How to Reduce Appraisal Revision Requests

By Clear Capital November 14, 2022


To cut down on appraisal revision requests, it is important to keep these best practices in mind:

Communicate in a timely manner

Address the request thoroughly and professionally. Add additional commentary where appropriate.

Ask questions. If you disagree with the request for appraisal submissions or have concerns or need clarification, please reach out for clarification.

1. Explain ‘How’, not ‘Why’ in the appraisal report

The most common frustrations arise when the appraiser focuses more on the type of adjustments made while the reader would look for the ‘how’ in the appraisal report. For example, if a positive or negative adjustment was applied in the report, the reader wants to know how the adjustment was determined.

“How did you determine that the subject comparable was inferior or superior in condition? Don’t leave the ‘how’ part out while applying adjustments. Be sure to address those questions; it will certainly help you in the long run.” says Ken Folven, Senior Director, Appraisal Quality Assurance at Clear Capital

2. Reduce lengthy commentary

In some cases, appraisers provide lengthy boilerplate commentary in an attempt to avoid a revision request. This strategy often backfires because parties involved in the lending process cannot find the specific information they are looking for in the report. Inconsistent commentary can result in common requests for revision.

Prior to submission, read the letter of engagement in detail, which highlights the customer-specific information, and make sure to include all required information in your report. Organize your commentary and explain your comparable selection process briefly.

“I always recommend organizing commentary by adjustment rather than by comparable and make it a habit to review the pre-delivery rules,” says Khan.

Derek Mitchell, a California-based Senior Appraiser at Clear Capital, has a different approach: “I use a lot of characteristic-based comments as opposed to comparable-based comments because it cuts down on the amount of writing that I have to do and the amount of reading the reviewer has to do,” Mitchell says. “It tends to get redundant when you’re just talking about different comparables but the same characteristics.”

In addition, staying up-to-date with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and GSE guidelines and industry requirements also goes a long way in drafting error-free reports that would otherwise create unnecessary revision requests.

To read more, click here

My comments: Good practical tips. We all hate revisions unless maybe it was because we forgot to put the value in. I did this sometimes in appraisals for a local bank ;> Your clients hate them also. They take appraisers too much time and can sometimes make you very upset, which interrupts your workflow.

What Causes Appraisal Revisions?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on retirement, classes, adjustments, real estate market, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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$2.5M Medieval Castle with Drawbridge & Secret Rooms Relists in Oakland Township, Michigan


Built 1990 | 6,106 Sq. Ft. | 5 Beds | 5.5+ Baths | 6.25 Acres

Built over a period of 6 years and standing 60 feet tall

The frame is built with 60 tons of steel and construction took over 6 years utilizing artisans from all over the world. The castle is 60 feet tall, or taller than a 4 story building. It features a moat, waterfall, drawbridge, portcullis, 26 rooms, elevator, 5 fireplaces, 6 new furnaces, 6 new A/C units, secret rooms, hidden doors, hidden passageways, hidden staircase, wine cellar, Tudor style pub, and a few more surprises.

The castle cost more than $10 million to build and has a laundry list of recent upgrades including 6 new high efficiency furnaces + air conditioners, new humidifiers, new boiler, water storage tank, the elevator was serviced and certified in 2022, $100,000 in window/door upgrades, and about $20,000 in electrical updates.

To see read more and see lots of photos, click here 

My comments: Comps??? Over improvement? Go back in time, go to another city, refer to another appraiser who likes challenges?


What Does Seat Time Serve?
What purpose does “waiting” serve (a.k.a. known as “seat time”)?
The States Need To Rethink Time Requirements For Online Exams

By Jonathan Miller, December 5, 2022

Excerpts: It was a rainy weekend, so I thought I’d take online classes to meet my continuing education requirements. I’ve always been a fast test taker, often trying to be the first person in the classroom to bring my answers to the proctor first. I’m one of those annoying people, but if I pass the test, should I be penalized for taking the test fast? For my first appraisal licensing exam years ago, I finished it in around 40 minutes, but we were given 2 hours to take it. Should I have been forced to sit at my desk and wait until the two hours were up? New York State didn’t think so.

