Over the years I've had many Realtors seem nervous or unsure if they should communicate with me, the Appraiser. Some have even come mistakenly to believe that communicating with the appraiser is forbidden. I've even had lenders apologize for giving the Realtor my contact information. As an Appraiser the more I know the better I can do my job, so it would be doing a disservice to all parties involved to not communicate with any party that may be able to provide information.
In an article written by David S. Burton, President & COO of the Appraisal Foundation, Authorized by Congress as the Source of Appraisal Standards & Qualification, he stated: "In fact, we at The Appraisal Foundation encourage brokers to actively communicate with appraisers in a professional and productive manner. Real estate professionals should feel empowered to supply relevant materials, including the terms of the sale, applicable comparable sales, and any evidence of notable renovations done to a home that might affect its value. Additional useful data could include records that categorize maintenance and upkeep done to a home, such as regular inspections or replacements of major appliances. These materials will help an appraiser arrive at an opinion of value that accurately reflects the market value of a home."
So there you go, you are allowed to talk to us, the Appraiser, and we are allowed to talk to you, the Realtor. So what is it that seems to be such the worry about us communicating? Simply put the Realtor is legally barred from unduly influencing or coercing the outcome of an appraisal. Even making a friendly, if even not sincere, gesture like "I'll owe you one," or "I'll buy you dinner!" may be interpreted as influencing or coercion. Or even the flip side of it and threatening punishment for not making value like "I'll make sure you don't get anymore work from us if this doesn't appraise" would be a violation - Yep, that will get you real far.
Simply put keep it professional and fact based and unload as much data as you have on us. Send a list of updates to the subject and comparable sales you used to determine value/sales price, and share your market perspective with us. The more you share the better for all of us. I can learn from you and hopefully there is something you can learn from me. That's how we grow as individuals and professionals.
Not always, but in many cases I will call the Realtor to ask questions and gain insight. Granted at times information provided by the Realtor is at our fingertips on the listing in the way of outstanding descriptions, disclosures, documented updates with materials and timelines, and even a survey. We love to have all that accessible. In the end, however, if there is something you hope I will consider, just give me a call.