“Fat” and “Skinny” Comp’s

Due to the lack of good Comp’s — an issue I’ve raised repeatedly on this blog — both appraisers and Realtors find themselves digging for more info on the ones that they do have.

So, I’ve been fielding more calls than usual from appraisers who want to debrief me on the features, floor plan, updates (or not), etc. of a home I’ve just sold.

I’m sympathetic, and subscribe to the “you gotta give to get” ethic, so — time permitting — I try to be cooperative.

Bottom Line: Less Discretion

Which brings me to the conversation I had the other day with an appraiser working on a refinancing loan.

After giving him some details on the home he’d called about, we discussed his specialty: hobby farms in the west suburbs.

One of the typical outbuildings on a hobby farm is a pole barn, a barn that is constructed with support poles that serve as the underlying support structure for the outer walls and roof (impressed? I looked it up).

Suffice to say that there is a great deal of variety in their size, functionality — and cost; in fact, according to the appraiser, an elaborate pole barn can easily be worth $25k or more than a simple one.

Nevertheless, spooked lenders now doing everything “by the book” have arbitrarily decided that the maximum adjustment for pole barns is $5k-$10k.

The result?

A hobby farm with a deluxe pole barn is less likely to appraise — and therefore, sell.
About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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