Yet New York State thinks so for taking online classes. I took a three-hour course in 52 minutes and am not allowed to take the final exam yet. The following dialog box says it all.

This is a NY state requirement and common across the US. It is time for the 55 states and territories to rethink licensing requirements. A time calculation should not be part of math if a student takes a class and can pass the test on the materials presented. Since there is zero empirical evidence that those additional 98 minutes will make me understand the course materials any better, taking away 98 minutes of my potential livelihood is wrong.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is from a recent post by Jonathan Miller in his Housing Notes. Subscribe at I have subscribed for many years.

When I wrote about the new ANSI requirements earlier this year, I needed to take some ANSI CE classes and review them. I had not taken an online class with tests for many years. I finally gave up. It took me hours and hours to complete sections to move to the next section of the class. I finally asked the providers to give me information on the class conte so thatso I could write about it. I will not even try to take one of these classes again!

I asked around about what had happened. I had never seen so many short tests. One explanation was that “someone” complained because students completed USPAP too quickly.

When I started live teaching CE classes soon after licensing started, I did not use any tests. Not required by California. As a teacher, I really hate tests. You often need to teach to the test so that most students pass. When I did my national conferences from 2001 to 2006 there were no tests.


How to have a higher regular income in retirement.
Delay signing up for Social Security until you are 70 years old

I speak with many appraisers who have retired or will be retiring soon. I always tell them I get $4,125.80 monthly in Social Security starting in December 2022. I am 79 years old. They are always surprised by how much money I get compared to their Social Security income. They started taking Social Security earlier than age 70. I plan to live into my 90s and need all the money I can get then.

Only 7% of women and 5% of men started at age 70 or older. 31% of women and 27% of men signed up for Social Security at age 62 in 2018, down from around 54% of women and 50% of men in 2005, according to Social Security Administration data.

For example, if you start receiving retirement benefits at age 67 instead of age 66, depending on the year you were born, you’ll get 108 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 12 months. At 70, you’ll get 132 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 48 months.

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How Grocery Store Locations Impact Home Values

By Attom Nov 22, 2022

Excerpts: While homes near a Trader Joe’s realized an average 5-year home price appreciation of 49 percent, and homes near a Whole Foods saw an average appreciation of 45 percent, ALDI had a slight advantage at 58 percent.

However, not only does Trader Joe’s lead the pack for homeowners with an average home value at $987,923, but it also takes the lead in home equity with homeowners earning an average of 50 percent ($520,842) equity, compared to Whole Foods at 45 percent ($433,311) and ALDI at 38 percent ($132,643). The average value for homes near a Whole Foods is $891,416, and $321,116 for homes near an ALDI.

For this analysis ATTOM looked at current average home values, 5-year home price appreciation for YTD (Q1-Q3) 2022 vs. YTD (Q1-Q3) 2017, current average home equity, home seller profits, and home flipping rates in U.S. zip codes with a least one Whole Foods store, one Trader Joe’s store and one ALDI store. Grocery store locations are from the USDA.

To see the infographics and more details on the methodology, click here

For more interesting info, read “Wait, Trader Joe was a real guy?” published May 7, 2022 by CNN Business. To read the article, click here

My comments: Trader Joe’s opened a store in my small town, somewhat distant from the freeway, in a shopping center next to a large Safeway. I don’t remember when it opened, but I heard it was one of their top selling stores. Nearby cities were trying to get them to come. During the early days of the pandemic, long lines were waiting to shop, plus special “senior” hours.

We don’t have a Whole Foods store (aka “Whole Paycheck” for the relatively high prices), but we would really like one.

The original Trader Joe’s opened in Pasadena, California. It opened in 1967. Amazon bought Whole Foods five years ago for $13.7 billion. Who knows what Amazon will do?

