Here are some things to remember when getting a home appraisal:
•You're not the client. The appraiser is hired by a management company and the lender is the appraiser's client.
•Attend the inspection. This gives you a chance to question the appraiser and determine competence.
•Ask questions. Beyond the basic license, does the appraiser have professional designations that signify additional experience? Does the appraiser have access to the Multiple Listing Service? When was the last time the person appraised a house in the neighborhood?
•Get involved. Supply the appraiser with examples of nearby properties that are similar in size and quality. List improvements to the property.
•Get a copy of the appraisal. Federal law mandates that a lender give you an appraisal report. Point out errors in things such as property size.
•Speak up. If the appraisal has serious flaws, challenge it. Ask for another appraisal by a different person. You also can ask the lender to return your appraisal fee.