How do you get an appraiser to adjust his initial assumptions on what your house is worth? He is using older

Asked by Pete, 07075 Wed Jan 9, 2008

comparables to bring the price down from the most recent and relevant. I have already paid for the appraisal and rather not pay again for another appraiser who may do the same thing. It feels like the appraisers are afraid to put anything "high" because of all the over-appraising that went on for the past few years.

He sent me all the comps he is using (9), 3 of which are truly comparable (or even a little worse) 0.2 - 0.7 miles from my house and between 1-4 months old. Of the remaining 6, 1 looks like a foreclosure sale and 5 are older than 6 months and do not compare in size. There are not too many comps as it is a small town and this is a 2-family home.

I am preparing an explanation as to why he needs to re-evaluate the numbers, those 6 homes are bringing down the appraisal by over 15%. Is there something I am missing? I tried to get the mortgage broker to talk to him and he's saying "ethics..." What's unethical about appraising a house for it's true comparable value?

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Melanie Nard…, , San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Appraising is a very challenging profession, especially in declining markets, and in most states there is stringent licensing and education requirements. You can certainly call the appraiser to discuss the final report, but the truth is you don't have any control over market -- you have control over how you price your home and its condition (I do tell sellers to treat an appraisers visit as if it were a buyer tour -- sparkling clean and a cookie scented candle!). The report will adjust each comparable as to size, number of baths, views, etc. Appraising when there are not many comps requires different appraisal approaches that a professional will use, not just comps are reflected in the report is my guess. Have the appraiser walk you through the questions you have, but be diplomatic and view it as a learning session, appraisers don't usually change their opinion. You could also have another appraiser conduct an appraisal and produce a report, they may have differing opinions.
The "ethics" part of your question is that the loan originator cannot appear to be biasing the appraiser -- we all have our separate jobs to do in the transaction; the appraiser does appraisals, the mortgage broker provides lending, agents do the communicating -- and if we all do our jobs right, with ethics as the rules, we won't need to bring in the lawyers.
2 votes
Tman, , 30642
Wed Jan 9, 2008
I've been through this more than once ... look around and talk to a few people and spend the money and get yourself a new appraiser - simple.

Like my great Grand Daddy used to say: ". quite tripping over dollars to get to those dimes ."

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Christopher…, Agent, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Wed Jan 9, 2008
Have another appraisal or have a CMA prepared!
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Jill And Ron…, , Easton, Nazareth PA
Wed Jan 9, 2008
It is a tough time for appraisers as well as homeowners these days. I would talk with the appraiser about your concerns with regard to comps and see if you or he can come up with any other comps that might support your hunch. Do you know any Realtors in the area who you might call upon to help by going over some comps with you? I have been called upon in the past by home owners and have always obliged. Maybe you could gently sugges the appraiser take a look at these when taking into account the comps. I am not sure this will do much, but there is a possibility it may help. Best of luck to you.
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