Lake Lanier Blog

With all the alternatives to selling Real Estate, Companies like Open Door, Offer Pad, Knock.com, etc. have entered our market. So what does this mean FOR the market and appraisals?
 
One could argue they are creating a NEW market. This is BAD news for other sellers because we all know that they purchase homes at below market values to make a profit on resale. But what if they infiltrate our market and Appraisers have no other sales to use when they are appraising other properties? This could be a problem. Hopefully when they resell the home they do so quickly and at market value and not still under market because they made such a great buy. They typically freshen up the homes with new paint, carpet, maybe appliances, if needed, but not always.
 
You can relate to this back when we had more foreclosures than true arms length sales after the market crashed. When that happened, foreclosures dominated the market and Appraisers did use these as comparable sales because that was the reality of the current market at that time.
 
So what is an Appraiser to do? What is a Realtor to do? Make sure that the Appraiser does not miss the fact that there was a sale in your listing's neighborhood which sold via Open Door or Offer Pad and go further to show proof it was indeed a below market sale, compared to other sales in the area. Appraisers should not be using below market sales when there are other sales that prove current market value is higher.
 
Appraisers should catch the fact that a sale involved Offer Pad or Open Door, because we are supposed to review both the current and prior sales in the past year for the comparables and the 3 year history of any sales for the Subject. The name of the owner should be apparent in courthouse records, but as a Realtor or Seller you need to point this out to the Appraiser whenever possible.
 
I wanted to make sure I was speaking from experience on these below market sales, so I actually had Offer Pad and Open door provide me with an offer on our home. Open Door was 10% below conservative value of our home. Offer Pad was a whopping 30% below! I filled out their forms and sent photos of my home. I sent fewer photos to Offer Pad, but that should not have made that much of a difference.
 
We also have local Realtors like Mark Spain who by his own commercial says..."Bypass the market and sell your home to him" Not a good idea to bypass the market, when that is the VERY thing Appraiser's are trying to analyze to determine market value for lenders, sellers and buyers!
 
Sellers who use these companies may be impacting the market for their neighbors. I know they may not care, but they should be informed.
 
Both of these companies charged MORE service fees than Realtors do with their commissions. Plus they hit you with repair items that could get costly. Your NET may be far less than you think as a seller. I get it, some people under certain circumstances need to sell now or don't want to go through the showing process and negotiations, etc. Other than that, why people use these companies is beyond me.
 
Bottom line is: Appraisers SHOULD steer clear of these below market sales in a flourishing market like we have now. They should have other sales that they can use, which are truly market value sales. If they have no option but to use a sale such as this, they need to make appropriate market based adjustments for this below market sale. If they can prove for example that it is 10% below market, then they can make that upward adjustment for that sale. But until these types of sales dominate our market, then there should not be a huge issue here.
 
REALTORS: You need to work hard to prove why sellers should NOT use these companies. They need your expertise and local knowledge and the protection that you provide to the Sellers and Buyers out there. Otherwise these companies will continue to increase in numbers and run you out of business!
 
Zillow, Redfin.....the list goes on and on....
  
Good luck out there and find the things in your business that set you apartand you should be successful. Be a specialist for your Sellers & Buyers.
 
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to SHARE!
 


NAR (National Assoc. of Realtors) posted top 3 Seller concerns. One of them was: "Price Their Home Competitively" “They're telling us that puffing their egos with a fat listing price isn't what they want. They want their property to sell.”

So, I thought "put your money where your mouth is" since I suggested Pre-Listing Appraisals in order for all 3 top seller concerns to be met. Based upon our pre-listing appraisals in 2018, the sellers who placed their homes on the market and listed them CLOSE to our appraised value, the Days On Market for these homes (many of them lakefront) averaged 34 days! The average for similar properties is around 50-60 days. In 36% of the cases they sold in 10 days or less. In only 1 case over 120 days. In some cases the owner got more than their listing price as they priced it very well.

In the cases where the owner decided to list WELL over our appraised value (meaning over 10% of value) not a good story! Longer DOM than typical and price reductions, sometimes several. In many cases they changed REALTORS! Not good! When that 2nd Realtor listed closer to appraised value...Bingo they get the SALE & commission!

