Appraisals Obsolete Now or Later?

Is Appraisal Obsolete?

By George Dell SRA, MAI, ASA, CRE
Excerpt: Obsolete! Such a harsh word. Can it be?
Is the problem convolution?
Does it mean I will soon be obsolete? Not needed? Not loved? Terrible. What can be done?
Yet all the little signs are pointing that way. “Automated” valuation models have much of the market, and continue to gain. Other valuation methods and appraisal exempted transactions continue to grow. Evaluations, desktops, hybrids, auto-measurements, non-appraiser inspections, broker opinions.
To read more, click here
My comment: Another different perspective from George Dell! Check out “Appraisal startup Aloft closes $20M Series A” above! Not the first, and not the last, appraisal-related company to get millions in funding. Who needs experienced field appraisers when we have AVMs, hybrids, etc.?

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 Zillow, marketing tips, Freddie and Fannie new loan limits, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Zillow Quits Buying Homes – Their AVM Did Not Work Well!

A ‘Fail’ Stamp vector over a white background.

Zillow Quits Buying Homes – AVM Did Not Work Well!!!

Two appraisers comment – Jonathan Miller and Ryan Lundquist

Goodbye Zillow
By Ryan Lundquist
Some of the topics:
  • Failure despite massive price increases
  • Zillow losing isn’t about the market
  • The school of hard knocks
  • Public perception
  • Cannot smell the cats: I gave a quote to Money.com last week, and I was especially excited they used my “Zillow cannot smell if 20 cats live there…” line.
To read more, click here
My comment: I love the “20 cats” comment. I appraised a house with at least that many cats. They were on all the tops of dressers, cabinets, etc., Very Creepy! I still have nightmares about it sometimes. A volunteer owned it for a local animal shelter. She had a large outdoor enclosure. Did not smell, but…
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By Jonathan Miller

Zillow Offers As A Proxy For ‘Big Data’ Shows The Lack Of Qualitative Analysis

Yes, big data usually infers ‘quantitative’ analysis, as in “relying on numbers.” The Zestimate legacy of profound inaccuracy finally reached a devastating conclusion with the collapse of Zillow Offers this week and the loss of hundreds of millions in shareholder…
Yes, big data usually infers ‘quantitative’ analysis, as in “relying on numbers.” The Zestimate legacy of profound inaccuracy finally reached a devastating conclusion with the collapse of Zillow Offers this week and the loss of hundreds of millions in shareholder equity. Zillow never figured out the qualitative part that enables the actual precision in the pricing of a home sale.
To read more, click here
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This Just In: The ‘A’ in ‘Zillow’ Stands for ‘Accuracy’
Excerpt: Yet it would seem unlikely that Zillow Offers used something completely separate and conceptually very different from their ‘Zestimate’ because it would be quite expensive and extremely difficult to keep a radical new valuation concept a complete secret. All we know at this point is whatever valuation methodology they used was a complete fail. And to go a step further their Zestimate valuation methodology has long been a complete failure in the accuracy department. But it hasn’t been a complete failure in the consumer credibility department at all.
To read more and see fun videos, click here

Zillow (in) accuracy(Opens in a new browser tab)

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 unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Dr. Seuss House aka The Goose Creek Tower

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Homes with Major Structural Problems for Appraisers

Homes with structural problems for appraisers

Take a break and see some very strange things that can happen!!

Excerpt: For nearly 30 years, Alpha Structural, Inc. has developed a powerful reputation as the number one foundation engineering and repair, landslide repair, earthquake, and structural rehabilitation contractor in the Los Angeles area.

In this post, they share photos from its engineers’ day-to-day work, including all the funniest, most bizarre, and downright dangerous things they discover.

To check out the text, photos, very humorous comments, and leave your own comments, Click Here !!

