Bifurcated Appraisals and Inspections Yes or No

Bifurcated appraisals – Yes or No??

What Fannie Says: Yes, of course

Interview with Lyle Radke Lyle Radke, Director of Collateral Policy at Fannie Mae

Excerpt: Fannie has spent the first half of 2019 detailing its plans to roll out the 1004P, a new desktop appraisal that will be based on a Property Data Collection report that is prepared by a third party inspector; this is part one. Fannie has indicated that it is currently testing appraisers, appraiser trainees, insurance inspectors, real estate agents, property preservation service professionals, and smart home service professionals as potential Property Data Collectors to determine “which labor force can best collect data,” including a “robust and accurate set of data elements, photos, and floor plan.” Bifurcated Appraisals and Inspections Yes or No is a controversial topic.

The more impactful revelation is that Fannie aims to replace the appraisal requirement completely where it can. In these scenarios, a property data collector, not necessarily a licensed appraiser, will inspect a home and report back on the condition of the property. Then, based on that property inspection report, a desktop appraisal may be ordered or the appraisal requirement might be waived altogether.

Many issues are discussed: Value Verify, appraiser aging, who will do inspections, etc.

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What Richard Hagar Says on Bifurcated:

No – A Train Wreck

Excerpt: We are hearing about the latest trend called bifurcated appraisals. Within the past year I’ve seen this term used more often in more diverse places than in the prior 20 years combined; it’s almost like some media company has decided that “bifurcated” is the “it” term for 2019. All sorts of people, AMCs, lenders, technology companies, and Fannie Mae are promoting this “spiffy” new process. They are hoping that the rest of us will “get on board” with their new “better” process.

I do not want to “get on board” because it’s headed for a train wreck.

Editor’s Note: Hagar’s bifurcated test in his office did not go well.

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My opinion: It is a business decision whether or not to do bifurcated appraisals. This month’s issue of Appraisal Today has an article on the topic, written by Julie Friess, SRA

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Are Human Appraisers Being Phased Out?

Are Human Appraisers Being Phased Out? Federal Regulators Vote to Loosen Requirements

Excerpt: What’s that drone doing hovering over a property?

Soon that sight may be the norm on homes for sale.

The days of human appraisers may be coming to an end for homes priced under $400,000, if regulation proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve gets approved.
Previously, only homes valued under $250,000 could be purchased or sold without the use of a human appraiser. That threshold is potentially being raised to $400,000, opening up more business for drone-monitored and computer-generated home valuations. The vote is nearly there, awaiting expected agreement from the Federal Reserve before the regulation takes effect.

While the appraisal industry is concerned the change could negatively impact real estate at large, the brokerage side of the business predicts the threshold hike should have minimal effects on homeownership and the home-buying experience.

Comments from many sides of the issue and lots of comments by readers.

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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.

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Appraisal Process Challenges

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Practical real estate appraisal writing tips for AMC questions

Write Like A Professional – Very Practical Writing Tips for AMC/underwriter questions

By Tim Andersen

Excerpt: QUESTION: I like to use the term, “in my professional opinion” as part of my reports. After all, I am a professional paid to express opinions. Recently, the reviewer for an AMC requested I remove that term from my report since, in her words, “…it has nothing to do with value”. Is the reviewer overreaching on this? The reviewer has the right to tell me if there is an error in my report, but not to criticize the language I use in my report. What should I do?

ANSWER: As Gertrude Stein was supposed to have said upon seeing Oakland, California for the first time: “There’s no there there!” For good or ill, the same may be said about many real estate appraisal reports and the convoluted language they insist on using…..

Excellent and practical. To read more click here

My comment: this is the best article I have ever seen for practical tips on how to reply to AMC/underwriter questions with lots of examples.

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Appraiser values are developed and are not guesses

Valuation Is Not A Guessing Game, It’s a Development Process

Excerpts: If you’ve ever had an appraisal of your home completed, perhaps you can relate to the following scenario. Appraiser values are developed and are not guesses.

The appraiser arrives at your home. You know that they have probably done a little research on what potentially comparable sales in the neighborhood are selling for.

The appraiser views each room in your home, taking photos and notes as they go. The appraiser asks you about any improvements you have made to your home in recent years.

At the end of the inspection, you assume that the appraiser has to have some idea about what the value is likely to be. You ask the appraiser, “Well…What do ya think?” What you’re probably really wanting to know is what the appraiser thinks your home is worth. At this point the appraiser is likely to give an evasive reply that doesn’t answer your question. Why?

To read more and see the funny animated fotos and gifs click here

My comment: written for homeowners, but some good ideas for appraisers. You can use for ideas for speaking to real estate agents, for example. Or, can give (or send) the owner a link to this article.

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Zillow CEO sold his home for 60 percent of the Zestimate

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Suburb not well defined for appraisals

How Should We Define the Suburbs?

