Appraisal News and Business Tips

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About this blog

This blog has all my free weekly email newsletters since 2012. Plus other topics. Please note that the original email newsletter subject line has been significantly shortened. To see the original email newsletters, click here to go to the newsletter archives. The newsletter has been sent out weekly since June, 1994. To subscribe to the free email newsletters and receive them on the date they are first issued, go to www.appraisaltoday.com and sign up in the big Yellow Box!!

Looking for a topic? Use Search box on the right side. There are hundreds of posts on this blog, starting in 2012. 

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Posted in: Uncategorized

AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

Excerpt: Consolidated Analytics, an AMC based in Anaheim California, was fined $3,000 for violating the Utah AMC Administrative Rules R162-2e-306 “Offering An Appraisal Assignment and Communicating with Two or More Appraisers About a Potential Assignment.

The specific part of this rule that pertains to broadcasting has been relatively effective in reducing the broadcasting of assignments. Clear Capital recently was fined $5,000 for failing to comply and there are additional complaints working their way through the system.

To read more, click here

My comment: Broadcast orders are bad for many reasons for both the AMC and the appraiser: goes to everyone on their list, no considerations about appraiser qualifications for the assignment including geographic. Hundreds of appraisers competing on fees when business is slow make it hard for appraisers to stay in business. There is always someone with a lower fee, in appraising, and any type of business.

When business is strong, such as today, AMCs have to take whatever warm body they can get. Many appraisers are way too booked up and not taking any more work.

Maybe you can get your state appraisal regulator to get a similar regulation!!

Working with difficult appraisal clients(Opens in a new browser tab)

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Marketing and Management Tips for Appraisers

Click Read More below for the rest of this long blog post!!

Read more!!

Posted in: AMCs, appraisal business, appraisal management company, comp photos, Coronavirus, COVID, data, FHA, Freddie, Mortgage applications, unusual homes

How to Fool the Appraiser

By Jonathan Miller

Excerpt from Jonathan Miller: She recently promoted her video called Fool The Appraiser a catchy marketing phrase to promote dishonesty. She literally has no idea how offensive this is to the appraisal industry and how unprofessional this makes her look to the public and her peers.

Excerpt from the video: “So, the purpose of the game is to fool the appraiser into thinking that the property is worth the agreed upon purchase price.

Because if we follow the rules of the game, the homeowner has already accepted an offer greater than list price. So how do we get an appraiser to think that the property is worth? The agreed upon purchase price which is higher than list price.”

To read Miller’s article, watch the 1 hour 17 min. video, plus transcript and webinar handout, click here

Direct link to broker video and transcript Click here

Note: Registration is required to watch it and read the transcript, but you can always use your “alternative” gmail address. If you don’t have one, get one. I have one.

My comments: Great training for real estate agents. NOT!! But, maybe you will see someone doing this. This video and handout will let you know what they are up to!!

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

What Is An Appraiser?(Opens in a new browser tab) Humor

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Posted in: Coronavirus, COVID, fauci, FHA, mortgage loan volume, real estate market, Strange homes, trainees

Tales of a Trainee at Appraisal Camp Sedona

By Bryan Aldridge, Appraiser Trainee

“Why don’t you come on an inspection with me?”

It was February 2020, and there were rumors about a new virus beginning to get traction. I was in retail leadership in Sedona, Az and beginning to wonder if I wanted to work with the public during a pandemic. And eventually write this story, Tales of a Trainee at Appraisal Camp Sedona.

Julie Friess was one of my true “local” customers in a store that relies on international tourism that floods Sedona. I did not realize when she uttered those words that it would lead me to take the biggest risk of my life and becoming a member of Appraisal Camp Sedona.

Foto: Bryan on the right, Julie next to him, Jason Vargo on the left, with Tracy Terry next to him.
Julie and her 3 trainees!!

The response of friends and relatives

You can imagine the response I got when I told my friends and family that I was going to leave a secure job (health insurance, industry-leading pay, Covid-19 bonuses) to become a Real Estate Appraiser Trainee.

Read more!!

Posted in: trainees

Fact Witness vs. Expert Witness Appraisers

Excerpts: When a real estate appraiser is called to testify in a court, it could be as one of two types of witnesses. If you are called to testify as an appraiser, it’s important to determine at the time of the request which of the two types you will be: fact witness or expert witness appraisers.