My comments: I have appraised a lot of hillside homes and seen a lot of foundation damage, including strange ways people try to keep the damage from getting worse. One house was slowly moving down the hill. I appraised it as land value plus interim use as a rental (a very slow market at that time). Many thanks to long-time appraiser and friend (30+ years), John Regan, for this Most Excellent Link,!!Getting too many ad-only emails?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

 

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on subpoenas, pets, Zillow, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Appraisal Original Comp Photos

Original Comp Photos: Dangerous, Unnecessary

by Damian Downie

Excerpts: As I do many times a day, I was taking comparable (comp) photos for an appraisal. This one in particular is a condominium, so I was taking photos of two condos in a competing complex. There was a gate into the property, so I stopped across the street and snapped a photo of the gate.

Three minutes later, about a mile from the site, I looked over to my right out the passenger window, and I saw a man holding his phone up and pointing it at me. I asked him what he was doing and he angrily asked me why I was taking pictures of his car.

To read more plus the 59+ appraiser comments and add your own comment, click here

My comments: Always a hot, hot topic!! We’ve all got appraiser stories about comp photos (dogs, police, crazy people chasing you down the street, locked gates, etc., etc.)!! After 45 years of appraising I am never bored. There is always something new or weird that I see ;> My scariest experience (for the subject) was when two large Dobermans broke through the screen door of a mobile home and came after me. I got back into my car and told my client to get another appraiser!!

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

Click here to subscribe to our FREE weekly appraiser email newsletter and get the latest appraisal news!!

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on , mortgage origination stats, Covid tips for appraisers, etc

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Working with difficult appraisal clients

Advice for Working with Difficult Appraisal Clients

Excerpt: Even if the bulk of your appraisals are fairly cut and dried, and require minimal interaction with a human client, any appraiser will occasionally have to work with a difficult client. The assignment might require you to work with a specialty property that is hard to appraise, or with a client who is personally disagreeable, or exceptionally exacting, or who has an agenda that you don’t understand or can’t go along with. Here are some tips for working with difficult clients. Three of the topics:

– Working with AMCs and banks: Time management

– Working with non-lenders: Expectations management

– Deal with complaints immediately

To read the tips, click here

My comment: Some great, practical tips!! Maybe I will try some of them instead of Firing clients, my most popular option ;>

My motto: Appraising would be great except for the darn clients!!

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(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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Angle Measurements for Appraisers

Accurate Measurements with Odd Angles

Excerpt: Imagine a 2,100 square foot, one and a half story house with an attached garage, porch, and deck. You probably imagined the typical bungalow. Now, imagine that house having 48 corners and only 4 of them are 90 degrees. I recently had an experience with just that house. Some architect, thinking they were Frank Lloyd Wright reincarnated, decided to build this house on a high bank cliff overlooking the Puget Sound. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty cool design, but I knew right away when I received the order for that appraisal that I was going to need some help.

To read more, click here Lots of reviews of the product, plus other similar products.

My comment: $19.95. An inexpensive product we all need!! They have been around for awhile, but most appraisers did not know about them. I appraise a lot of Victorians. Very useful!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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Join the National Appraisers Online Forum

National Appraisers Forum

By Dave Towne

Excerpt: Appraisers, if you would like to learn from highly qualified peers (other than me! :), post questions, or offer your own comments, consider joining the FREE group, National Appraisers Forum (NAF). Use this link.

This is one of the best appraiser groups as all commentary is respectful. While not everyone always agrees with certain points, the discussions are not demeaning. There is a wealth of info participants share freely on a wide number of topics. The group has several moderators who monitor the posting activity.

One key point, NAF participants are not anonymous. You must use your name (at a bare minimum) when participating, which is required when signing up… Moderators are asking that anyone who wants to join should give their name as licensed, the state they are in, and their license number.

To read more, click here

My comments: This is my favorite appraiser online group! I get many emails from various sources for this newsletter and have been a member of many online communication places. Before the internet was widely available, I hosted live chats on aol and compuserve. Since then I have watched many online places. Unfortunately, just like any other topic, sometimes the groups end up doing lots of “flaming” (attacking another participants, etc.), negative comments, off topic, politics, etc. I quit going to these places.

Of all the groups I have subscribed to, National Appraisers Forum is the best for me. I have been a member since it started, or soon after. No complaining about AMCs, off topic, trolling and flaming, etc. The founder, Steve Smith, and the moderators keep it this way. Regular contributors are “high end” appraisers with many years of experience. Hot topics are often discussed.

