Typically, three but no more than six months, however this depends on market conditions after the effective date of the report.
Make sure your home is clean/spotless! This can or should I say will almost always have an affect on the appraisers opinion of value. Pride of ownership and how a home is maintained has a direct bearing on how the appraiser assumes the improvements have been "maintained" or should I say "have not maintained" . If this requires hiring a professional, do it! unless the appraised value doesn't matter to you? This also includes yard maintenance.
Most definitely! The two most critical considerations when hiring an appraiser or your lender sending an appraiser is experience and competency! Wether it is a specific type of property that requires speacilised expertise or length of experience, this requirement should always be first on your list. A close second is geographic competency, hire an appraiser or have your lender use an appraiser located in your community or the closest in location to your property. We consider this requirement almost as critical as experience and in some cases more so. Cheapest and fastest should never be a consideration when dealing the most valuable asset you own!
Yes, wether you are the owner, seller, buyer or realtor involved in the transaction. If the appraiser is from out of the area or does not seem compitent for whatever reason, you can request or should demand a local experienced appraiser from the community or immediate area and in addition, that he or she is given an appropriate amount of time to accurately value your most valuble asset. This is one of the biggest complaints and a constant problem with certain lenders and most appraisal management companies, "AMC's". even though it may be denied, cheap and fast is the primary driver and most of the time it is at your expense!
If it is ordered through a third party, there should be recourse for you. Remember don't let your emotions get the best of you, if you feel the value is low or high, or there are inaccuracies in the report, describe your concerns clearly and concisely or if required supply data that would support your opinion of value. If you do not have access to this data you can consult with a qualified real estate professional who knows your property and it's specific market.
Yes. It is an excellent idea to make a detailed list of features, amenities, improvements, updates ect. and supply that list to the appraiser at the time of the inspection or even prior to the appointment by e-mail. Sales and listing data can also be supplied, just remember to compare apples to apples!
Depending on the size of the property, if it is a standard size home my appointments typically take 45 to 60 minutes inside and out. Just for clarification, I have performed this task approximately 25,000 times over the past thirty five years. I have been told this is one of the biggest complaints with both clients and owners, that they were there for only five minutes! In the front door and then out the back door! With our company, this is unacceptable and not tolerated!