So for 2019, consider a Pre-Listing or POST-Listing Appraisal if your home is on the market longer than 60 days. This could be your bullett proof marketing tool to close more deals quickly.

We hope 2019 is one of your best years yet, but in order for that to happen you have to pull a few tricks out of the marketing bag as all indicators are that the market is slowing a bit for 2019 with 2020 the possible start to some major corrections!

No photo description available.

HERE IS WHAT ONE SELLER HAD TO SAY WHICH SUMMARIZES WHY A GOOD PRE-LISTING APPRAISAL IS SO VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT.

5 star review:

"My mother passed away leaving a house on Lake Lanier.  We had no idea as to the value of the home so we had an appraiser come out and was very disappointed in the value that he appraised the home.  I read reviews about Mary Thompson and Lanier Appraisal Service and decided to give her a call.  So glad I did.  She really knows the area and home values.  She was very professional and caught several things the previous appraiser missed, like the view, dock and deep water to name a few.  We are very happy with her appraisal and was able to sell the house within a week.   If you have property or a home on Lake Lanier make sure you get an appraiser that knows the area and the lake or the values will be negatively impacted.  I would definitely recommend Lanier Appraisal Service.  Thank you Mary for all your help." 

Kathy and Reggie Smith



Another great Radio Show interview today on WDUN Radio with Kim Waters, Realtor with the Norton Agency. 

We discussed Zillow, Comp selection, Real Estate Market, If Appraises want the homeowner present during the appraisal appointment, etc. Great Show went way too fast. So many more topics to discuss. 

They have asked us back for more shows in 2019. Looking forward to it!

Thanks to those who listened in today! 



As a Realtor you may think great, NO appraisal! No worries..Not so fast!


As a Buyer you may think great no appraisal...that saves me money and that must mean the home I am purchasing is worth what I am paying....Not So Fast! 

 

What is a PIW? (It is a misnomer for one). It means that Fannie has decided the buyer and property are a good risk and waives the Appraisal on the home. They accept the estimate of the home provided by Lender as valid. "A prior appraisal has to be in the Fannie MAE CU (Collateral Underwriter File...for a waiver to be offered)." THIS PRIOR APPRAISAL MAY OR MAY NOT BE ACCEPTABLE FOR A HOST OF REASONS and a prior apraisal should NOT in my opinionhave any bearing on a CURRENT valuation of the property. 

 

So you are a Realtor and you are thinking great I do not have to worry about an appraisal killing my deal. IF you are a Buyer's Realtor you need to have their best interest at heart and not let them over pay or it could come back to haunt you.


In this law suit happy world you need to be very careful. If your buyer gets a PIW on that loan at the very least you need to suggest to the buyer to get their OWN appraisal. Then you need to document your file and let them decide. As part of the recommendation you need to tell them that a PIW does NOT mean the home is CURRENTLY worth what they are paying since they are relying on prior appraisal data and other valuation vehichles other than an appraisal.

 

The only way a buyer truly knows current value is by getting an appraisal OR taking your word for it based upon your data. Not a wise choice because if later down the road they decide they paid too much and no one told them that they had the choice of getting their OWN appraisal, guess who they will come after first...THE REALTOR.

 

As a buyer, many may think the lender has decided that their home is worth the sales price. This is NOT true. They are relying on prior data that may be flawed and outside valuation sources and not an actual appraisal. 

 

So while many may be thrilled with the prospect of  a PIW. Think twice, protect your buyers and do the right thing! ADVISE your buyers to get their own appraisal and then if they decide NO, you have done your duty to so advise. This should also be the case with CASH buyers!

 

Thanks for reading and please feel free to SHARE!

 


August 30th, 2018 7:52 AM

Our most recent review by a Potential Lake Lanier Homeowner before he put a contract on a home! Cash Buyer with a 5 Star Review:

"Hey, let me tell you all; Mary Thompson is one of the most professional and nicest people that I have had the pleasure of doing business with in some time. Mary was always prompt to respond; did everything, and I mean everything she promised to do. Also, her work is very impressive to say the least. I can say without a doubt, she is the go to person for property appraisals on Lake Lanier. Mary has helped us greatly with her deep experience and expertise"

See our other Google Reviews





2 days ago
Hey, let me tell you all; Mary Thompson is one of the most professional and nicest people that I have had the pleasure of doing business with in some time. Mary was always prompt to respond; did everything, and I mean everything she promised to do. Also, her work is very impressive to say the least. I can say without a doubt, she is the go to person for property appraisals on Lake Lanier. Mary has helped us greatly with her deep experience and expertise. Thanks!!!


