd call it a bungalow. Fortunately, nearby, so not a problem ..

Here we can identify tax parcels by East/North geographic location .. makes for downloading sales data from the assessment records, calculating (Excel) their proximity and programming the GPS. Time is definitely money .. particularly where the 9-1-1 addresses are incomplete, or unreliable. IMHO there should be a standing $1,000 fine for not having the 9-1-1 number visible from the road ..
 

Frederick R. Ruffell

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I always ask the owner/access person everything that is on the public record (missing or not). (i.e., address parcel #, zoning, tax, owners name and address, deed info, current lender info, GLA, BED/Bath, # units, # buildings, lot size, # stories, total rooms, fireplaces, pool, heating/cooling, VIEW...etc.

Now I know that not everyone is going to have all the answers but it sure does make pulling the right comps prior to driving to the inspection. I always pull up all sales and listings for the past 6 mo to 1 year within a mile and print a quarter page report for each that i take into the field with me. This is useually good enough. $1,000,000 plus properties i have to expand the search paramaters and often make two trips but it is covered in the higher fee.
 

Elliott

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Oregon
I try to ask Nothing (as Sgt. Shultz would say).
Get in, get out. I even go out of my way
to tell owners their lender has choosen a
2055 form which is a limited appraisal and only asks
siding, roof, and room count, so my inspection
won't take more than a few minutes.

The more I ask, or say, the more it
will be used against me. . . . "Well,
the appraiser said, blah, blah, blah"

Experienced Elliott
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
I go through the count records and ask about Sf, age, garage SF (how many bays), lot size, have they done any remodeling, has the house been for sale in the past 12 months (FSBO i check MLS), HOA information, siding, roofing, windows, floor covering, windows dbl pn, sngl pn, and materials of windows alm/vinyl/wood, fencing, outbuildings, view if any, wtf if any, and anything else that they can think of.

Then I tell them what I will be doing there measure the outside first take front rear photos and 3 int. photos, look in all rooms and closests, and will have more questions for them at the time of inspection.
And that the inspection will take approx XX-XX amount of time depending on the type of house.

I also pull comps prior to inspection. My parameters are typically pretty wide plat 12 months, 1 mile around the subject for 6-12 months depending on area (urban to suburban settings 6 months and suburban to rural settings 12 months) then a neighborhood search for again depending 6-12 months. Then I pull a CMA for the subject including active, pending, and solds. From there I may chose several that appear to fit the subject on paper and pull full printouts on them and MLS information. I figure with this amount of information it is hard to really miss anything and if I do go out and it doesn't fit any of the properties that I have then I may have something in the initial research. Typically 1-2 times a month I may find myself looking again because of something that wasn't disclosed in the phone interview or something was different.

Ryan
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
vargatsteve --

In response to your question, when the homeowner is even the tidbittiest doubtful about their house and cannot state flat out that it's a 2-story or bi-level, I back up and ask -- almost like Joe intimated -- "When I walk in the front door, what's on that level (they say LR, K and DR, etc)... then I say, when I go upstairs from there... (they say 3 BRS and 2 Baths [.75 Master; Full Pulbic Bath in the hall]) ... then I say, now I'm back on the main level where I came in the front door, if I go downstairs, what's down there (AR w/Fireplace) ... can I walk out to the yard from here... (Yes, to the Patio) ... Can I go downstairs again? ... (Oh, yeah we've got a Basement; it's not finished) ... By the way, back on the main level again... Is there a Deck off the back?

So you see, this undefined house style is clearly a standard 4-level split!

What about garage. Yeah we got one. Is it attached... Yeah, kinda. Well, can you walk directly out from the main level that I came in on to the garage? No you have to go downstairs through the AR.

It's a little more tricky figuring out if the garage is built-in, but with calmness the homeowner will talk you through a house they live in but don't know that much about!
 
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