As always they call on trained, professional, licensed appraisers.
Or they used to until more and more AMC's owned by banks began cutting the pay appraisers get in half.
Oh, they'll still charge the buyer just as much as ever, but they'll pocket half the appraisers' fee.
Banks can barely be trusted to do what they are supposed to do.
My daughter is an appraiser. Her boss is a Review Appraiser - the trusted third party referree when
appraisers disagree. It's not easy in a market like this to define value. Appraisers are plotting
graphs in some markets where prices have gone into free fall. However, no one can see the bottom
until we hit. It takes a lot of time for a good Appraiser to do a good job.
We can know when the slide is slowing - that's when appraisals start coming in at close to sale price.
We are at that point here in the Indianapolis area - got here a few months ago. That's great news for
us, though our prices, both up and down, do not spike here as they do on the coasts and in resort
areas... Px Arizona area included.
There is a subcontext to your question that I responded emotionally to at the outset of my answer.
You and I are professionals. If the government came in and ordered us to work for half our wages,
we would lose our homes while trying to make up lost revenue, eventually abandoning all of our
years of training and experience to people who are happy to work for half because they don't have
the experience and won't put the necessary time into the work to produce reliable results. The
government is hurting the appraisers and will ultimately drive all the good ones out of business.
If that happens, values will again become indefinable, unreliable. Google: real estate appraisers
and see what comes up.
Hope that made sense,