2 days ago
Hey, let me tell you all; Mary Thompson is one of the most professional and nicest people that I have had the pleasure of doing business with in some time. Mary was always prompt to respond; did everything, and I mean everything she promised to do. Also, her work is very impressive to say the least. I can say without a doubt, she is the go to person for property appraisals on Lake Lanier. Mary has helped us greatly with her deep experience and expertise. Thanks!!!


2 days ago
Hey, let me tell you all; Mary Thompson is one of the most professional and nicest people that I have had the pleasure of doing business with in some time. Mary was always prompt to respond; did everything, and I mean everything she promised to do. Also, her work is very impressive to say the least. I can say without a doubt, she is the go to person for property appraisals on Lake Lanier. Mary has helped us greatly with her deep experience and expertise. Thanks!!!



?
As a Buyer's Realtor you want to make sure your client is not overpaying for one of the largest investments of their life...Their Home!

As an Appraiser, I do not like to see a large gap between intrinsic value and market value. What is the difference and why does it matter?

Intrinsic value: What does that home really offer to the buyer, without outside influences taking hold. Things like square footage, location, lot, quality, condition, style, appeal, etc. 

Market value on the other hand is what a willing seller and willing buyer (both acting with reasonable knowledge of the market and under no undue distress) agree to on a sales price. 

Technically, Appraisers are reporting market value for a property. However if that sales price is LESS about the property and more about outside influences, that can lead to market corrections later on where the buyer will LOSE! Right now I am seeing a larger gap than is preferable in some markets.

So what are the top influences which make a buyer want to pay more than intrinsic value?

1. Low Supply
2. Low Interest Rates
3. Low Unemployment Rates
4. Employers giving workers better raises
5. More Job Opportunities in the area

If buyers are willing to pay MORE than the home is actually worth intrinsically, this defines a new market value for the area which is based upon what I like to call a very shaky foundation. 

So, my appeal to all Realtors and Buyers out there.....focus more on intrinsic value rather than market value (actual sales prices). If they are close to each other, you can feel safe with the investment. If however, they are far apart, buyer beware as your investment may not be as solid as you might think!

Thanks for reading......and as always....Thank you for your referrals! 


Intrinsic value vs. Market Value. What's the difference.

 
BY 
Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373
 

 

As a Buyer's Realtor you want to make sure your client is not overpaying for one of the largest investments of their life...Their Home!
 
As an Appraiser, I do not like to see a large gap betweenintrinsic value and market value. What is the difference and why does it matter?
 
Intrinsic value: What does that home really offer to the buyer, without outside influences taking hold. Things like square footage, location, lot, quality, condition, style, appeal, etc. 

Market value on the other hand is what a willing seller and willing buyer (both acting with reasonable knowledge of the market and under no undue distress) agree to on a sales price. 

Technically, Appraisers are reporting market value for a property. However if that sales price is LESS about the property and more about outside influences, that can lead to market corrections later on where the buyer will LOSE! Right now I am seeing a larger gap than is preferable in some markets.

So what are the top influences which make a buyer want to pay more than intrinsic value?

1. Low Supply
2. Low Interest Rates
3. Low Unemployment Rates
4. Employers giving workers better raises
5. More Job Opportunities in the area
 
If buyers are willing to pay MORE than the home is actually worth intrinsically, this defines a new market value for the area which is based upon what I like to call avery shaky foundation. 
 
So, my appeal to all Realtors and Buyers out there.....focus more on intrinsic value rather than market value (actual sales prices). If they are close to each other, you can feel safe with the investment. If however, they are far apart, buyer beware as your investment may not be as solid as you might think!
 
Thanks for reading! 
 
