The Limits of Statistics
in Valuing Homes

It’s only Wednesday, and I’ve already fielded three calls this week from appraisers wanting “scoop” on recent, closed sales that I’ve handled.

A year-end pick-up in deals?

Well, that, too.

However, in each case the appraiser was working on a refinancing application.

To approve the new loan, the lender needed to establish current market value, which in turn means performing an appraisal and identifying/analyzing the Comp’s — just like they would for a sale.

The fact that appraisers need to talk to actual, live Realtors — who can fill them in on floor plans, updates (or not), and other home features not otherwise captured in statistics — should give anyone relying on Trulia, Zillow, etc. for home values pause.
P.S.: Time permitting, I’m happy to talk to appraisers. Often times, something I know can be the difference between a deal (or refinancing) happening — or not.
In an environment where banks are looking for any excuse to shoot down a deal, as a plugged-in, on-the-ground expert, I’m ideally positioned to serve as a counter-balance.
Of course, a healthier, more active market benefits everyone.
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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