A fact witness is one who testifies only to that of which he or she has firsthand knowledge and who describes only facts (as opposed to expressing opinions). There is no formal definition of a fact witness….

As an expert witness appraiser, you are allowed to express opinions. In fact, your opinions are the very reason for your testimony. The opinions are to be based on the expertise afforded by “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge.”

Short and well written. Includes legal references. To read more, click here

My comments: This is a never-ending hot issue for many appraisers. They don’t understand the difference. The difference is you get paid a minimal fee as a fact witness (similar to a witness of an auto accident, for example). As an expert witness, you are paid very well for prep for expert witness testimony, depositions, waiting outside the courtroom, and testifying. I have written about this in my paid Appraisal Today newsletter.

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal business, appraisal how to, appraisal waivers, COVID, fauci, hybrid appraisals, Mortgage applications, Strange homes, weird homes

Very unusual bathrooms for appraisers

Have you ever had the experience of visiting a place and discovering that its restroom is actually an incredibly designed curiosity in and of itself? 

Maybe it had a really cool entrance hidden behind a false bookcase, maybe it’s a bathroom that’s become a historic landmark 15, or maybe the layout and design of the entire space were simply unforgettable.. See these very unusual bathrooms for appraisers from all over the world!

Scenic views, very odd interiors, etc. Lots more great fotos plus some interesting comments.

The top floor of The Shilla Hotel in Seoul has a bathroom with a view.

 

Men’s bathroom at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. Home of very, very uniquely decorated rooms!!

To read more  and see some great photos., click here

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

To keep up on what is happening in appraisal businesses, mortgage lending, USPAP, etc. , Plus humor and strange homes, sign up for my FREE weekly appraisal email newsletter, sent since June 1994. Go to Home on the left side of the menu at the top of this page or go to www.appraisaltoday.com
Sign up in the Big Yellow Boxes

I regularly write about hot topics in appraising and appraisal business management issues
in my paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter.
$99 per year or (credit card only) $8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, or $89 per year.
For more info, go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products

 

Posted in: BATHROOMS

Crazy Appraiser Stories!!

What we all need… Here is one brief humorous escape!! 

Crazy Appraiser Stories!! You’ve all got them… The crazy car chases, the surprising living conditions, the exotic assignments, and the unique collectors….

 

The photo above is the Crazee Appraiser writing up his appraisal!

Here are a few stories

This was a beautiful 3,200 sq ft home with all the extras. After measuring, I was standing by the fireplace taking an interior photo being careful not to step on the expensive rug next to the hearth. The lady of the house looked a little alarmed, so I had to ask, “Is everything okay?”  “Oh yes, it’s just that the camera will have a click.”  I’ve heard weirder things, so after assuring her it was a very quiet click, the button went down, the picture was taken and the excitement started.

Something hit the back of my head; a soft, but very strong hit. The equivalent of a 10 mile an hour wind passed over my left shoulder and a shadow landed on the other side of the sofa which was 14’ in front of me. It seems that the fluffy 6’ rug was a once wild, African Savannah cat, stretching 6’ long as it napped on its belly. It looked like a leopard rug! With teeth longer than some fork tines, I was happy to let it hide in the bedroom, but she coaxed it out of hiding to demonstrate that it could easily jump 10’ high for a kitty treat.
– Carolyn S. Richards

Years ago I had an appraisal on a very exclusive island off the north shore of Long Island. There are about 100 homes at most and many celebrities and CEO’s live there. Homes are in the MULTI-million dollar range. When I arrived at the subject house, the owner answered the door. As I walked into a house, I noticed all the interior outer walls were covered with aluminum foil. When I gently asked the owner what the foil was for, he seriously told me that it was to keep out the rays from the aliens. It made for a very interesting valuation.
– Leigh Pollet

To read all the funny stories, click here

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

To keep up on what is happening in appraisal businesses, mortgage lending, USPAP, etc. , Plus humor and strange homes, sign up for my FREE weekly appraisal email newsletter, sent since June 1994. Go to Home on the right side of the menu at the top of this page or go to www.appraisaltoday.com
Sign up in the Big Yellow Boxes

I regularly write about hot topics in appraising and appraisal business management issues
in my paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter.
$99 per year or (credit card only) $8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, or $89 per year.
For more info, go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products

Posted in: FUN, humor

Common Appraiser Violations

Two of the common appraiser violations – Use of inappropriate sales and Use of unsupported site value

Excerpt: When it comes to common appraisal violations, certain minor violations are very common. In this article, I outline several examples of less serious breaches of development STANDARD 1 and reporting STANDARD 2—and a few other types of violations, too. I have compiled these based on many years of personal experience in appraisal regulation, as well as feedback I have received from other states’ enforcement agencies. Once you’re aware of these common mishaps, you should be able to avoid them more easily.

