Real Estate Blog

Property Condition
February 17th, 2016 10:59 AM

Licensed professional appraisers need to be unbiased when developing an opinion of value. As professional and unbiased as we try to be, sometimes, this can be difficult. The condition of the property, along with the safety, security, and soundness, are some of the aspects that must be reviewed to determine the value of the property.  Although the interior contents are personal property, when the contents take over the home, it is difficult to determine the true condition. We have seen this on TV and in the media. The TV show Hoarders is not just aired for ratings; it is a true epidemic that people live in every day. I have been to many homes where the homeowner has met me at the door, hesitant to let me in. Once inside, I find that there is only a pathway through each room. With all this stuff, the home neither gets cleaned, nor does it receive any kind of maintenance. Over time, this condition will deteriorate the home. Not only is a cluttered home detrimental for the structure, but it is an unhealthy environment to live in.

Fannie Mae guidelines state that “Appraisal reports must reflect adverse conditions that were apparent during the inspection or discovered while performing research, such as, but not limited to, needed repairs, deterioration, or the presence of hazardous wastes, toxic substances, or adverse environmental conditions. Detrimental conditions of the improvements must be reported in the appraisal even if the conditions are typical for competing properties.” A highly cluttered home is a detrimental condition. Interior photos are required for all lender appraisals. If the condition is not properly noted in the report, it will show in the photos, so it is best to be upfront and report the true condition of the property.

An estimated 3 to 5 percent of Americans suffer from hoarding, which in May 2013 was listed for the first time as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There is professional help available for people living in such situations. I know many fabulous organizers in our local market that would love to help these homeowners. The hardest part is for the homeowner to take the steps to move forward and have the desire to live in a healthier environment.

With all that said, we must take a moment to remember that we are mere real estate professionals who were hired to perform a specific job. We really do not know this homeowner, who has allowed us to intrude into their personal space. We do not know the circumstances that have led to this situation. It is not our place to judge or ridicule anyone. Sometimes, we need to take these situations and look at ourselves. How do we compare? Do we have clutter in our own home?

Posted in:Real Estate and tagged: Appraisals
Posted by Betsy Hughes, SRA, AI-RRS on February 17th, 2016 10:59 AMPost a Comment

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