Appraiser Scam – Be Careful!

Posted Jan 5 on National Appraisers Forum. This was also posted in the 100% Appraisers group on FaceBook as happening to others.

“Last week, I received a text from “Master Chief Robert Roy” requesting an appraisal for a cash purchase. I thought it was odd that he was addressing himself by his rank as I do work for the VA and no service member has ever done that in my experience. Also my daughter’s boyfriend, a West Point graduate, was visiting at the time and he also thought it was odd too. I looked him up on line and saw that he was a Navy Seal and a public speaker. I addressed him as Sir in our texts out of respect.“

“He requested that I inspect the property 1/5/2023 as the inspector would be there at the same time. My fee was $775 however sent me a $1950 cashier’s check via Fed Ex the next day. He stated that his assistant mistakenly included the inspector’s fee and would I please pay the inspector the $1175 balance. (That seemed high for an inspector….) “

One of the responses:

“Sorry this happened to you. I posted about this about a month ago. Same guy. Because it seemed so odd, I didn’t respond to him and instead called the listing agent directly. He said I was the 4th female appraiser to call him about this in 24 hours. He had reported it all to the police. I never responded to the dude, as it is obviously a scam or worse. When I researched the name he was using, I found that person to be deceased. “

My comments: When appraisers are very slow, it is very hard to turn down an appraisal. Savvy scammers may know about this. Beware!!

1-12-17 Newz .New scam: owners pose as renters, 21 day turn times

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on all cash sales, bad bank, FHFA/Fannie, speaking at real estate agent meetings, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


Retired Racer’s Magnificent Mountaintop Mansion Roars Onto the Market for $24.8M

Excerpts: Calling all motorheads: Retired race car driver Richard Berry‘s megamansion in Evergreen, CO, comes with its own jaw-dropping auto hangar.

Custom-built in 2004, the 50,275-square-foot mountain spread sits on 75 acres just west of Denver.

Listed for $24,799,000, the property known as Thunder Ridge is attracting a fair amount of attention. It was recently ranked as one of the most popular homes in the country.

But Thunder Ridge didn’t exactly rev the market’s engines in 2019, when it was listed for $19,999,000. Its current list price is an increase of $4.8 million, which listing agent Sean Endsley, of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, attributes to Denver’s dynamic real estate scene.

“My market saw a 36% appreciation from the [COVID-19] pandemic to April this year. Then it dropped 16% to today,” says Endsley. “That’s a net 20% gain. The high-end market is not suffering like the low end. There is going to be some appreciation because of this home’s location.”

To read more and see lots of photos (and maybe get envious)  click here 

My comment: I want some of the home’s features :>


All-Cash Home Sales At Highest Level Since 2014


Excerpt: Roughly one-third of U.S. home purchases were made with all cash in October.

Key Takeaways

All-cash purchases were most common in Florida in October.

Nearly one-third (31.9%) of U.S. home purchases were paid for with all cash in October, according to a new report from Redfin. That’s up from 29.9% a year earlier and the highest share since 2014.

“Today’s affluent homebuyers are motivated to pay in cash because the surge in mortgage rates makes them want to avoid loans — and the high monthly interest payments that come with them — altogether. Mortgage rates have declined in recent weeks, but are still hovering above 6%,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “During the pandemic housing boom, buyers were incentivized to pay in cash because of low rates, which drove up competition and made all-cash offers an effective bargaining chip for those who could afford them.”

The lowest share of all-cash purchases was in the West coast market, especially in the Bay Area of California. Just 14.3% of home purchases in San Jose and 16.5% in Oakland were paid in cash.

To read more, click here

My comments: What’s happening in your market? I live in the Bay Area and all-cash sales are down. Maybe the 20-something high paid techies don’t want to sell their stock at lower prices. Plus, layoffs have started in major tech companies. Startups are slowing way down also.


Speaking at real estate sales meetings is an easy way to market your appraisal business

Surprisingly, few appraisers use speaking opportunities to attract new appraisal clients.

When speaking, you can communicate with many prospects and referral sources without having to do a “sales pitch,” which many appraisers dislike.

When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I spoke to many local real estate offices at their weekly sales meetings. I received referrals for many years from those brief talks.

Speaking gives you an image as an authority on a subject and definitely can result in appraisal assignments. Fortunately, public speaking is a skill that can be learned. The key to successful speaking is practice and preparation.

This article has lots of tips on what to speak about, how to get speaking engagements, and Toastmasters – the best way to learn how to speak, especially if you are nervous about it!

To read more about this topic, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

If this article helped you understand how speaking to agents can increase your business, it is worth the subscription price!


7 Reasons to Upgrade Your Appraisal License

By McKissock


1. Earn more

Each appraisal license level you upgrade, you’ll usually see your earnings increase. Certified general appraisers, sometimes called commercial appraisers, earned 22% more than certified residential appraisers, on average, in 2019. $71,667 vs. $87,685.

