Appraisals have been, and continue to be, game changers in real estate transactions. So it’s important to do your research upfront, before you put in an offer on a property.
Bear in mind that appraisers, who are making significantly less money per appraisal than they did pre-meltdown, probably won’t go out of their way for you.
Since you will be paying upfront for the appraisal and won’t be able to get a refund, you aren’t likely to be impressed if the appraiser’s value is significantly lower than what your realtor had estimated.
At the contract signing, it’s good for you to be aware of what appraisal issues could arise. FHA appraisals, in particular, will require issues such as missing stair rails and other safety concerns to be addressed before final approval. Addressing these issues with the seller sooner rather than later is always best practice.
If your appraisal comes back with results that differ from your expectations, be aware there are proper channels to go through to dispute findings – whether they relate to value or anything else.
Going directly to the appraiser may not be a good idea, particularly in the heat of the moment. This could compromise the integrity of the appraisal, and possibly result in a redo with a new appraiser at your expense.
Best approach: Work with the lender on an action plan before acting.