By the late 1980s, the chain had expanded into Northern California, and in 1993 the first Arizona location opened. 1995 brought expansion into the Pacific Northwest, and in 1996, the first two East Coast locations opened outside Boston.

By 2020, Trader Joe’s had more than 530 stores and an estimated $16.5 billion in sales, according to the latest data available from Supermarket News.


Affordability Drives Value: Insights from a Seasoned Appraiser

By Steve Steven W. Vehmeier, December 6, 2022

Excerpts: It can be said that housing prices determine affordability, but it is also true that affordability can drive prices, and prices in turn can drive value.

Due to rising interest rates, many potential home buyers are currently unable to qualify to buy the properties they want. Some have been pushed out of the market entirely. After speaking with two individuals in the mortgage business recently, I discovered that they suddenly have a lot of free time since the number of mortgage applicants has declined significantly. At the same time, I’m seeing some listing prices being reduced, and the number of days on market is gradually increasing. All of these are signs which indicate a gap in affordability.

Lack of affordability impacts the market

As interest rates and inflation rise, but incomes do not rise at the same level, this could very well trigger a market correction. I’m reading lots of predictions from people in high places in the real estate and lending worlds saying that the correction is underway, and it’s all about affordability.

Topics include:

  • Are we on the cusp of a market correction?
  • What do appraisers really do?
  • Qualified buyers and listing prices
  • What is a comparable?

To read more, click here

My comments: Worth reading with some interesting comments. For example, “On the first day of class, I often tell pre-licensing students, “Appraisers don’t create value; they just read the tea leaves in the cup.” I love that quote!


Former School in Latah, WA Listed for $699,000

8,700-square-foot home, 12-foot-high ceilings, 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. 1.4 acre site. On the market since March, 2022.

Excerpts: The building dates to 1908, and it served students for 50 years. The rural schoolhouse has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2002. It sat vacant for about 60 years before it went through its conversion.

The main schoolhouse has three levels: a basement; a living level with the kitchen; and an upstairs space with bedrooms, a library, and some unfinished former classrooms—one of which still sports its original wood floors and a 1908 chalkboard.

To read more, watch the short video, and see lots of interesting interior photos, click here


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 go to Or call 510-865-8041, MTW 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

My comments: Rates are going up and down. Some appraisers are very busy, and others have little work. Varies widely around the country.


Mortgage applications decreased 1.9 percent from one week earlier

Mortgage applications decreased 1.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 2, 2022. Last week’s results include an adjustment for the observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 36 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 31 percent compared with the previous week and was 40 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications decreased 2 percent compared to the Thanksgiving holiday-adjusted results from the previous week, even as mortgage rates continued to trend lower. Rates decreased for most loan products, with the 30-year fixed declining 8 basis points to 6.41 percent after reaching 7.16 percent in October,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The 30-year fixed rate was 73 basis points lower than a month ago – but was still more than three percentage points higher than in December 2021. Additionally, the pace of refinancing remained around 80 percent lower than a year ago.”

Added Kan, “Purchase activity slowed last week, with a drop in conventional purchase applications partially offset by an increase in FHA and USDA loan applications. The average loan size for purchase applications decreased to $387,300 – its lowest level since January 2021. The decrease was consistent with slightly stronger government applications and a rapidly cooling home-price environment.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 28.7 percent of total applications from 26.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 13.7 percent from 12.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.4 percent from 11.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) decreased to 6.41 percent from 6.49 percent, with points decreasing to 0.63 from0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $647,200)decreased to 6.08 percent from 6.35 percent, with points decreasing to 0.5 from 0.61 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 6.39 percent from 6.57 percent, with points decreasing to 0.93 from 1.14 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.84 percent from 6.02 percent, with points decreasing to 0.55 from 0.69 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 5.59 percent from 5.48 percent, with points increasing to 0.91 from 0.89 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.Ann


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041


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