2. Enjoy more complex assignments

An appraisal license upgrade can add variety to your professional life with different types of properties and transaction limits. Here’s a list of what you can appraise at each level:

Licensed residential appraiser:

Non-complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value of less than $1 million (subject to individual state laws)

Complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value less than $250,000 (subject to individual state laws)

Certified residential appraiser:

1-4 residential units without regard to complexity or transaction value (subject to individual state laws)

Certified general appraiser:

All types of real estate, from strip malls to airports

3. Control your fees

In a 2020 Voice of the Appraiser study by Valuation Review, 46% of appraisers listed low fees as the greatest concern for their profession. A higher license level gives you an advantage in the local marketplace. Plus, it offers greater control over your fees and more stability in your work.

The more you know, the more you can grow your real estate appraisal business and shield your income from the ups and downs of the real estate market and encroaching technology. The higher you go, the less competition you’ll find: Only 42% of the nation’s 78,000 appraisers are certified general. Source: Appraisal Institute December 2019 Fact Sheet

To read more plus reasons 4-7, click here

My comments: Now that lender business is slow, this is an excellent time to take advantage by upgrading your license level. While working on upgrading, you will significantly upgrade your appraisal skills, which always helps to get business.

Licensed residential should upgrade as soon as possible to certified. Certified General allows you to appraise many types of properties for lender and non-lender uses.

I have been certified general since licensing started. The same amount of marketing for a house appraisal for $400 as a commercial appraisal starting at $2,000 minimum.

An upcoming monthly newsletter will include information on how to go from certified residential to certified general.

What if you aren’t upgrading? Use this time to take seminars and classes to upgrade your appraisal skills! Don’t get the cheapest, and easiest CE!



NOT CORRECT IN THE 1/6/22 NEWSLETTER – IN MY AD FOR DIVORCE APPRAISALS: I quit making any dollar adjustments in my lender appraisals many years ago after my state regulator said they were required.

CORRECTED I quit making any dollar adjustments in my NON-lender appraisals many years ago after my state regulator said they were required.

My comments: Sorry, I don’t have any “secret list” of GSE lenders that don’t require lots of supported adjustments. Thanks to eagle-eyed subscriber Blake Schoenberg for letting me know about this bad typo!!


FHFA: Reducing Valuation Bias by Addressing Appraiser and Property Valuation Commentary

Key Takeaways

Examples of overt references to race, ethnicity, and other prohibited bases under federal fair lending laws in appraisals and other property descriptions persist, indicating the continued presence of valuation bias.

Ongoing failure to address appraiser consideration of prohibited factors like race, as indicated by prohibited basis commentary within the free-text form fields of appraisals, may result in valuation bias.

Market participants must ensure that appraisals and other property valuations are compliant with fair lending principles, including in free-form text commentary.

Appraisals are to be fair and free of bias, providing a supported value for a family’s future or current home that reflects respect and equal treatment of the co community and neighborhood in which the home is located.

To read more, click here

My comments: Worth reading to see what FHFA (Fannie and Freddie regulator) says as they affect lender appraisals. Nothing new for appraisers, of course!

Maybe someday appraisers will have a big PR campaign telling everyone what appraisers do and why it matters to them.


1-11-22 Webinar: FHFA Uniform Appraisal Dataset Aggregate Statistics and How it Impacts You

Appraisal Institute 90-minute video

In this webinar recording, hear from the FHFA Representative who worked on the UAD release and appraiser practitioners about their initial observations and potential use cases of the UAD information for appraisers.

To  listen to the webinar go to

I did not have time to listen to the full webinar as it was yesterday morning, but the two practicing appraisers had good comments on the pluses and minuses of the data.

The usefulness for practicing field appraisers of this old data is very controversial (mostly negative online).


Washington State Cabin Designed To Rebuff the Elements Available for $500K

Excerpts: uniquely designed home in Leavenworth, WA, comes with 10.5 acres of privacy.

The angular, three-bedroom home offered for $500,000 is nestled among the trees 2 miles east of Chumstick in the Cascade Mountains, but it is still close to skiing and wineries.

“The house has a little pond and a lot of acreage, so it would be ideal for someone who wants to be out in the country,” says listing agent Michal Mock, of Keller Williams Realty NCW.

“There are a lot of acres for hiking, so the new buyer would be an outdoor person for sure. I envision it to be a primary residence because the house has year-round access,” Mock says.

“Leavenworth is an alpine village, and the home is close to downtown. It’s just two hours west of Seattle,” he continues. “Leavenworth is smack dab in the middle of Washington state. It’s an incredible vacation destination year-round.”

To read more, click here

My comments: I have a millennial niece (teacher) who lived with her attorney husband in Seattle. They are both big fans of skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, etc. and purchased a home about 2 hours east of Seattle in Bend, Washington, a small town very popular with young telecommuters.


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 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. Some appraisers are very busy, and others have little work. Varies widely around the country.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041


1 Comment
  1. Hi there! I’m a photographer and I just received a text from who I believe is the same scammer. They introduced themselves as Master Chief Robert Roy and is asking for rates to photograph his wife’s birthday party and is currently in the Ukraine on duty. You think this is the same guy?

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