To buy a house ? Beware of the shortage of home assessors



You may have heard of all kinds of shortages since the pandemic – chlorine shortage? shortage of wood? – but if you’re looking to buy a home, the shortage of home appraisers is the one you should be worried about.

We don’t need to tell you that the US real estate market is hot right now, with far fewer homes for sale than buyers. As if things weren’t difficult for buyers already, the purchase of your home can be significantly delayed or even fail if you can’t find a real estate expert.

What does a home appraiser do?

A home appraiser is needed for the vast majority of home sales that involve either taking out a mortgage or refinancing. They cannot be replaced with online reviews, and the in-home appraiser does not work for buyers or sellers. Instead, the job of a real estate appraiser is to produce an accurate appraisal of a home that will minimize risk to the lender. The appraiser always works with a detached home rather than relying solely on neighborhood home price estimates, adding or subtracting value after an in-person visit.

Seaside house exteriors

(Image credit: Erik Von Weber / Getty)

What is the cause of the shortage of home assessors?

Christian Adams, former real estate broker and CEO of Repair price, explains that “by refusing to train new home appraisers to meet licensing requirements, existing appraisers are able to control the market, creating mind-boggling price increases and huge problems for buyers and their agents. There is not enough incentive for experienced assessors to hire apprentices, as they earn less if they do assessments in the presence of an apprentice.

Additionally, many reviewers say they are overwhelmed with too many inquiries and charge more in an attempt to reduce the number of orders. As Lauren Kenney, an appraiser with over 26 years of experience, said News 4 San Antonio, “You wouldn’t believe the number of orders or requests I get every day”.

Typical American house

(Image credit: Royce Bair / Getty)

How can the home appraiser shortage affect me?

Christian recently completed a nationwide survey of 1,200 U.S. real estate agents to uncover the effects of the shortage of home appraisers on the housing market. His findings are sobering: 32% of agents have seen a closure delayed or canceled in the past two years because of issues with valuing their home. In Austin, Texas alone, that percentage rises to 76%. Additionally, 18% of agents noticed that appraisal prices had more than doubled in the past two years, reaching 57% in the Austin, Texas area.

In other words, if you are buying in a booming real estate market like Texas, be prepared for the possible delay and additional cost of your appraisal. It can be really quick to close a sale now, but closing selling is another matter. Christian concludes, “Make sure your agent communicates effectively with the appraiser and, if possible, provides preformatted comparative selling examples to facilitate a quick appraisal. Many listing agents leave these printed examples in the home on the day of the assessment. ‘


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