About Us
 
Lanier Appraisal Service
5747 GARDEN WALK
Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542
770-967-0753 
Visit Our Website
 

 

Intrinsic value vs. Market Value. What's the difference.

 
BY 
Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373
 

 

As a Buyer's Realtor you want to make sure your client is not overpaying for one of the largest investments of their life...Their Home!
 
As an Appraiser, I do not like to see a large gap betweenintrinsic value and market value. What is the difference and why does it matter?
 
Intrinsic value: What does that home really offer to the buyer, without outside influences taking hold. Things like square footage, location, lot, quality, condition, style, appeal, etc. 

Market value on the other hand is what a willing seller and willing buyer (both acting with reasonable knowledge of the market and under no undue distress) agree to on a sales price. 

Technically, Appraisers are reporting market value for a property. However if that sales price is LESS about the property and more about outside influences, that can lead to market corrections later on where the buyer will LOSE! Right now I am seeing a larger gap than is preferable in some markets.

So what are the top influences which make a buyer want to pay more than intrinsic value?

1. Low Supply
2. Low Interest Rates
3. Low Unemployment Rates
4. Employers giving workers better raises
5. More Job Opportunities in the area
 
If buyers are willing to pay MORE than the home is actually worth intrinsically, this defines a new market value for the area which is based upon what I like to call avery shaky foundation. 
 
So, my appeal to all Realtors and Buyers out there.....focus more on intrinsic value rather than market value (actual sales prices). If they are close to each other, you can feel safe with the investment. If however, they are far apart, buyer beware as your investment may not be as solid as you might think!
 
Thanks for reading! 
 
About Us
 
Lanier Appraisal Service
5747 GARDEN WALK
Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542
770-967-0753 
Visit Our Website
 

 


Posted by Mary Thompson on June 6th, 2018 2:23 PMLeave a Comment

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Had a great morning on WDUN Talk Radio 102.9 FM talking with hosts and local Realtor Kim Waters about Real Estate and Appraisals. Very good information and exchange for the listeners. 

Doing it again December 1st. Thanks to the Home Improvement Show hosts Tracy and Steve and Kim for the invite to be on the show. 



Thanks to the people of Hall County, GA who voted Lanier Appraisal Servicethe BEST Real Estate Apprasier in Hall County, GA. We are humbled and we thank you. 

 

Thank you to THE GAINESVILLE TIMES for putting on a great party for all the winners in their respective business categories!

 

2018 is looking up!!! 


Lanier Appraisal Service voted Best Appraiser in Hall County, GA 

 
BY 
Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373
 

Thanks to the people of Hall County, GA who voted Lanier Appraisal Servicethe BEST Real Estate Apprasier in Hall County, GA. We are humbled and we thank you. 

 

Thank you to THE GAINESVILLE TIMES for putting on a great party for all the winners in their respective business categories!

 

2018 is looking up!!! 

 

Lanier Appraisal Service voted Best Appraiser in Hall County, GA 

 
BY 
Real Estate Appraiser with Lanier Appraisal Service CR004373
 

Thanks to the people of Hall County, GA who voted Lanier Appraisal Servicethe BEST Real Estate Apprasier in Hall County, GA. We are humbled and we thank you. 

 

Thank you to THE GAINESVILLE TIMES for putting on a great party for all the winners in their respective business categories!

 

2018 is looking up!!! 

 


Posted by Mary Thompson on February 5th, 2018 3:34 PMLeave a Comment

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November 28th, 2017 11:13 AM
As a Real Estate Agent or Homeowner, value per square foot is how you determine listing prices...right?  Not so fast!

As an Appraiser I do not even look at the price per square foot until AFTER I have determined the value of the Subject property; which is determined by who? Not the Appraiser but the MARKET. After I have determined the value of the Subject, if price per square foot is way off from the other sales then I must look at other contributory factors causing this number to be off.  This is a complex problem that is for the Appraiser to decide. 

So what do YOU do as a Real Estate Agent or Homeowner.

First some basic math: 

1. Sales Price / Square Footage = price per square foot.

Example: You have a $200,000 sales price with 1,800 square feet which equal $111.11 per square foot value. Did you check my math? GOOD, I wanted you to do that!

