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5 Tips for a Faster Home Appraisal: An Interview with Harry Begg

By Harry Begg

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I work with Pugh Real Estate Group. We perform appraisal services throughout the state of MD and into southern PA. Together we have over 20 years of appraisal experience and have valued various types of properties ranging from residential homes to large commercial buildings. We have a varied client list, including, individuals, attorneys lenders and governmental entities. Our main area of practice is with commercial real estate.

What is the the typical amount of time that it takes to have a home appraisal done?

It varies depending on a number of factors including the complexity of the assignment, availability of data, location of the subject and other factors. Typical residential appraisal turnarounds are approximately one week. Commercial appraisal turnaround times are typically 4 weeks. In some cases you may be able to ask for an appraisal to be completed quicker than that, depending on an appraiser's workload. However, you can expect to pay a premium for a shortened turn time.

What are some of the biggest factors in determining how fast a homeowner will get a copy of the report?

Communication is a huge factor. Both between the client and homeowner and the appraiser. If there are mitigating factors, let the appraiser know as soon as possible. If you know of recent sales or listings in the area, let the appraiser know. If you have recently spent money upgrading the house, let the appraiser know. Share any detail you have. In the end, it is up to the appraisers best judgment to utilized the most appropriate information in the valuation of the property, but more information never hurts!

Can you give some common examples of unique property features you've seen in Pennsylvania area houses?

In our practice we have seen just about everything you could imagine. I think one common theme is bigger is not always better. It is more important to have functional space, that contributes to the flow of the home, rather than to add square footage that isn't easily accessible. There seems to be more of a trend recently toward great rooms when it can be done within the framework of the house.

What are some ways that an appraiser might be able to speed up the home appraisal process?

As previously mentioned, a lot of this depends on the appraisers workload and availability of data. If you need a quicker turnaround, it never hurts to ask, but there will usually be increased cost with that. I hate to sound like a broken record, but communication. If you know something that you think the appraiser might not know, tell him. Don't let it hurt your feelings if he chooses not to use a sale that you tell him about, We don't have a dog in the fight, we are being hired for our impartial opinion of the value of a property. We may feel that a sale you tell us about is not the most comparable based on factors that you didn't know about, but it never hurts to have more information.

In most cases, is there anything that a homeowner or occupant can do to help make the process faster?

Be available to the appraiser, both over the phone and for the inspection. A lot of times we are doing more than one inspection in a day, if you can provide a range of times that the appraiser could inspect the property, that would be helpful. Sometimes questions arise after the inspection of the property. If the appraiser calls with a question, a prompt response would help to keep the process moving.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

My email is harry@pughrealestategroup.com, office # is 443.841.7642 and website is www.pughrealestategroup.com. Any form of communication works.

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