Recently I was requested to alter the property description in an appraisal report to show that the property was in average condition. “After all the unfinished drywall, lack of flooring, and stained carpets were all cosmetic and did not affect the structural integrity of this $190,000 home”. How many of us have had these conversations?
Remember the condition ratings in an appraisal is a rating, not a description. In other words average condition does not mean that the property does or does not have need or repair. It does mean that the subject’s condition is typical of its market area. In the case of my subject property above the “typical” property for this sub-market had been cosmetically updated and or renovated. The trend was towards being in good overall condition. Thus an average property would have been updated. The subject being less than what was typical was presented as in fair condition.
Of course the appraiser’s responsibility does not end with simply rating the condition as it relates to its immediate marketplace, the appraiser is mandated to present a report that is not misleading thus the appraisal report must also detail the degree of maintenance, or lack thereof, that was noted as of the date of inspection.