While the sample above seems quite easy, the problem lies in what ELSE is considered in price per square foot?

The lot value, the quality, condition, basement size and finish, out buildings, pools, etc. All of these are considered in the price per square foot. 

So where is the PROBLEM?

Unless you are dealing with a "cookie cutter" home in a development where all the lots are basically the same size and same value and the homes are similar in square footage and quality, using price per square foot to SET your listing price is a mistake without further work needed! 

If you are dealing with Lakefront property, price per square foot flies right out of the window because the land or site value is in many cases the lions share of the total value. Same holds true if you are dealing with Acreage, Golf Course homes or homes with mountain, river or other water views.

So what do you do in order to set price? You must FIRST and foremost determine the value of the LAND or DIRT that the home sits on. This is crucial. Then compare that to the other comparable sales you are reviewing and their lot values. Once you subtract the site values from these sales, you can deal with the remainder of what the property offers. Hopefully you are working with homes that are at least close in size, quality and condition, otherwise you have to extract those values from the other sales to make them EQUAL to your Subject property. A much more involved process and that is where an appraisal comes in handy!

Once you subtract that land value from the total Sales price using the sample above, if the lot is worth $40,000 you now have a working number of $160,000 for the home ($200,000 - $40,000). Now divide the total adjusted sales price of $160,000 by the 1,800 S.F. and you get $88.88 per square foot for the home or improvements to the site as Appraisers call them.

That number is the true MARKET VALUE per square foot for this home. When you review the appraisal report their adjustments for square footage variances, should approximate this number, assuming you have subtracted all other factors about the improvements which could rise that number unduly, such as outbuildings, barns, pools, etc. 

Remember we are NOT talking Cost to build per square foot since the market typically does not pay the FULL price per square foot on resale homes. 

The process above is a very BASIC, but workable approach for you to set the price per square foot for the home you want to list. 

Thanks for reading and please feel free to SHARE by clicking the forward this email link below. 

When you do not want to deal with this process, call us for a Pre-Listing Appraisal. This makes yours and your sellers lives alot easier! This also takes the pressure off you as an Agent to come up with a good listing price for a home which is solid and realistic.   

Have a great Holiday Season! As always we thank you for your referrals. 




 

THE PERFECT LISTING FROM AN APPRAISER'S PERSPECTIVE...

 

 

Appraisers review FMLS/MLS listings every day including all photos, commentary, etc. What you do and say in those listings not only helps your Seller get the highest possible price, but it can also mean higher Appraised Values and fewer calls from Appraisers! You would be surprised how many Listings I see that fall short of the below suggestions.

 

First rule of Thumb: Pretend you are selling YOUR own Home. Some of the best listings I see are Owner/Agents. Do your Sellers a great service and give them the same attention to detail as you would your own home. The more Appraiser's have with regard to the Property the better chance for positive results on the Appraisal.

 

1. PHOTOS: Clear, sharp, high resolution photos: Include as many photos as the Listing will accept. Inside photos should include at the least; Living/Family Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, All Baths, Dining Room, Basement Rooms and All Special upgrades and features of the home Inside and Out. You do not need a professional photographer but when someone goes to CLICK on your photos in FMLS/MLS they need to be large enough to see the details. Virtual Tours of course are a plus.

 

* If you are dealing with Lakefront, Golf Course, Mountain View Homes, PLEASE include a view of these amenities from the REAR of home from the Deck or Patio. This is very important for the Appraiser and the Buyers to get a feel for what their views are FROM THE HOME. For Lake of course always include views of the lake from the Boat dock, the boat dock itself, the views straight out from the dock, to the Right and to the left of the dock and toward the home so you can see things like Rip Rap shoreline and how close the home is from the dock as well as the path to the dock.

 

* Please UPDATE your photos for the Current Season. Nothing screams this home has been on the market a long time than a Winter Time Photo in the Summer.

 

2. In your description of the property under PUBLIC comments, include all major renovations & approximate year. If you have total costs of all renovations include those as well.

