Appraisal Tips For Florida Realtors - Pre-Listing Walk-through
This article discusses issues to look for during your pre-listing walk-through. Pointing out potential appraisal issues early in the process can show a prospective seller that you are more useful and knowledgeable than your competition!
A lender's appraiser is required to report anything that could impact the health or safety of the occupants. They will report anything that could impact the soundness of the structure. Fannie Mae requires the appraiser to express an opinion about the condition and quality of the property. Finally the appraiser is required to value a property based on it's legally permitted use. By addressing these issues in advance, you will avoid lender issues down the road and the home will also show better during the pre-contract phase of the process.
*If possible, you should read our blog post Top 5 Condition Issues first as we build on information provided in that article.
Examples of Issues That Potentially Impact Health
Paint - Peeling/flaking on a home built prior to 1978 due to potential lead
Drinking Water - Supply problems such as the well's proximity to septic tank
Vermin - Evidence of a significant rodent problem, termites, raccoons, rats
Water Damage - As it related to potential for mold
Examples of Issues That Potentially Impact Safety
Electrical - Exposed wiring of any kind, lack of GFI, hazardous electrical panels
Fire Hazards - Inoperable windows, window bars with no safety release, lack of fire alarms
Water Heater - Lack of pressure relief valve down pipe or generally poor installation
Pool - Lack of barrier / fencing
Examples of Issues That Potentially Impact Structural Soundness
Roof - Leaks, rotten fascia or soffit, watermarks, any significant deferred maintenance
Windows - Missing/broken windows that allow water intrusion into the home
Foundation - Significant cracks, lack of sufficient support in an elevated home
Walls - Signs of water intrusion (bulging walls), significant settling cracks
Wood - Rotten wood on the siding, window trim, or any other areas of the home
Items That Are Not Legally Permitted
Many conditions that are not legally permitted are also a health or safety issue. One example that is Florida specific is pool fencing. Lack of a barrier fence is a safety issue which is also specifically covered under the Florida Fence Law.
Typically the building codes and laws that are applicable were written to address potential safety and health hazards. For this reason the specific way something is flagged in the report may vary. We have a separate blog post that will address non-permitted additions & conversion areas because it is too complex of a subject to discuss in this article. For now, our best advice is to look for condition issues that physically appear questionable, and then research specific building code to determine how (or if) they need to be addressed.
If you wait to correct these potential issues, you are probably just delaying the inevitable. It will likely cost you more money in negotiations or rushed repairs than it would have cost to deal with up front.
We also recommend that you do an assessment of the water, power, and gas systems to look for any potential problems. Utility system issues are guaranteed red flags.
A pre-listing appraisal can be a great way to discover potential appraisal red flags before you list the home, while also obtaining an independent estimate of market value. Experienced Appraisers Inc can provide a LOCAL appraisal option for ANY property type in Florida.
More Resource Information
The excerpt below is part of Fannie Mae's lender guidance for condition issues
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