Indianapolis property appraisal

8 Replies

Hey everyone

I got financing on a property a while back and just now looked over the appraisal report again. There are a few things that seem strange to me so I wanted to ask the folks on here how exactly the appraisals are done in Indy.

  • The appraiser did not pick several properties that were close by and had roughly the same size. I assume because the are a different style?
  • Instead he picked some properties that are just about half the size of mine. It seems that he payed more attention to similar style than similar size and condition.
  • The value adjustment from a 2/1 to a 3/2 is only 4k
  • The value adjustment from 890 sq ft to 1,450 sq ft is only 9k
  • Two of the five properties he picked were still under contract

I wonder now if this is how appraisals work in Indy, or if I just got a bad appraiser? I would like to understand this to be better prepared for the result the next time.


That is not normal in Indy (where I have property) or other places.    I cannot see any reason why they chose to use properties under contract.  My layman's understanding is the sale must be complete.   But there are reasons that could explain why they didn't use the properties you felt were comps.

- Recentness of closing.  I'm not sure what timeframe appraisers cut off at, but a sale from last month is much better than one from 12 months ago.

- Age of property.  A 2017 property is not an ideal comp for a 1950s property even if they are nearby

On a positive note, if the appraiser screwed up, you may have more equity than you thought!

@Simon Stahl Im from Columbus OH, and we have had some appraisals go along those lines. To be honest it is usually the specific appraiser who 1) is not familiar with the specific area or 2) sometimes being lazy in his comp pulling.

I always recommend having a packet ready for your appraiser listing the improvements and specifications of your property, then I pull honest comps that I believe reflect a similar value to my property (Make it easy for him). I then walk through the house with him, pointing out things that are hard or impossible to see, ie: updated electric, plumbing, new countertops. I also ask him questions and get to know him. Worst comes to worst at least you have made a new friend in the industry. 

This strategy has worked out well for me!

@Greg Scott I think he looked at all properties that have sold in the last 12 month. At least he included this number on the report. Apparently also the ones that have not closed yet. The age of pretty much all the properties in the area seems to be about the same, so that cannot be the reason. Agreed though, I did end up with more equity in the deal than expected - at least in my opinion, not the appraisers...

@Jaron Walling It did come in ~20k lower than expected. I have now much more money in the deal than I wanted, but on the positive side, the cashflow is better with the lower loan amount.

@Steven Wilson Unfortunately, I am OOS, so I cannot walk the property with the appraiser. I could have prepared an info package for him though with repairs and proposed comps. I wonder though if some appraiser get mad if you do that. Like they think I want to tell them how to do their job. TBH at the time of the loan closing, I was so out of energy that I just did not want to argue with him and just took the report as it is.

@Simon Stahl it would definitely be hard to walk it with him then. Also yes maybe some appraisers would take the packet negatively, but I think for the most part it’s just more information for them to easily access. And there’s a chance that maybe they’re feeling a little lazy and actually use your compatibles.

@Simon Stahl

Being a realtor, doing more than a few deals a month, we have our fair share of crazy appraisers.

Educational point: you can argue value, make comp suggestions, etc, and the lender can send back for review, but appraiser might have a God complex or was just picked on in high school too much, and can veto it all without reason.

2/1 to 3/2 being only 4k...sounds like a trash appraisal.

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