 

*Sample: Lakefront home with year round views. Renovations include: New HVAC:2012; New Roof: 2015: New Appliances: 2010; New Floor coverings: 2011. Owner put over $50,000 in total renovation in past 6 years. Include anything that is not obvious in the photos and any special amenities. Then refer them to commentary under each photo. Since you are limited in your Public Remarks section use that section below EACH photo for more information; i.e.; Under your Kitchen photos if you have upgraded appliances say something like this: "Wolf Stove, Dacor Dishwasher, Sub-Zero Refrigerator"  The more details the better both for the Buyer and the Appraiser so that they can give credit where credit is due to upgrades in the kitchen or the home in general.

 

This kind of commentary is good for every room in the house that includes any kind of special features that may not be obvious in the photos themselves. Leave NOTHING to chance. You have the room to spotlight the home, use every bit of it for the best result.

 

3. DIRECTIONS: Please do not just say USE GPS in that space. There may be some Appraisers and Buyers who actually do not have GPS or their GPS may be out of date on certain streets, etc. PLEASE list out turn by turn direction to the property. Appraisers have to drive by all Comparables, so clear directions is always appreciated! Buyers will like them too.

 

4. Please be very careful to list all amenities about the Listing correctly in FMLS/MLS as the Appraisers use this information in their reports not only for the Subject but for the Comparable Sales.

 

5. SQUARE FOOTAGE/SOURCE: Please do NOT state "Appraisal" in this field unless you have an actual Appraisal on hand. If  you get this from Courthouse Records State "TAX RECORD". You do not want another Appraiser using "The Appraisal" number against your Listing if indeed the Tax Record includes square footage in the basement (which many times they do). This could result in a REDUCED value for your under contract Listing!

 

 In MLS you can separate square footage in the upper levels from the Basement. Please use that space to so designate that square footage. If you want to show the TOTAL  square footage for better search results and superior selling potential then in the Public remarks please state the following:

 

" 3,450 total square feet all levels; 1,550 is in the basement and 1,000 of that is finished" OR  if you have Appraisal say something like: 2,450 S.F. on the upper level/s and another 1,250 in the basement of which 1,025 is finished. Total heated: 3,475. IF YOU RUN OUT OF ROOM UNDER COMMENTS, PUT THIS UNDER YOUR BASEMENT PHOTOS ON THE LISTING.

 

 

6. Comments to Avoid in your Listing:

 

 "Priced to Sell" : I don't know why, but this is the Kiss of Death. In almost every case when I see this I look at days on market and it has been on the market longer than average. Isn't the whole idea to price homes to SELL? Do you really need to say this in a listing?  Use this space to outline more features of the home.

 

"Won't last long": Again many times I see this and Days on market are longer than typical. If you DO say this.....if that home is on the market for over 30 days, remove that wording.

 

7. Use those attached documents in your Listings to your advantage in the Listing. Include the DISCLOSURE STATEMENT ALWAYS. It is very helpful for Appraisers as well as Buyers. We need to know how old components are in the home up to 15 years. Also include PLATS. Very helpful for Appraisers.

 

 

8.  Site Section/Description: I see many times where it lists Cul-De-Sac, when it is not. It may be on a cul de sac street further up, but  not IN the cul de Sac. So technically is should not say cul de sac.

 

 

9. I know it is hard to be CREATIVE in all of your listings and not fall into the same "pat phrases" but try to point out that special thing or things about the home that set is apart from its competition and make it something that buyers want to see and Appraisers will appreciate about that home.

 

10:  Lakefront Property: If  the home is permitted for a larger dock note that in comments section of Listing. This does make a difference on Lake Site Value (permit type).

 

** Please do NOT state DEEP WATER Dock or especially Drought Proof if it goes dry in droughts of  under 10 feet. I see this wording many times and when I pull it up on Google Aerial, which other Appraisers and Buyers will do and see Dirt under the dock, Deep Water does not seem to accurately describe this lakefront lot.  I see this more times than I care to Admit.

 

** If you or the owner has measured the depth behind the Dock, then state that amount in the Listing. If we are below Full Summer Pool, you can also state that, i.e.; "Dock has 13 feet of water behind the dock with Lake down 2 feet"

 

This is it for now. Remember, sell it like it is your own house and you can't go wrong! Thanks for Reading and Feel free to SHARE with your office.

 

 

 


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