1. Use of inappropriate sales

One of the big problems is the use of inappropriate sales in a sales comparison approach….

2. Use of unsupported site value

Another common violation is the use of unsupported site value in the cost approach. That’s something that a lot of boards have cited as a prevalent deficiency or shortcoming in appraisal reports.

To read more click here

My comment: useful information. Nothing new, but good reminders. Don’t get the “violation letter” from your state board!!

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review(Opens in a new browser tab)

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, appraisal how to, Coronavirus, george dell, lender appraisals, Mortgage applications, real estate market, Strange homes

80 ft. long train car is part of home: appraisal?

80-Foot-Long Train Car Is Part of Washington Home: appraisal?

Excerpts: The former passenger-train car is about 80 feet long, 12 feet wide, and has been incorporated into the rest of the residence.

“[The first owners] connected it to the house, so you walk from the kitchen out into this train,” Anderson explains.

“You walk past the kitchen island and into a hallway where there is stained glass—and you walk into the train.”

To read more and see lots of interesting photos click here:

My comment: Sorry, I would Just Say No on this appraisal. Too busy now is my excuse. But really the appraisal would drive me crazy!!

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal, BATHROOMS, Coronavirus, COVID, fauci, humor, Mortgage applications, Strange homes

Appraisal Process Challenges

The Most Challenging Part of the Appraisal Process

Appraisal Process Challenges
Excerpts: Number 1: Data analysis (34%)

“When comps are limited, or when sales prices vary by as much as 50% for what appear to be very similar properties in the same neighborhood (which seems to be more and more common in the Denver metro area), selecting the best comparable properties can be a very time consuming and stressful process.”

Number 2. Site value opinion (17%)

“I choose ‘Site Value Opinion’ as the most challenging since there are very few vacant land sales in the areas that I appraise in. With very few sales, it’s very difficult to provide an opinion of value for many sites.”

To read more comments from appraisers and the other 7 challenging parts of the appraisal process click here

My comment: Lots of good appraiser comments. Data Analysis is my number one choice also. Tract homes are sorta boring but can be a welcome break from all the non-tract homes I appraise. Also, with Covid, I don’t connect with real estate agents every week at open houses to find out what is happening (behind the data).

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!(Opens in a new browser tab)

Common Appraiser Violations(Opens in a new browser tab)

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review(Opens in a new browser tab)

Read more!!

Posted in: appraisal business, appraisal how to, Coronavirus, COVID, fauci, Mortgage applications, unusual home

Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!

How to Handle the Weird Stuff: Appraisal Methods from an Experienced Florida Appraiser

Excerpt: Going further away or back in time

One method is to go further back in time for comparable sales.. Another method is to use sales that are more distant to find data to utilize. Both of these techniques have long been available to appraisers. When using these appraisal methods, most often a comparison is made between properties with similar characteristics to the question at hand to extract a ratio/percentage which is then brought current or to the locale and applied. This could work for the above illustration with only four houses on leased land and no similar nearby sales. Most appraisers are familiar with and have utilized these techniques… Appraising Weird Stuff is Challenging!

Well written and worth reading. To read more, click here

My comments: Lots of good tips. All of us are asked to appraise the “weird ones”. Of course, sometimes we don’t know a house is weird until we drive up and see it!! A very good discussion of methods. I have used all of them except the depreciated cost, which is a good method. Plus, lots of tips on doing them for lenders. Of course, sometimes I just say “no” as it will take too long.

I have learned that they often are money losers due to the increased time. This is what can happen with lender UAD appraisals for AMCs due to the excessive amount of questions and trying to fit the appraisal on the form. I sometimes accept the weird ones for non-lender work with no time pressures. They can be very interesting and challenging.

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

Common Appraiser Violations(Opens in a new browser tab)

Read more!!

Posted in: adjustments, ADUs, Coronavirus, COVID, fauci, humor, Mortgage applications, real estate market, unusual home