Monthly Archive: October 2014

Down the Rabbit Hole with the Form 1004MC 5

Down the Rabbit Hole with the Form 1004MC

OK, I admit it. I am old school. I still think you need to understand how to do something manually before you throw caution to the wind and buy into new technology to replace a good, old-fashioned, hands-on process that has worked fine for years. I honestly believe the use of technology without a complete understanding of how to do the basic process manually just lets us make more frequent and more complicated mistakes faster. In other words, if you can’t drive a Chevy Nova very well, don’t buy a Maserati Ghibli and expect it to fix your driving problems....

1

Appraiser and Client Trust Factor

We are professionals and should be treated with the same respect and trust that other professionals are afforded. Relationships are important. The bonds we form with a spouse, children, friends, or business associates can be powerful and a strength. When trust is broken, however, deep challenges emerge.  Divorce, separation, or permanent dissolution can be the end result when someone’s integrity is on the line. The trust factor between an appraiser and the client is essential if professionalism and continued business is to be amicable. Last month, I wrote an article about taking drive-by and comp pictures. The comment boards lit up. Most appraisers agreed...

3

Historic Meeting of State Appraiser Organizations

Representatives of several independent state professional appraiser organizations met in Chicago, Illinois on Saturday October 11th, to further discuss collaboration on issues affecting their membership. The network, which started as a conversation among three State appraiser organizations less than a year ago, now comprises 16 such State Organizations which is expected to continue growing. The group, which functions as a network rather than a formal organization is unique in its focus and operation. The network has no single elected leader but is comprised of leaders from each participating state organization; it is self-governing by consensus. Participating organizations do not pay...

10

Working for an AMC? How Exciting!

Can You Tell I’m Excited about working for an Appraisal Management Company? Today I received a notice telling me my best customer was changing over to an AMC for all their appraisal ordering. I have worked for this company for many years and have always enjoyed a great relationship. Today that ended. I can longer talk to any person at the bank. In my application to continue working for this company I have worked with for so long, I have to provide sample reports, a resume, three business references, license info, info about CE classes I have taken. I have...

Virginia Study on Customary & Reasonable Fees for Residential Appraisals 1

Residential C&R Fees Study in Virginia

Virginia Study on Customary & Reasonable Fees for Residential Appraisals BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 7, 2014 – Virginia Tech researchers and students conducted a survey of Virginia residential real estate appraisers to analyze the patterns of fees earned in 2013. Prior to the release of this report, no data existed that defined “customary and reasonable” residential real estate appraisal fees in Virginia. This report is the third report of its type to be conducted in the United States, and the first in Virginia. The research was conducted in response to recent amendments to the Truth in Lending Act modified by the...

3

Adjustments – Your Opinion Doesn’t Count

Regulations state that appraisal adjustments cannot be based upon an appraiser’s opinion. According to federal and state law, adjustments must be based on support and evidence- proof if you will, and an appraiser’s opinion is not considered to be “support.” Many appraisers have failed to support their adjustments and as a result have had their licenses revoked, penalties assessed and lawsuits lost, all because the they failed to understand a single but important requirement. Think about your appraisals. Are the adjustments based on your opinion or do you have proof of the adjustment in your workfile? Then one day I...

4

Declaration of Appraisal Independence

Real Estate Appraisers of America: Declare appraiser independence by prohibiting lenders from having any ownership or stake in the real estate appraisal process. This declaration of the real estate appraisal workers of the United States of America and those who stand together with the appraisal industry is made subject to the understanding that commercial and financial events guide growth and development of society, and that financial products and services are integral to the necessary and successful health of our citizens.  It is further understood and recognized that the fair and independent valuation of underlying assets backing financial products are critical...

2

When Does a Closet Become a Room?

When is a closet a room? In most cases, interior closets are included within the total finished square footage. But, when the closet measures 12 x 20, and does not have any heat/air ducts, is it a closet or is it really a separate unheated room? Should it be counted in the total finished square footage, or should it be included within the unfinished category? According to ANSI®, the space must be heated and cooled by a central HVAC system and a closet typically serves a specific bedroom/space. If you really look through ANSI® there is not an answer to...

10

Drive By Comp Pictures and Appraisers Safety

Rethinking Drive By Comp Pictures I posted the following true (and scary) experience on Facebook a few days ago: “I just had to file a police report. I was taking a picture of a house from the street for a drive-by pre-foreclosure. The owner ran out of the home and stood in front of my car. He demanded to know what I was doing. He walked around to the driver’s window, and I calmly explained to him that I was taking a picture for the bank. He got very verbally abusive and demanded to know why. I told him it was...

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