I told a realtor once that appraisers do not appraise a home, data does. I was trying to respond to their over-hyped level of concern about where the appraiser lives or works and the realtors’ hope that the appraiser will have some sort of intimate knowledge about the subject property’s market area. Appraisers don’t need to live near the subject property to do their job well.
In my experience, there seems to be a lot of confusion about appraisals. I hear a lot of misstatement about how appraisal values are determined. If an appraisal comes in below the agreed upon sales price there is usually a lot of push back, anger, and harshly worded statements about the intelligence of the appraiser. Many sellers, some buyers, and even some realtors use methodology and data that is not accurate. The reality is that there is a way to challenge an appraisal that is quite simple. All you have to do is come up with recent comparable sales (aka comps) that you think are better than the ones that the appraiser used. The problem is what some people come up with for comparable sales are not really viable comps. Read the rest of this entry »
I have lately had a few appraisal problems that I hope does not turn into a trend. The inventory in the DC Metro area is at the lowest point it has ever been since these sorts of inventory statistics have been tracked, starting 16 years ago. The problem, which is far from alarming at this point, is that little inventory means there are not as many sales as there could be, which means there is not as much turnover as there could be, which means when a house does sell and the appraiser goes looking for recent comparables to support the purchase price, there may be a problem finding enough comps to support the purchase price. So what exactly does this Read the rest of this entry »
I have blogged about appraisal problems many times in the past. I am not going to repeat those posts. Maybe the data below will carry more weight than my opinion, because it is fresh out of a thorough and expensive study that I have cited on this blog recently. I will cut and past comments directly from the study that quotes Realtors, and I will let their comments speak for themselves. As a mortgage consumer, the below should be plenty to tell you where you need to go for a mortgage. Mortgage brokers, large banks, online lenders and credit unions, many of whom the consumer thinks is working in their best interest are actually setup to fail the consumer by design. Just because you bank at a big bank or a credit union does not mean they are setup to provide you the best service. I worked at a big bank before, and unless you had millions of dollars Read the rest of this entry »