Profile picture for aw realca

Appraisal of the houses listed for sale

My house list price was more than $40,000 higher than value of the house listed on Zillow. To justify high sale price of $720,000 , appraiser used as comps two story houses that had much larger square footage, with more bedrooms and bathrooms that were not sold yet but just were listed. Had he used as comps single story houses that were 3 bedrooms and 2 baths that sold in the neighborhood, he would not be able to justify purchase price of the house. 

On top of it, he quoted house square footage to be larger than square footage listed by Orange County Assessor office and used information provided to him by seller real estate agent in writing evaluation of the house.

I thought that appraisers are supposed to be independent, not influenced by the real estate agents (especially by seller real estate agent interested in presenting square footage as large as possible).

What industry experts are saying about that? The square footage listed in MLS was larger by about 40 square feet than square footage in Assessor office. At $70 per square foot the value of the house will be larger than value calculated using Assessor records. Is use of private data, different than publicly available data  in independent assessment appropriate?
 
Anybody can provide advice in this regard, what is industry practice?  I contacted appraiser and he believes that use of larger square footage than square footage published by Assessors office is fully acceptable. Also he did not believe that using much larger houses as comps is inappropriate.
 
Is  role of the independent appraiser to simply justify sale price of the house or to provide house value based on comps for comparable houses sold in the neighborhood?

 
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July 13 - US
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Answers (1)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
From your posts today, it sounds like you are having buyer's remorse.  I'm sorry to hear that.

The time to challenge an appraisal and choice of comps is before closing.   A Zestimate is not a substitute for an appraisal, please read the FAQ.   A sales price within 6% of the Zestimate (a computer generated number from public data) is doing pretty darn well.

If three people measure a house, they will get three different numbers.    No, they are not supposed to use the assessor's numbers, they are supposed to measure the house.   Sounds like that happened, so the appraiser did the right thing.     It is not unusual for a house size to be a bit different from what is in the assessor's office, often builders file a number and then during construction there is a bit of a change.

If he compared to two story houses, you (as a buyer) would have benefited as $/sq foot tends to be lower  for two story homes (everything else being equivalent).

Houses are sold as a unit, not on a $/sq ft basis.  It is easy to get hung up on that number, but it is one that can lead a person wildly astray.   

Why was the house worth to you the amount you offered?  

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July 13
 
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