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Real estate appraisals for individual property owners

Free Quote: (713) 766-3674

3 reasons to choose a one-man-band to appraise your home (not a big appraisal firm)

John Doe, real estate appraiser

Here’s something you need to know about real estate appraisers. There are only two kinds:

  1. The kind that mostly serve institutional clients like banks and mortgage companies (95% of them).
  2. The kind that mostly serve individual property owners like you (the other 5%).

Big firms rely on big banks — which means they don’t care about “little people.”

For most appraisers, finding customers is hard work. So rather than having to do it, they ask mortgage lenders like banks to send them customers.

Banks always need appraisal reports, because they’re always selling mortgages for new properties, and need to know what they’re worth.

The problem is . . . banks need LOTS of appraisals — so to keep up with demand, appraisal providers hire trainees who can churn out reports as quickly and cheaply as possible. But . . . 

No one can produce high-quality customized appraisals on the equivalent of a low-skill factory production line

When the focus is on cheaply producing something in bulk, quality always suffers. Just think “Made in China” versus “Hand crafted in America.”

There are three huge problems that you’ll run into with this approach:

1. For bulk appraisers, individual clients mean very little

Sadly, bigger firms have a huge temptation to treat individuals as second-rate customers. Any one client produces so little revenue that it just doesn’t make financial sense to spend much time on them.

I’m afraid I can say from experience that many appraisal firms therefore push people like you to the back of the line — without so much as an apology.

But I believe that when you hire a company for an important job, you should expect to be treated like an important person.

Since I focus on “small customers” like you, quite frankly your business means a lot more to me than it does to most firms.

My clients have my office number, my cell phone number, and my personal email address. I make myself available night and day. When you call, I answer. Not a receptionist, and not a pushy salesman. I offer you a unique level of access and commitment, because every client matters materially to me.

2. Cheap + fast = bad

You being an item on a production-line means more than just poor service. It also means unreliable appraisals.

This may surprise you. Don’t banks and mortgage providers care about accurate appraisals?

Unfortunately no. What they really care about is maximizing revenue by selling as many loans as possible. So when it comes to appraisals, their concern is how much they cost, and how fast they can be done. These are the two factors which limit the number of loans they can issue each day.

Fast. good, or cheap...pick two

Cheaper + faster = inaccurate. But they don’t care — because they can simply deduct the average margin of error from the loan. (In other words, if the appraisals are often wrong by 20-30%, they just offer a loan at 20-30% less than the appraised value!)

An appraisal that’s out by 20-30% might be fine by the banks, but I doubt it’s fine by you! I do not believe you should accept such an appraisal, and I would be ashamed to produce such poor work. I put in the necessary time and effort to get the job done right. (And because of this, I also have better familiarity with your needs as a private client.)

I’ve got over a decade’s experience at this. Speaking of which . . . 

3. Amateur appraisers produce amateur appraisals

Since most appraisers are more worried about cost and speed than accuracy, they almost always use cheap help. They do this through a training loophole.

When someone is learning the ropes as an appraiser, he starts out as a trainee called a “licensed appraiser assistant.”

He is supposed to be closely supervised by an experienced appraiser who can teach him the ropes and ensure his work is accurate and solid.

He is definitely NOT supposed to do appraisals from start to finish with little or no supervision.

So guess who typically does the appraisals from start to finish at most firms?

Yeah, that’s right — the trainees!


Because trainees work cheap of course — sometimes even for free!

Then the senior appraiser, who you thought you had hired, rubber-stamps their work.

But if you pay someone peanuts, he’s probably a monkey.

This cost-cutting practice — at the expense of the customer — is disturbingly common. Real estate appraisal is as much an art as a science, and experience really matters. While it takes nearly 3 years to earn a license as an appraiser, it takes many more to become highly proficient and accurate.

Because I’m just one man — with over 15 years’ experience — you never have to worry about this with me. I have no trainees. I appraise your property myself from start to finish. It is the only way to ensure a reliable, thoroughly-researched, and accurate appraisal of your property.

This is why I can guarantee an accurate appraisal every time, accepted by any authority — or your money back

If you can find another appraiser who will do this, I’d like to hear about it, because I’ve never met one — for reasons that are probably obvious.

Now, full disclosure: I certainly do appraisals for banks sometimes. You will be hard-pressed to find an appraiser who doesn’t. Mortgage work is such a huge part of the industry that everyone picks up some of it.

But my focus is private customers like you, and I do not churn out appraisals as fast as I can. Apart from anything else, I’d burn out working like that.

Btw, I don’t specialize in anything — because that’s not actually how appraisals work

Other companies will tell you that they specialize in divorce, bankruptcy, buying, selling, yada yada. This is 100% marketing and 0% fact. NO ONE actually specializes in ANY intended use, because the truth is . . . 

What you need the report for makes no difference to the appraisal process.

So there is literally nothing to specialize in. I do the appraisal exactly the same regardless of what you need it for — and so does everyone else. (Usually the only reason we even ask about this is because the law requires us to state the intended use on the report.)

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, most of these companies do nearly nothing but mortgages anyway — the number of divorce or bankruptcy cases etc on their ledgers would be close to nil. So don’t be taken in by this disingenuous approach.

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  • Xavier Customer
  • Something
  • A kind of property

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  • Mr. Happy
  • Property owner
  • 1000 square foot megachurch

So great. Just the best job ever. I can’t speak highly enough about everything these guys did for me. If I had a time machine, I would go back and do it all again, it was that good.

For quick answers to your questions, including appraisal pricing & timing, just give me a call. I always answer during business hours.

Tap to call for a FREE quote: (713) 766-3674