There are well-managed appraisal groups on Facebook, but it is too hard for me to follow the threads, so I don’t go there very often. But, it may work for you. Join the National Appraisers Online Forum!

Another major factor is that you must use your real name, so we know who is commenting. Allowing anonymous postings can easily decay into a mess.

I will be updating my article ” How to connect with other appraisers online. What’s the best group for you? ” in a future issue of the paid Appraisal Today discussing other email chat groups, how to find other groups or start your own, Facebook, etc.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

How to communicate with appraisers online

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Zoning in the Appraisal Process

Highest and Best Use – Residential Appraisers Need To Understand It!

Excerpt: There are many valuation products out there. CMA’s, BPO’s and AVM’s to name a few. What you will likely not see in those kinds of valuations, is the specific zoning class for the property being valued. Why? Zoning in the Appraisal Process is very important.

With these types of valuations, a highest & best use (HBU) analysis is generally not made. However, if you hire an appraiser to value your home, we will perform this analysis. What is a highest & best use analysis? Why is it important in the development of an opinion of value? How is zoning involved?

To read more and see the fun animated gifs click here

My comments: My Most Frequent Residential Appraisal Rant!! I started at an assessor’s office in 1975. The First, and Most Important, Question was “What is the highest and best use?” In 1986 I started doing residential lender work. The form was just a check box for HBU. If you checked No, it was a big problem for the lender. Many residential appraisers don’t check the zoning, general plan, etc. One good way is to just drive around and see what is happening. For example, lots of small homes being torn down and McMansions being built. Or, lots of houses on a busy street converted to office uses. Or, a small house on a big lot with apartments all around it. A common residential issue is a possible lot split.

Don’t forget the General (Or Specific) Plan. It tells you what the city wants today and in the future for land use, which is not discussed in this article.

I have appraised a lot of older commercial properties for lenders, which often had a HBU different than the current use. I discussed it in my appraisals.

When there is a big difference in value between two appraisals, it is often due to a difference in opinion of HBU. Don’t get into trouble. Be sure to think about HBU!! If you’re not sure, contact an experienced appraiser, particularly one who does a lot of non-lender work and/or commercial appraisals.

In the Feb. 2017 issue there is an excellent article written for residential appraisers by Denis Desaix, “Residential Highest and Best Use Analysis: more than Just a “Check box” available to paid subscribers. See below.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Appraisal Process Challenges

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Measuring Bi-level homes square footage

 

GLA Issues When Appraising Split & Bi-Levels… Where The Ground Meets the Wall

Excerpt: When it comes to appraising split-level and bi-level dwellings, trying to calculate the gross living area (GLA) can be tricky. If you’re trying to figure out what the gross living area of one of these types of homes is, there are some important things to consider. For example, where the ground meets the exterior wall of a particular level. Measuring Bi-level homes square footage is tricky.

In real estate, the line at which the ground intersects with the foundation of a home, is called a grade or grade line. Did you know that where the ground meets the exterior wall of a level, can have a direct impact on value? How so? Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of it, shall we?…

To read more, click here

My comment: Very comprehensive, well written, article. Don’t miss the fun “split” video at the end. Hint: be sure to watch until 1 minute mark.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 https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

Why Don’t Real Estate Agents Measure Houses?  Humor

What is Included in Appraisal Square Footage?

Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals

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Appraisal vs Zillow vs AVM which is best

Appraiser vs. AVM vs. Zestimate… Ten Properties

Excerpt: On a regular basis, my opinion of value of a property I am appraising, is frighteningly similar to an AVM’s value. While that is the case, as you will see in this article, that is not always the case. You might be wondering what an AVM is? AVM stands for Automated Valuation Model. It is a computer program that uses mathematical modeling to derive a value based upon the data it is provided.
In this article I differentiate the typical AVM from Zillow’s Zestimate because Zillow claims to be more accurate than other AVM’s, due to the technology they use. Zillow’s Zestimate is an AVM.
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My comment: Try this on appraisals you have recently done and see the accuracy in your market. Read the article comments and leave your comment.

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