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In a previous column that I wrote back in 2017, I discussed the importance of understanding what’s called an appraisal risk review checklist and some of the unforeseen events — such as a natural disaster— that can impact the result of your appraisal report.

I also outlined a few examples of potential red flags that unfortunately turn up from time to time like excessive adjustments by the appraiser and missing or inconsistent photos of the subject property.

But that’s not all that can cause a delay in the delivery of your appraisal report.

In fact, despite the prevalence of today’s automated valuation and risk management tools that are designed to speed up the process, there’s still a good chance that your appraiser’s report will be delayed. Most likely, this is because a quality control issue ticket gets generated and subsequently sent back out to the appraiser for comment. Until this issue is resolved, the report is not released.

This means that your appraiser, after they spend hours and hours working on your report, must submit it into a review process before it’s released to you.

Sometimes, this review process is performed internally by your lender, sometimes it’s performed externally by the appraisal management company who oversees the appraiser’s work or sometimes both. This process itself also takes time to perform.

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Either way, if there’s a quality control issue ticket that gets generated and submitted back to the appraiser for comment, then that takes time to resolve as well.

Although there is a lengthy list of data points that get double and triple checked during this quality control review process, not many folks are aware of or really appreciate the level of detail involved that goes into appraisal reports these days.

We have been trained and even spoiled by technology to seek out a value for our home in the quickest way possible and expect it to be the highest in our neighborhood too.

That said, to provide a bit of context surrounding the intensity behind the vast amount of data points in an appraisal report, I found a sample independent appraisal review form that I wanted to reference. The form is broken down into 16 different sections. Then within each section, there are anywhere from two to seven sub-sections.

The main sections range from subject property details, purchase contract, neighborhood, site, improvements, sales comparison grid, sales history and analysis, accessory unit, additional parcels, condo review if applicable, any attachments to the report, all signatures on report, comments made throughout and certifications of work performed. While most of these sections in the form are intentionally connected directly to the appraisal report layout, it’s the narrative work and interpretation of the data within each section that is at times challenging to validate.

Furthermore, each appraisal report is different, and each day brings with it different market conditions for the appraiser to compare. The pressure is certainly intense and it’s a tough job. Thank you to all the appraisers out there for your work!

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Chris Salese can be reached at chris@delsurmortgage.com or 707-363-4439. He is a licensed California mortgage lender (LO NMLS #254469 — CA-DBO #254469 Corp NMLS #1850 Equal Housing Opportunity.

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