Luxury Homes Wine Country by Kathy Luebcke
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. Photo of 7142 Carillon Court, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829515)
    32
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,586 sqft   lot 7,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 50
    Listing provided by Jonny Sanchez, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21829515
  2. Photo of 2380 Millay Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21821219)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,144 sqft   lot 7,501 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Yousef Khoury, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21821219
  3. Photo of 1133 Kelcie Drive, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829530)
    28
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,246 sqft   lot 8,503 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829530
  4. Photo of 690 Cypress Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21829528)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,864 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Andria Haisley, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21829528
  5. Photo of 908 Louisiana Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21829526)
    24
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    922 sqft   lot 2,130 sqft
    Walk Score® 79
    Listing provided by Lizbeth Alarcon, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21829526
  6. Photo of 46841 Ocean View Avenue, Anchor Bay, CA 95445 (MLS # 21708911)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,956 sqft   lot 12,632 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Karen Scott, Banana Belt Properties
    MLS 21708911
  7. Photo of 109 Upham Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21828280)
    16
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,152 sqft   lot 7,083 sqft
    Walk Score® 86
    Listing provided by Vicki Thiessen, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21828280
  8. Photo of 1814 Hanford Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829398)
    29
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,591 sqft   lot 5,428 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Robert Ramirez, CENTURY 21 Bundesen
    MLS 21829398
  9. Photo of 379 John Kamps Way, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829518)
    21
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,194 sqft   lot 8,207 sqft
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829518
  10. Photo of 7711 Pythian Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21828582)
    20
    Open House
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,211 sqft   lot 3,903 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Kerry Rose, Compass
    MLS 21828582
  11. Photo of 3921 Louis Krohn Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21829517)
    4
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,617 sqft   lot 3,633 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Kyle Beeler, Redwood Property Group
    MLS 21829517
  12. Photo of 3006 Hagen Road, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21829024)
    34
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,159 sqft   lot 11,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21829024
  13. Photo of 1911 Buckingham Lane, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829441)
    27
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,140 sqft   lot 5,279 sqft
    Walk Score® 49
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Lokey, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829441
  14. Photo of 2245 Alysheba Court, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21819478)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,726 sqft   lot 3,067 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Sickler, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21819478
  15. Photo of 1072 Mockingbird Lane, Valley Springs, CA 95252 (MLS # 21829511)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,521 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Penny Boutte, Excel Realty Inc.
    MLS 21829511
  16. Photo of 1420 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21829372)
    38
    Open House
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,290 sqft   lot 5,249 sqft
    Walk Score® 60
    Listing provided by Phoebe Reyes, Marin Modern Real Estate
    MLS 21829372
  17. Photo of 5044 Eliggi Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21829512)
    19
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,071 sqft   lot 7,170 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Katherine Clark, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21829512
  18. Photo of 922 Sundance Drive, Fremont, CA 94539 (MLS # 21829510)
    50
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    3,707 sqft   lot 14,823 sqft
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Steven Lederman, Bay Select Realty
    MLS 21829510
  19. Photo of 1360 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21829483)
    11
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    973 sqft   lot 12,001 sqft
    Walk Score® 65
    Listing provided by Shawn Loucks, Town & Country Properties
    MLS 21829483
  20. Photo of 1613 Wishing Well Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21829501)
    14
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,297 sqft   lot 4,282 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Fermin Escutia, Prosper Real Estate, Brokered By eXp Realty
    MLS 21829501
  21. Photo of 1551 Sylvia Street, Hayward, CA 94545 (MLS # 21829509)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,974 sqft   lot 3,376 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listing provided by Marcela Hidalgo, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829509
  22. Photo of 5004 Oakbrook Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21829487)
    50
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,554 sqft  
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Renee Neuman, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21829487
  23. Photo of 4813 Duval Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21827217)
    42
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,655 sqft   lot 8,782 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Pamela Watson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21827217
  24. Photo of 650 Deer Park Road, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829503)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,722 sqft   lot 1.08 ac
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Ryan Dailey, Compass
    MLS 21829503
  25. Photo of 6300 Alisal Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (MLS # 21829508)
    30
    Price Drop
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,680 sqft   lot 7.21 ac
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Lyn jason Cobb, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21829508
  26. Photo of 4451 North Hwy 1, Albion, CA 95410 (MLS # 21829506)
    19
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,086 sqft   lot 1.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Deirdre Lamb, Mendocino Realty Company
    MLS 21829506
  27. Photo of 5763 Dexter Circle, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829336)
    29
    Open House
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,593 sqft   lot 9,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Carole McMahon, Century 21 NorthBay Alliance
    MLS 21829336
  28. Photo of 1946 Bristol Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829471)
    21
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,642 sqft   lot 2,648 sqft
    Walk Score® 27
    Listing provided by Steven Cozza, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829471
  29. Photo of 1700 Dean York Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829470)
    45
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,076 sqft   lot 28,946 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Cassandra Chastain, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829470
  30. Photo of 20 Madrid Court, Novato, CA 94949 (MLS # 21829450)
    22
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,588 sqft   lot 1,015 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Jean Nicol, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829450
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