Luxury Homes Wine Country
Kathy Luebcke
707-280-5753707-280-5753

A Skilled Napa Appraiser Works in Everyone’s Favor

8-27-appraisalA skilled Napa appraiser provides a service that should help make the buying and selling of a residence a smooth transaction.

‘Should’ is the operative word.

Going back to ancient times, homes have always been ‘real’ when it comes to establishing the amount of money that they are worth. The home’s role as the center of family and community groupings guarantees that it will change hands carefully. When something is so important, its ownership does not come about haphazardly—doubly so because of its typically hefty price tag, arrived at after deliberation and scrutiny from buyer and seller alike.

Every home that is sold in Napa today should be a shining example of the efficiency (and fairness) of our free market. As a mechanism for determining the value of a good, the system is without equal, since buyer and seller have to agree on a price.

That’s where having a skilled Napa appraiser comes in. An appraiser (not to be confused with a home inspector, who reports on the soundness of a property) performs an important function in the transition from a Napa house for sale into a house that’s sold. The appraiser’s report provides an outsider’s unbiased opinion of a home’s current market value. Having a professional who knows how to analyze the property as it stacks up against comparables in the area—then determining its value in the lively Napa market of August 2015—is intended to provide peace of mind to all parties in the transaction.

That it doesn’t always work that way is because in addition to the buyer and seller, another party may be involved—the mortgage lender. The National Association of Realtors® puts it this way: as “the increasingly common scenario [that]…even when both sides agree on a price, the deal could fall apart thanks to an under-appraisal.”

The situation where buyer and seller agree on a fair price—but the bank’s appraiser determines a value that falls short—usually means that a sufficient loan won’t be offered. Bankers are required to protect the bank, and if they aren’t reassured that the equity in the loan’s underlying collateral supports the mortgage amount, okaying it would expose the bank to a loss.

Bankers would rather not.

But Napa homeowners on the verge of a sale can head off the problem. The solution is to address deferred maintenance and significant repairs or, per the NAR, “any condition that affects safety, soundness or structural integrity.” It’s a cinch that the best comparable sale figures reflect homes where those issues were addressed.

There are also some less-obvious actions Napa homeowners can take. For instance, some experts advise removing sensitive or religious pictures before an appraiser’s visit. The reason isn’t because of any prejudice from the appraiser. Rather, since rules prevent an appraiser from violating a homeowner’s privacy, some photographs of rooms might not be allowable—resulting in a report that lacks sufficient photographic documentation!

An accomplished Napa Realtor will advise you on how to best prepare for an appraiser’s visit, as well as make sure the appraiser has all the details needed to prepare the kind of comprehensive report that lets bankers sleep at night. This is part of my service—and another good reason to give me a call!


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  1. 3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,158 sqft   lot 2,788 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Jill Alderson, Century 21 M&M and Associates
    MLS 21722759
  2. Photo of 1713 Andrews Circle, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722727)
    25
    Price Drop
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,117 sqft   lot 6,050 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Anthony Ward, Ward's Realty
    MLS 21722727
  3. Photo of 422 Rio Del Mar, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21722612)
    15
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,032 sqft   lot 7,475 sqft
    Walk Score® 29
    Listing provided by Marcia Hadeler, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21722612
  4. Photo of 701 701 Way, El Sobrante, CA 94803 (MLS # 21722649)
    27
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,076 sqft   lot 5,001 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Robert Triglia, Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific
    MLS 21722649
  5. Photo of 4124 Yeager Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21722754)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,694 sqft   lot 4,626 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Rhonda Alderman, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21722754
  6. Photo of 150 Enes Avenue, Bay Point, CA 94565 (MLS # 21721078)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,404 sqft  
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Ellen Sabino, BA Golden State Homes
    MLS 21721078
  7. Photo of 260 Heritage Lane, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21722753)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,711 sqft   lot 3,054 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Nicholas Munsee, Select Realty Team
    MLS 21722753
  8. Photo of 122 Chula Vista Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21722639)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,929 sqft   lot 7,048 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listing provided by Susan Coleman, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722639
  9. Photo of 400 Evergreen Road, Bolinas, CA 94924 (MLS # 21721827)
    29
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,352 sqft   lot 27,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Tom Wredberg, Oceanic Realty
    MLS 21721827
  10. Photo of 1531 South Wright Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21721063)
    43
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,466 sqft   lot 1.50 ac
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Jonny Sanchez, RE/MAX PROs
    MLS 21721063
  11. Photo of 4480 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21722748)
    4
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,513 sqft   lot 36,900 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Lenora Kauth, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722748
  12. Photo of 170 Hearthstone Drive, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21722747)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,841 sqft   lot 5,153 sqft
    Walk Score® 40
    Listing provided by Connie Johnson, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21722747
  13. Photo of 362 Edwin Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21720694)
    3
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,374 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Ronald Kahn, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JFF
    MLS 21720694
  14. Photo of 33721 South Highway One, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21722740)
    29
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 33,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Burningham, Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties
    MLS 21722740
  15. Photo of 2121 Rachel Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21706634)
    9
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,545 sqft   lot 4,278 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Jay Belmont, W Real Estate
    MLS 21706634
  16. Photo of 2125 Rachel Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21706633)
    8
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,410 sqft   lot 4,021 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Jay Belmont, W Real Estate
    MLS 21706633
  17. Photo of 2577 Trinity Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21722741)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,880 sqft   lot 3.66 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Julie Dempsey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722741
  18. Photo of 405 Fairway Court, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21722432)
    48
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,900 sqft   lot 13,504 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Marel Ponseti, Century 21 Alliance
    MLS 21722432
  19. Photo of 381 Mark West Commons Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21722476)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,290 sqft   lot 1,816 sqft
    Walk Score® 51
    Listing provided by Susan Mobley, Russian River Realty Co
    MLS 21722476
  20. Photo of 512 Skylark Drive, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722733)
    21
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,720 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Tess Downey, RE/MAX Gold Elite
    MLS 21722733
  21. Photo of 2205 Forest Run, Hercules, CA 94547 (MLS # 21722694)
    11
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,126 sqft   lot 1,124 sqft
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Barrett Adams, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21722694
  22. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,480 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 38
    Listing provided by JoAnn Paulon, HomeSwing
    MLS 21722730
  23. Photo of 208 Redstone Circle, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722732)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,158 sqft   lot 2,862 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21722732
  24. Photo of Angwin, CA 94508 (MLS # 21714206)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,741 sqft   lot 2.15 ac
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Jan Dykema, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21714206
  25. Photo of 14860 Rotonda Way, Guerneville, CA 95446 (MLS # 21719747)
    20
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,150 sqft   lot 3,049 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Mary Mount, Russian River Realty Co
    MLS 21719747
  26. Photo of 517 Apple Tree Lane, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21718308)
    31
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    926 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 52
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21718308
  27. Photo of 141 San Andreas Street, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21722643)
    31
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,441 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21722643
  28. Photo of 890 Woodward Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (MLS # 21722731)
    24
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,805 sqft  
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Paul Clark, Century 21 Fort Bragg Realty
    MLS 21722731
  29. Photo of 790 Youngsdale Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21722717)
    49
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,562 sqft   lot 6,403 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by David Clutts, Country Estates, Inc
    MLS 21722717
  30. Photo of 2744 Overlook Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21722644)
    41
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,918 sqft   lot 12,763 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Cathleen Rojas, RE/MAX Gold-Vallejo
    MLS 21722644
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