Excerpt: The problem (lack of a definition) stems from the fact that U.S. statistical agencies (the Census Bureau and Office of Management and Budget) do not provide a systematic definition for suburbs. They offer classifications for metropolitan areas and micropolitan areas, a classification of urban and rural areas, and a category of principal cities, but nothing of the sort for suburbs. But, suburb not well defined for appraisals.

Very interesting with a good table To read more, click here

My comment: Appraisers have to identify on forms if a property is urban/suburban/rural. Also percent built up. Rural can affect loans sometimes. I have never seen any clear definitions. Now I know why!

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Price per square foot not very reliable for appraisals

Why price per square foot is not the appraisers choice

By Rachel Massey

Excerpt: Often, buyers and sellers are under the impression that it is simple to price a house by its square footage. Nothing is further from the truth, unless of course, all the comparable properties considered are within a couple square feet of each other and have the same quality and condition and are in the same immediate neighborhood with no variation in the value of the site.

Underneath all is the land. This means that a house that sits on a hypothetical 60×120 sqft site should have the same underlying value if the house were 1,000 sqft or 2,000 sqft. If land is selling for $50,000 for this 7,200 sqft lot, then the value of the land does not change in value because it has a larger or a smaller house on it.

For more information and to check out the graphs click here

My comment: Good explanation and graphs. Written for buyers and sellers but a good explanation when you are trying to explain why Price per sq.ft. often is not reliable. Also, a very good blog post marketing to buyers, sellers and real estate agents.

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When 1,000 square feet doesn’t count in an appraisal(Opens in a new browser tab)

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

Tax records and Square Footage in Appraisals(Opens in a new browser tab)

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Appraisals and Altered Listing Photos

Digitally-doctored listing photos are on the rise

Excerpts: It will cost $2.40 for a paint job, $24 to replace flooring, and $40 to remove a wall or add a swimming pool.

Digital photo manipulation has become so widespread and cheap that home sellers are increasingly using the technology to spruce up their listings, the Wall Street Journal reported. This has the potential to create new headaches for end users, investors, appraisers and brokers…

Furthermore, with federal regulators pushing for automated appraisals that will make use of online listings, the hazards of doctored images could be spread to the general public.

My comments: How do AVMs and CU deal with this? Appraisers can always contact the agent to confirm what the home looked like. CU robo emails/calls to agents and somehow integrate this into the data?

Lenders and AVMs are now using agent MLS comments. I recently spoke with an appraiser where the lender disputed one of her comps because the MLS mentioned it was “close to shopping” and she did not. Yes, it was very close to a historic shopping street, but there was little to no off street parking on this street, as it was taken up by employees in the stores. The comp had 9 off street parking places for 2 units and sold for a premium price. Typically there is 1 or 0 parking spaces per unit in the historic apartments on the comp’s street. I recently tried to go to an open house on the street. The closest parking space was 3 blocks away. I skipped the open house. The agents often mentioned “close to shopping” to say something positive about their listing’s location.

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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FHA appraisal problems

Common FHA Violations

Excerpt: I’ve been performing FHA appraisals since 2000. Believe it or not, on a regular basis, I have home owners and real estate agents who tell me that some of the things I point out as FHA violations, were never mentioned in other FHA appraisal inspections. So, I thought I would mention some relatively common FHA violations I see when making my FHA inspections.

My comment: Funny Fotos and Videos!! I have seen similar photos around but there are many here in one place. Written for home owners, but good reminders for appraisers.

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Common Appraiser Violations

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Geographic competency for appraisers

At What Point Does an Appraiser Need Geographic Competency?

Excerpt: It seems that some, and I emphasize some, agents are of the mindset that if the appraiser’s office is not in relatively close proximity to the property being appraised, or if the appraiser doesn’t live in a nearby area, that they do not possess geographic competency. And they may be right.

However, the appraiser’s office location or where they live, in relation to the property being appraised, has little if anything to do with geographic competency!

To be geographically competent simply means that the appraiser has the skills and resources needed in order to competently complete the assignment, in harmony with the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

My comments: Why has this become so important? Once again, Lenders Run Appraising. AMCs do what they say. They put restrictions on how far away appraisers could be from their offices. Similar to the restrictions on how far away, or recent, comps should be.

Before USPAP and lender meddling, I used to appraise a large geographic area. If you are an experienced appraiser it is not hard to figure out neighborhoods, positive and negative factors, and read MLS for clues. Plus, contact local real estate agents and appraisers if needed.

I have been doing appraisals only in my small city for the past 2-3 years. The longer I appraise, the more I realized what I don’t know. I can hardly keep up with my very local market. Maybe I should only appraise within 2 blocks of my office ;> I go on tour every week but sometimes I miss a house if there area lot to see. Of course, that is always my best comp!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

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