11 ‘Scary’ Appraiser Moments

Scary house

Photo credit: Shane Gorski



Halloween is around the corner and the little ghosts, monsters and goblins will soon knock on doors all over for tricks…or treats. While every knock on the door may bring a feeling of ‘excited apprehension’ for our little ones, this is nothing like what a real estate appraiser may feel before going out to inspect a home. Homes are as varied as the people that occupy them and appraisers see this first-hand when they out to do their jobs.

In the spirit of Halloween, we asked PEMCO Limited’s Senior Managing Appraiser, Paul Prentice, to share 11 scary moments for appraisers.

  1. When you turn down a street and think to yourself “I hope it’s not that house” …. trust me, it’s always “that” house.
  2. People answering doors or lounging in their undergarments. Put some clothes on please.
  3. Homes with more pets than typical. Thirty cats are fine, we’re not judging, but typically, an abnormally high number of pets means an abnormally high amount of pet odor.
  4. People sleeping while the appraiser is on site.
  5. People showering while the appraiser is on site.
  6. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to question why you are taking a photo of their house for comparable purpose and they can sometimes be confrontational.
  7. Excessive amounts of personal property. This may be classified as “hoarding” and makes the appraiser’s job very difficult and sometimes not possible due to lack of visibility of finishes.
  8. When narcotics are present. At least try to act like you don’t want to get arrested.
  9. Animals with big teeth. I’m a dog lover but have no desire to be bitten anytime soon.
  10. Entering a vacant house that has no electricity and few windows.
  11. Let’s face it about haunted houses. They truly exist.



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