Why appraisers should use graphs

Using graphs: why are they so important?

By George Dell, MAI

Excerpts: Graphs provide the way for the human brain and the computer to connect. And why is that important? Why appraisers should use graphs.

Computers are really good at certain things. They can handle lots of data and can quickly carry out complex instructions (algorithms) with no mistakes, with perfect memory. They also work well with no sleep. These are things the human brain does not do well.

Humans are good at other things. We make decisions and solve problems based on “massively parallel processing” systems. These are our ‘common sense’, instincts, and broad knowledge of the topic at hand.

These can be called imagination, creativity, and even belief-based inspiration.

“Computers can outperform humans on certain specialized tasks, such as playing [the game] go or chess, but no computer program today can match human general intelligence,”

To read more, click here

My comment: Great explanation of why graphs are important for humans, including AMCs if they have any human reviewers to see the graphs.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

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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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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.

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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)

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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)

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Favorite parts of the appraisal process

What’s your favorite part of the appraisal process?

Excerpt:

Number 1. Data collection and property description (38%)

“The best part is the property review. I enjoy seeing what people have done to their properties and talking to them about their homes.”

“I enjoy viewing/observing the subject home.”

“Detective work”

“Each dwelling is different, and not every appraiser takes the time to clarify the differences in the dwellings. The quality, the construction, the egresses, and especially the correct way to calculate GLA or measure a dwelling.”

Number 2. Data analysis (27%)…

To read more about favorites, click here

My comment: I love working in the field, so my choice is Number 1. But, my very best choice is getting paid ;>

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

What is the farthest you have traveled to complete an appraisal and still be considered geographically competent?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Defiant vs. Compliant Appraisers?

Excerpt: Believe or don’t believe. Is there a parallel between appraisals and how people respond to pandemic warnings? Defiant vs. Compliant Appraisers?

Appraisal reviewers decide whether an appraisal is “worthy of belief” (“credible”) or not. Similarly, people decide whether to believe in the need for public health orders.

Steven Dinkin (president of the National Conflict Resolution Center) recently had some observations on the public’s response to the pandemic, dividing people into two groups: defiant or compliant. What is interesting is that each group has a belief that their thinking is the right thinking. Their opinion is the right opinion.

Let’s look first at the “defiants.” Some of these are defiant out of economic necessity – money. The need to eat can trump health risk. (Especially if the health risk is to other nameless strangers. “They have to take care of themselves.”) Guess what – food on the table comes first…

To read more, click here

My comment: I see a lot of appraiser comments online on both sides of controversial issues, including sometimes “sharp words”. Fortunately, almost all online appraisal places I go are moderated. Very negative or “flaming” posts are deleted. Sometimes appraisers are removed from the group after a few warnings.

The June issue of the monthly Paid Appraisal Today will have an article on this topic: “How to connect with appraisers online. What’s the best way for you?” I last wrote about this in January 2018. There have been a lot of changes since then!!

George Dell had a much longer article in the May issue of the Paid Appraisal Today.

Strange Appraisal Terms(Opens in a new browser tab)Humor

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

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The Sculptured House: An Appraisal Challenge

The Sculptured House


Motoring down the scenic drive west on Highway 70, away from Denver, Colorado, into the foothills and sprawling mountains, an odd structure appears south of the freeway. An oval shape seems to float just above the trees at the top of a cliff, looking at the highway below. It would be understandable to think you’ve spotted a UFO, since the Sculptured House is known for its sci-fi history. The Sculptured House Is An Appraisal Challenge !!

To read more, click here

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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

Appraisal Process Challenges(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals

13516718 – white wood texture with natural patterns

Tax Records is not the definitive source for square footage!

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt:

Why is the appraiser saying it’s only 1,400 sq ft? Tax Records shows the home is 600 sq ft larger. This issue comes up ALL the time, so let’s talk about it. Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals is a hot topic.

The truth: The Assessor’s records are generally reliable, but I’m just saying sometimes they’re not. Why is this? At times it’s as simple as the original builder not turning in accurate information when a house was built. Or maybe an owner took out permits but official records were never updated. Of course we’ve all seen instances where the tax roll shows two units on one lot, but there’s really just one house nowadays. Let’s not forget sometimes owners do an addition without permits, so the Assessor might actually be correct even though the house is technically larger or has even sold on MLS as a larger home. For reference, here are ten reasons why an appraiser’s sketch might be different.

For lots of comments and more info, click here

My comment: This one of the main reasons that AVMs will never be very successful for all homes. Over and over again, statistical analysis shows GLA is the most important physical feature overall.

Also, how bedrooms are determined varies a lot, depending on the local market and can vary over time. The assessor number of bedrooms may not match the appraiser’s. For example, tandem rooms. Finished basements can vary also.

I started appraising at a CA assessor’s office in 1976. In CA, State Board of Equalization regulated county assessors offices, so the procedures and terminology are very similar all over the state. However, GLA from the assessor may have different requirements than other sources, such as ANSI.

Proposition 13 passed in 1979, which only allowed an annual 2% increase in assessment per year, unless there was a sale or improvements (determined by permits). Over time, the information has become more and more out of date.

Data is not available for smaller counties if the assessor says it is confidential. Until the 90s, my county did not release any data, so I had to “guesstimate” on square footage for sales and listings. We finally got it when an MAI was elected assessor.

In the early 90s, I researched assessors records around the country. In some small rural counties the records were kept at the assessor’s home. They were not digitized and available for purchase by data companies.

Appraisers need to know which areas are not accurate. Sometimes GLA is “political”. Within a city, accuracy can vary. In my city the least accurate records are in the “Gold Coast” with many of the city’s larger, historic homes. In other nearby cities, some properties have low GLAs to keep the property taxes lower.

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?(Opens in a new browser tab)

How accurate is the reported square footage from the tax records in your primary service area?(Opens in a new browser tab)

10 reasons why public records and the appraiser’s square footage can differ(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraiser Work Stress Humor

8 Funny Quotes About Appraiser Work Stress

Just For Fun!!

Excerpts: Real estate appraisal is an exciting and enjoyable profession—for the most part. But every appraiser knows that the job can be stressful at times, especially for those who are self-employed. If you’re having a hectic or frustrating day on the job, it helps to have a sense of humor. Here are some super funny quotes about work stress that we hope will brighten your day. Appraiser Work Stress Humor is what we all need!!

A few quotes

“‘Yay! It’s the weekend!’ Said nobody who is self-employed.”

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Very creative gifs! Sorry, they don’t work in these emails. To see them, click here

My comment: Very Funny and Realistic!

Appraisal Humor

Appraisal business tips

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To read about lots more appraisal topics, continue reading below!

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