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Questions for the property owner?

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Marty Skolnik

Thread Starter
Sophomore Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Maryland
A while ago I saw on this or another forum a thread about a series of "stock" questions in a particular format that an appraiser would ask a homeowner at the inspection. He or she asked these questions before s/he began the inspection to make sure that s/he covered whatever s/he wanted to cover without forgetting anything. (This was in addition to having an inspection form that mirrored the appraisal report format.) Questions to ask like: "When was the roof replaced? Is the furnace oil-fired or gas? Date of kitchen remodel and cost? Are there any water problems in the basement?" etc. etc.

Does anyone use this type of prepared questionnaire for their inspection?

Thanks,

Marty Skolnik
Baltimore, Maryland
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I don't use a "prepared" list, but I think it is a good idea.

I pre-interview the borrowers before I go out to confirm what I think the subject is like and to see if there is any significant changes/on-going repairs/upgrades.
After I do the physical site walk-around, I'll review my sketch with the borrower (make sure I didn't miss anything) and then go through my own mental check-list. I usually say, "This is what I was able to observe..." and I'll repeat the noteworthy items I wrote down on my sketch. When I'm done, I'll ask if there is anything that I missed or wouldn't be able to observe (like new plumbing or sewer line)?
Lastly, I'll ask the borrower if he/she can think of anything about the property or neighborhood that I should know.

BTW, I tell the borrowers at the beginning what my procedure is and ask them to think about anything they've done to the house while I'm doing my walk-around. This is a good way to keep them busy and let them know I am going to touch base with them when I'm done; it also (IMO) eliminates from some the feeling that they should walk-around with me and point things out while I do my sketching.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
Ditto Denis - plus I require HO to supply a written list developed btw setting up the appt. and site inspection, review same AFTER completing site inspection to add items they may have overlooked etc. /clarify the ones they noted. When feasible prior ML listings for the subject are also reviewed at the kitchen table to determine (best possible info) which improvements took place prior to their purchase or after. I suggest printing out an appraisal report form as "inspection list" and blank reverse page(s) for Deferred Maintenance, F.O. / E.O comments (supported by photos) and a printed GRAPH SKETCH page(s) as well.
 
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hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Ditto Denis - plus I require HO to supply a written list developed btw setting up the appt. and site inspection, review same AFTER completing site inspection to add items they may have overlooked etc. /clarify the ones they noted. When feasible prior ML listings for the subject are also reviewed at the kitchen table to determine (best possible info) which improvements took place prior to their purchase or after.

This is a very good idea also. In fact, I think it was Otis who shared with me a form he gives to the HO when he gets to the property; not only does it briefly explain the appraisal process and who "owns" the appraisal, but it provides an area for the HO to fill out regarding upgrades, etc.

The beauty of this is it constitutes acknowledgment from the HO that you personally inspected the subject and that they acknowledged what the appraisal process was all about as well as giving you a list of things to consider.

It is a great process- I don't do it because I'm just not as squared-away as Mike or Otis.... yet! :laugh:
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
There's always hope. :icon_mrgreen:
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
While a written list might be a good idea, it often isn't practical. Quite often the home owner isn't present when I do my appraisal inspection as I have a Board of REALTORS lock box key. If the property is listed, the agent should have a disclosure statement signed by the seller. I have asked for those on occasion too.

I do have several questions I like to ask...

Have you had any roof problems?

Have you ever had water in the basement (lower level)?

Is there anything of a detrimental nature that I wouldn't notice by just walking around the property?

Is there anything you would like to tell me about the property?

Added for properties with a well and septic...

How deep is the well? What is the gpm? It is adequate?

How large is the septic tank? When was it last pumped?

For properties with pine trees...

Any mistletoe problems? Any beetle kill?
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
one can always trash can the AVMS. (SNIKKER) :rof:
 
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