Unique Appraisals

Posted April 16th, 2018

Your home is unique. None other like it in the city, so what do you do when a real estate agent tells you it might be impossible to get comparably sold homes (comparables)? While there have been a few cases of lack of comps, it’s unlikely that an appraiser can’t appraise a house. There is a catch, however. If you’ve ever had an appraiser or real estate agent tell you there are no comparables, it may be because the bank you’re going through has strict guidelines. Typically, houses that are considered unique or one-of-a-kind will have some comparable features to other sold homes but will exceed the normal scope, or “allowances,” of a regular appraisal. Ideal comparables should be within one mile, fall within 10% line item, 15% net, and 25% gross adjustment range (per lender suggestion) and have sold in the last 90 days. Even with the best homes, this can sometimes be a bit of a stretch. There are several things you can try if you find yourself stuck in a place where agents or appraisers say there might not be any comparables. First, check with your lender. You can see if they’ve had an appraisal done before and possibly contact the previous appraiser about where they found their comparables. You can also see about switching financiers. Some lenders will be more strict than others as far as underwriting guidelines and even a small change can make an impact. Such as if the lender will approve comparables that have sold past 90 days or if the distance a comparable is doesn’t matter as much.