A Day in the Life of an Appraiser

My day begins by take out the “comps” for the properties I have to inspect today. This take about 5 minutes for each appraisal inspection. I print out a tax assessment which gives me general property info along with a sheet of around 35 recent sales within 1 mile of the subject and usually within just 6 months. The industry standard used to be sales within the past year but due to the increasingly dynamic market, it is now only 6 months and in some cases (such as for FHA loans) it is only within 3 months.

Once I have my data, measuring wheel, camera and coffee, I’m ready to go. I forward my calls to my cell so that I may be able to deal with clients on the road. I usually don’t schedule more than 4 inspections in a day and I like to start early so that I may finish well before rush hour and be back at the office with enough time to write out a few reports. When scheduling appointments I always try to schedule them based on property location and within a 2 hour range which will help me deal with varying traffic and inspection delays. I’ll usually do Bronx & Westchester together or Brooklyn & Staten Island together. Queens pretty much goes with everything. I would never for example do an inspection in Staten Island and then follow it with one in Westchester. That is just a complete waste of time and of life.

The appraisal inspection usually takes around 20 – 45 minutes depending on the complexity, size and type of property. The most important step is to measure the property accurately so that you get the GLA figure. Nowadays photo requirements are out of control so just to be thorough I take a picture of every single room in the home, front, both sides, rear, both sides of street, every room in the basement, of the garage, and of every amenity.

I also make sure to fill out every party of my homemade inspection sheet. It has the all the information I need to complete the appraisal. I’m careful to check for any signs of visible damage; this is especially the case when dealing with REO properties. Once I am finished with an inspection I then sit in my car and figure out the best comparables to use based primarily on size and condition. I usually shoot between 4-5 comps even though I know I’ll only use 3. I pop in the comp addresses into my navigation system and click on “optimize trip.” This will efficiently lead me to all homes.

After I finish my day’s inspections I return to the office and respond to all the emails and messages from clients. They usually revolve around revision requests, scheduling appointments, or inquiries for new orders. Once I do this, I take a nice long break and after that I review some reports that my assistant has prepared from the day before.

Well that’s my day, sure it could be better but I am my own boss and set my own hours so it’s no so bad either…