Agent’s Source Of Square Footage May Affect Sale Price

Excerpts: If you use county tax assessor information as a square footage source in your listings you may want to rethink this. I recently did a study to see how homes sold based on where the agent got their information from and I have to say what I found was intriguing. Agent square footage and sales prices for appraisers is important.

The Greater Alabama MLS, of which I am a member, provides the source of square footage information that is included in the listing. The four sources include tax records, seller, building plans, and appraiser.

Below the article are links to some other good posts by the author on this topic.

My comment: Very interesting analysis and graphs. My MLS is the same, except “other” is included and tax records is the default. Tax records are iffy in California as Prop 13 passed in 1979 and records have not been updated since then, unless there is new construction. Also, what assessors include in GLA can differ from what the current market does. Some neighborhoods and properties are reasonably accurate and some are way off in my small city.

I have done a lot of relocation appraisals, where 2 or 3 appraisers appraise the same house. If we had the same square footage it was sorta suspicious… Some measure to the half foot, rounding up or down, some use decimals, etc. It is not exact.

I can really see a demand for using appraiser measurements. I will be writing an article in my paid newsletter soon about this topic. There are a few appraisers who do them, including discussing pricing and liability.

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To read more of this long blog post, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other sections of this long blog post on Corelogic changes, most popular 2018 homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


I am really going to try hard NOT to use 2018 on :
  • Appraisals with an effective date or date signed in early 2019
  • Checks I write manually. Will pre-date some of them for 2019.
  • Computer folders for appraisals and fotos (I have them by year).
  • ——————————————————–

What Was the Most Popular Home of 2018?

 Just For Fun!!

10. Cerro Gordo, Lone Pine, CA
Status: Sold for $1.4 million in July
Why it’s here: Seeking a little solitude? Look no further than Cerro Gordo, a bona fide ghost town perched 8,000 feet up in the Inyo Mountains in Southern California.

8. Beckham Creek Cave Rd, Parthenon, AR
Status: Currently off market
Why it’s here: This rustic estate carved into the side of the Ozark Mountains captured attention for its storied history of renovations. What started as a doomsday shelter was transformed into an A-list nightclub

Click here for fotos, more info, and 8 more popular homes!!


Proposed Regulations Allow Majority of Homes to be Sold Without Human Appraisal

Excerpt: The battle between man and bot has a new front: your mortgage.

Federal regulators have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser. That potentially opens the door for cheaper, faster, but largely untested property valuations based on computer algorithms.

My comment: I love the term “human appraisal” ;> Good article, originally written in the Wall Street Journal, about the many issues of this topic, including that Freddie and Fannie will still require appraisals on most loans.

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Experts weigh in on housing reform at House hearing

Express support for the Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act of 2018

Excerpt: The bill would repeal the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and transition to a system that allows qualified mortgages backed by an approved private credit enhancer with regulated, diversified capital resources to access the explicit, full government securitization guarantee provided by Ginnie Mae.

10-year low for mortgage prepayment activity reports Black Knight

Excerpt: A first look at mortgage performance data for November shows a decline in prepayment activity as refinance activity slipped and there was a slowdown in house prices.

Black Knight’s analysis reveals that the prepayment rate was 0.66%, down almost 14% month-over-month and down 29% from November 2017.

The last time the rate was this low was during the financial crisis with interest rates of 6% and a 50% drop in purchase lending in a 24 month period.


Corelogic announces intent to exit certain legacy non-core software units and to accelerate appraisal management company transformation

Excerpt: During 2019, CoreLogic plans to accelerate its previously announced multi-year program which is intended to transform its Appraisal Management Company operations through the greater use of data-driven analytics, automation of workflows and enhanced utilization of its dedicated staff appraisers.
FTC vs. Corelogic
Link to letter (undated and unsigned) with similar comments sent to FTC: click here
Also: CoreLogic Acquires eTech Solutions (U.K.) click here

My comment: What is Corelogic up to? Corelogic is positive about appraisal volume in 2019? Purchasing UK appraisal related business? See two above articles. With its purchase of a la mode and other appraisal related companies, I guess this is just part of some sort of strategy.

HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to 
Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to or send an email to . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

No stats today – holiday time at MBA I guess ;>

Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA
Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today
2033 Clement Ave. Suite 105
Alameda, CA 94501 Phone 510-865-8041
Fax 510-523-1138

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