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Lake Oswego Real Estate Appraisals

We have been experiencing a fast-moving, “hot” Lake Oswego and Portland-metro real estate market where many buyers have been waiving appraisals or indicating on their earnest money agreements (sale contracts), that they would pay the difference in cash should the home they are purchasing come in at a low value based on an appraisal vs. the accepted sale price.

Unfortunately, not many buyers have the cash to make up the difference.  In addition, buyers may feel buyer’s remorse once they make an inflated offer on a home, especially when the lender’s value is not there to support the sales price.  Cash buyers, in many cases are also not requesting appraisals, although they have the right to do so.

Appraisal Value

When you are buying a home, there is so much to worry about that probably the last thing you are thinking about is the home appraisal. And, as a seller, the most important question you are thinking about is what can you sell your home for.

But whether you are a Lake Oswego or Portland metro real estate home buyer or home seller, you probably aren’t thinking much about the home appraisal process. If there were no home appraisals, the real estate market could crash.

Therefore, it is important you become familiar with home appraisals and the process.

What are they?

A home appraisal is a “guess” as to how much your property is worth. I guarantee you that if you sent out three different people to give you an estimate of value of your home, you would get three different opinions.

Why are home appraisals important?

No bank or financial institution will lend you money for a house without an appraisal. The appraisal lets a bank or lender know what the loan collateral will sell for in a worst-case scenario.

In other words, the bank doesn’t want to be stuck with a home they lent the borrower a million dollars for but can only sell for $100,000 because that’s all it is worth. The home buyer shouldn’t want that either.  During my 40 years selling real estate, I remember a case where a bank loaned money for a house that didn’t even exist.  It had burned down many years earlier and no one bothered to check if the house was even still standing.

Appraisals exist for many good reasons, but what can make them a tense time for all parties is that they’re conducted after you’ve negotiated a price, agreed to buy or sell the house and signed the contract. So it’s in everyone’s best interest that the appraisal is close to the price that both seller and buyer have agreed on.

However, if it turns out you’re about to buy a house for an inflated price, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re obligated to buy the house. But if you aren’t careful, it could mean just that.

Our Oregon earnest money agreements (purchase contracts) address the possibility that if your appraisal comes in below the purchase price, it allows you to terminate the contract or renegotiate the price. If not, you could be obligated to cover the difference in cash for a low ball appraisal.

How long does the appraisal process take?

It used to take a couple of days, but in recent years, ever since the recession – when federal guidelines changed the appraisal process now takes a lot longer. Those buyers in our Lake Oswego and Portland metro real estate market who have been lucky to get their offers accepted may be surprised to learn there is a back-log of appraisal requests. Any offers with quick (30 days or less) closings will have to extend their time to 45 days, or more than likely, to 60 days to get their transaction closed.

It also costs more to have an appraisal and in some cases, you can pay extra (a lot extra sometimes) to expedite the timing of the appraisal. We currently have a shortage of appraisers as many appraisers left the business during the recession period and many others are now in their 60s and 70s ready to retire.  The qualifications have also increased and you must be an assistant following the shadows of an appraiser before you can go out on your own.  If the appraiser doesn’t want a “shadow”, the assistant will have to wait to get licensed.

Here are the Oregon requirements to become an appraiser

What factors go into deciding the worth of a house?

The appraiser is looking at the most important elements of the property such assquare footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition of the home, current recently sold comparables that are close in proximity, and health and safety issues.

The recently sold comparables, houses that are similar to yours, are the main factors in appraising a home to determine the market value of your home.

If you’re a homeowner, what can you do to improve the process?

Check all the major elements of your home to see if they are up to date and in good condition such as the siding, the fireplace, and that carbon monoxide detectors have been installed and strapping your water heater are up to current codes.  Clean out the gutters and the roof.  If at all possible, obtain a roof certification showing the life of your roof still has 3-5 years. Have your furnace cleaned and serviced.  Also, make sure your A/C has been serviced and in good working order and that you can provide proof that both have been serviced. If there are any dry rot issues, repair them before you place your home for sale.  Have you had any standing water or pooling?

Make sure you take corrective measures so there is not a problem come time for the appraisal. Removing any obstacles or issues will assure your appraisal is expedited.  You don’t want to have an appraiser do a re-check and come back to see if any or all repairs called out on the appraisal have been completed. A re-check will only cost extra time and money and delay your closing even further.



There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

Contact Betty Jung

Betty Jung, Broker

MORE Realty, Inc.
14945 SW Sequoia Parkway, #150
Portland, OR. 97224

503-804-9685 Cell


"Selling Real Estate Since 1978. There Is No Substitute For Experience!"

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