I have been in the appraisal field since 1985. In my nearly 30 yrs. I have seen and appraised every type of home imaginable from a 1 room log cabin to a 28 room stone castle, and everything in between. My company offers appraisal services for a variety of needs including; probate, litigation support, tax planning, pre-sale planning. As well for mortgage or collateral evaluation, but that is a small part of my practice.
Typically an appraisal should take about a week from start to finish, and this is from the time the appraiser learns of the assignment until the time he turns it in. It can take more or less time depending on a number of things; the current volume of work, the complexity of the individual property, the urgency of the assignment, etc. Other factors influence when a lender accepts the assignment. Sometimes additional research is requested by the lender. This can prolong the experience for a homeowner.
The more common the property, generally speaking the faster the process will be. That is generally the biggest factor. Any unique attribute will likely slow the process down. This is even truer today, with computerized and automated review by lenders. Less trust is placed on the appraiser's judgment and more emphasis is placed on producing data to satisfy an automated reviewing process. This can really slow down the process for unique properties. Experience on both sides of this process is being supplanted by voluminous data.
Well, swimming pools for one. In older homes, bedrooms lacking a closet for one example, or a bedroom or attic family room which requires passing through another room to access. Second basement kitchens and or in-law an apartment is another. Massachusetts is pretty well behind the demographic times as it relates to understanding the need for co-housing of aged parent, or returning millennial. Local zoning has not kept abreast of this population shift in most municipalities.
Homeowners should provide accurate contact info when you fill out the loan application; cell phone, email etc. & provide timely access for the appraiser when he calls to schedule an appointment.
There should be no contact, unless there is an issue of fact which needs clarification. Homeowners should not and are precluded by law from influencing or contacting appraisers during the process.
The best way is probably email. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.