Expand all


Although we are in a multiple-offer market, the appraisal process remains a challenge for real estate agents across the country. In this episode, Candy Cooke joins Monica to discuss some of the best ways to work with appraisers to make more deals. In a fast-moving market, everyone involved in the transaction is a team. It is crucial for REALTORS® and appraisers to work together to get people in homes.

Candy has a list of items that she provides to the appraiser. You can still talk to the appraiser until the appraisal is turned in. In her "appraisal packet," she includes a copy of the contract, either the survey or property details that define the bounds, the list of anything that has been done to the house, and any information about comps that would be helpful for the appraiser. The more you can provide upfront, the less they will have to ask about. When providing comps, the best thing you can do is find other properties that would appeal to the same buyer. It is best to give your packet of information to the appraiser before they go to the property. If you are able, you also want to provide other offers if you're in a multiple-offer situation.

The best way to get the packet to the appraisers is to make the appointment with the appraiser and the listing agent. You want to make an appointment and make sure the exchange will be secure. You could also send the report over via email. In that case, you don't need to meet them at the property. It is incredibly important to keep the line of communication open with the appraiser. This will improve the working relationship for everyone involved.

When working with appraisers from out of the area, real estate agents should ask if they normally work in that area; there is a standard of competency that should make it easier to work across state lines. There are other certifications (green/clean houses, etc) that appraisers should be transparent about their competency in before entering into a transaction. As a REALTOR®, if you are not comfortable with the appraiser, Candy advises going back to the lender or loan officer with your concerns. If needed, you can then escalate to a compliance officer and note that the consumer will suffer.

Ultimately, the appraiser is hired by the lender to make sure there is enough equity in a house to sustain a loan. They want to ensure that the lender will get their money back. Once the appraisal report is delivered and the deal is closed, the appraiser can no longer be in communication with the agent. Candy explains what happens in a situation where the appraisal comes in below the contract price. The people who actually use the system, their appraisals are usually successful.

In every transaction there are three jobs working concurrently: the listing agent is trying to get the highest price for their seller, the buyer's agent is trying to get the best price for their buyer, and the appraiser is there to help the lender make a financial decision. It is part of the listing agent's responsibility to get any pertinent information to the appraiser, especially if the appraisal came in below the contract price.

Candy shares her experience with appraising properties with basements, as well as rural properties. For the rural properties, she creates her own "land grid" that compares different land properties in the area. For unique properties, there is a recommendation on how far back in time and distance to get comps, but since that is just a recommendation and not a requirement Candy encourages agents to do a little bit of both to get a well-rounded grid. A helpful tool for any agent is the NAR's RPR, or Realtors Property Resource®. All your CMAs should be done in RPR®.

Candy's final word for listeners is to remember that although everyone has a different job, everyone is working together to make sure everyone is happy and deals are able to get done. This episode is full of tips and resources to improve relationships with appraisers. How can you apply these in your own practice?


"You don't go after the value, you go after the data." — Candy

"We all have different jobs, but if we all work together and we cooperate we can make it work. We're not out there to knock you guys down." — Candy

About Candy Cooke

Candace Cooke has been involved in the real estate industry for 37 years. She is licensed in Texas as a real estate broker, certified general appraiser, and instructor. Candy is active in the Texas REALTORS® and serves on several committees at the local, state, and national level of REALTOR® organizations. She is currently President of the Real Estate Business Institute, an affiliate of NAR and serves as Secretary on the Texas Real Estate Commission Education Standards Advisory Committee. Education is her passion. She was recently awarded 2020 Texas REALTORS® Educator of the Year.

Candy is one of the Senior Instructors for the Texas REALTORS® and currently teaches several "Train the Trainer" classes. As a member of the Texas REALTORS® Professional Standards committee, Candy strongly believes REALTORS® need to always "do the right thing" which is strongly promoted in her classes. Candy was a member of the first class for NAR's Masters of Real Estate (MRE) program and then went back and did it again. She believes you can never stop learning in this business.

Candy's enthusiasm for any subject she teaches is contagious. Her classes routinely book to capacity and she uses Zoom to teach so her interaction is far-reaching. She actively broadcasts classes live in order to serve more students across the state. She lives in Central Texas with her husband Mike and enjoys canning and knitting when she's not teaching.