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Appraisals Today.

January 17, 2010

This seems to be a very hot topic these days- in and out of the office. Appraisals are an important part of the process of purchasing or selling a home. It isn’t only today’s real estate environment (lack of comparables) but the government trying to correct the abuses in the appraisal system.

Some ways that might help get a better appraisal:

1. Your agent should meet the appraiser at the house.
2. Your agent can give the appraiser comparable sales for the property. The listing agent possible could provide the comparables used to price the home.
3. Compile a complete list of upgrades and improvements made to the home during your ownership. Include maintained items as well as cosmetic. Be specific about upgrades (“hardwood” vs. “laminate” or “granite vs. corian).
4. Give the appraiser copies of marketing materials.

Bottom line, the more educated the appraiser is about your property, the better the chance of the house appraising.

Pre-Foreclosure (Notice of Default)- The foreclosure process starts when the property owner stops making mortgage payments (defaults on loan payments). The lender files a public default notice- a Notice of Default. This starts a 3 month time frame in which the owner can “cure” the note and take it out of default.

Auction (Notice of Trustee Sale)- If the property owner does not reinstate the loan by the end of the pre-foreclosure time frame, the property will be sold at a public auction. (Buyers should be aware that purchasing a home at this point would require cash at the auction, and they may not have time to research he title and property condition). The lender must publish a Notice of Trustee Sale for 20-31 days. The home owner can bring the loan current until 5 days prior to the sale date. After the 5 days, the homeowner still can pay the entire owned amount to stop the foreclosure.

Bank-owned- (real estate owned)- If the property is taken back by the lender (which can be through the foreclosure process or an agreement with the owner during the pre-foreclosure time frame) they will usually want to re-sell to recover monies lost (unpaid loan amount, fees, etc).