Follow-up to unfair appraisal question...

Asked by Chelsea S, Ventura, CA Wed Jul 8, 2009

The house is a split-level so is the bottom level really considered a basement? The addition was added to the top of the house; when we bought the house the tax records said:
Bedrooms 3
Full Baths 2
Half Baths
Number of Fireplaces 1
# Basement Bedrooms/Dens 1

One of these baths was in the "basement" . We added a bath to the 3rd floor, now it should be a 3/3 minimum. But really it's a 4/3. I know I won't get 100% ROI on the addition but it should be more than 0%. I'm more concerned about the appraiser's FACTS then the appraised value they're giving me right now. My agent isn't fighting very hard for this either and thought we would consider being upside down on it, because of a discrepancy in the tax records and the appraiser's unwillingness to look at fair comps.

Also I've been led to believe there's a huge backlog for tax re-assessments, like over a year. Obviously I can't wait that long...

Thanks to everyone who has already responded.

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Sonal Goda, Agent, Chantilly, VA
Wed Jul 8, 2009
Hi Csutula - there is a big difference between an appraisal and a tax assessment.

Getting the tax record corrected would simply mean that your property taxes would increase. The tax assessment does not represent the fair market value of your home.

The appraisal does represent the fair market value of your home and should have involved the appraiser visiting the inside of your home - should not just be based on just what the tax record says.

You can also order a second appraisal and make sure it will be an appraiser that will visit the inside of the property.

Make sure you are working with an agent that is aggressive on your behalf. The process of selling a home is a huge undertaking - the agent representing you should be someone who is meeting your expectations.
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The Mulhern…, Agent, Fairfax, VA
Wed Jul 8, 2009
Here is the only thing I can see you have a shot on getting approved for with the state of the current appraisal market. Find out if the appraisal was done by an out of town appraiser. Was the appraisal done with a visit or done as a drive by/computer valuation. If it was an out of town appraiser, then you may have a chance using this clause in the HVCC rules: The preface is that a lender may not:
(9) ordering, obtaining, using, or paying for a second or subsequent appraisal or automated valuation model (AVM) in connection with a mortgage financing transaction unless: (i) there is a reasonable basis to believe that the initial appraisal was flawed or tainted and such basis is clearly and appropriately noted in the loan file, or (ii) unless such appraisal or automated valuation model is done pursuant to written, pre-established bona fide pre- or post-funding appraisal review or quality control process or underwriting guidelines, and so long as the lender adheres to a policy of selecting the most reliable appraisal, rather than the appraisal that states the highest value

You might have a chance also stating that the tax records are inaccurate to the property especially if an in-home appraisal was done incorrectly. The problem is that as a seller you are left holding the bag since the appraisal is property of the buyer and sticks with the property if the buyer walks away. I know that there are some adjustments being made to this law which was another swift but inaccurate reaction to the market place. The problem is that we are all adjusting to these new rules and there is no direction/guidance from our fearless leaders in Washington. Good luck - I would like to be kept in the loop as to what happens. The four appraisals that we have had come in low recently all adjusted their sales price.

Jimmy Mulhern
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