Monthly Archive: May 2017

Paying Too Much For Appraisals? 36

Paying Too Much For Appraisals?

Why am I paying more than TWICE the amount paid to the appraiser? I was recently charged/paid $750.00 to have the appraisal completed on the home I was purchasing. With the fees and costs associated with obtaining a mortgage, the appraisal fee was one of little to no concern to me BUT then I received a copy of my appraisal. In accordance with local regulations, the appraiser disclosed the amount he was paid to do the appraisal… $275.00 minus a $15.00 technology fee. I thought to myself why am I paying more than TWICE the amount paid to the person...

Zillow Gone Wild 20

Zillow Gone Wild

Some very interesting news is surrounding Zillow… A lawsuit over Zestimates has now gone to a class action status. This will have rippling effects on each and every state and expand the liability to not only licensing, but privacy and consumer fraud. Read about this change here. Excerpt from the article titled “Class-action suit aims to halt Zestimates in Illinois”: “The Zestimates that Zillow posts are misleading and pose as accurate appraisals in violation of Illinois’ legal description of an appraisal, according to the complaint filed by three members of the Patel family and Schaumburg-based CastleBldrs.com. They claim homebuyers read...

Human Brain, AMC app & Appraisers - Bend Over & Ask for More 49

Bend Over and Ask for More…

GUILTY of not using human brain power of thinking and communicating… More Please… How many of you can honestly state with all sincerity the appraiser is better off today with the use of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs)? How many of you can say with all sincerity the consumer is being protected with the use of an AMC? How many of you can, with all sincerity state your business model is how you want it? How many of you are happy with the current environment of the industry? If you answered yes, congratulations, you have found your peace. You should stop reading...

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature 29

LRES Wants Your Digital Signature

Do NOT send your digital signature! I just received the following message from LRES (AMC) requesting I send my digital signature to them. I think this message should get out to all appraisers immediately. I don’t know if any other appraisers received this message however I would strongly suggest that you do NOT send your digital signature to this AMC or anyone else. I hope you all understand the possible problems this could open you up to, including forgery, fraud and many other illegal activities. If you have any doubts just call your E&O insurance and ask them what they...

SettlementOne Valuation & Dart Appraisal Disciplined by VREAB 31

Virginia is NOT Playing Around!

Two AMCs Disciplined by VREAB… At the May 16, 2017, Virginia Real Estate Appraisers Board Meeting two AMC’s were disciplined by the Board. SettlementOne Valuation Corporation was disciplined in Mississippi, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all for unlicensed activity within those states. SettlementOne was required to report the disciplinary action to Virginia within 30 days, which they did not. The Virginia Real Estate Appraisers Board imposed a $2,500 monetary penalty for these violations of the Boards Regulations. Dart Appraisal was disciplined in Minnesota for providing an estimate of value on the engagement letter to the appraiser. Dart Appraisal was required to report...

Legislators Supportive of Appraiser Issues 5

Legislators Supportive of Appraiser Issues

We need supportive legislators! June 13th is an important date for Virginia Appraisers The Republican Primary is June 13, 2017. VaCAP does not care if you are Republican, Democrat or Independent. We do however; think it is important for you to know of several candidates that are supportive on appraiser issues: Senator Frank Wagner is running for Governor of Virginia. Senator Wagner introduced the successful AMC legislation for 30 day payments to appraisers that goes into effect July 1, 2017. Although the bill for using only third party fees when calculating customary and reasonable fees to appraisers did not move forward,...

Photographs in Reports & 2 Refers 12

Photographs in Appraisal Reports

Photographs, 2 refers & Nat’l RE Appraiser’s Day… I’ve been asked to formally review a recent report. When looking over the report pages, the subject photo pages contain a mix of horizontal and vertical photographs, about half ‘n half. And there are lots of subject photos. Bear in mind, most report photo pages are formatted for horizontal photographs. It appears to me the appraiser used a smart phone for photos, as there would be no normal tendency to hold a regular camera vertically except in rare occasions to emphasize height of some feature. But people do that with phones. The...

AMC Apps Do Nothing But Promote Fast and Cheap Appraisals 11

Appraisers Need to Rethink How to Conduct Business

AMC apps and text messaging does nothing but promote fast and cheap. Last week we learned of a lawsuit file by an appraiser against an AMC and its owner. The allegations are his personal and business email accounts were illegally accessed and the investigation lead back to an AMC located in Rockville, Maryland and its owner. (You know who it is, no need to mention any names.) This news angered many appraisers as our personal space, property and livelihoods have been violated. In case you missed the story, you definitely want to learn about it. There are several good sources...

CoesterVMS AMC & Brian Coester Sued by Mark Skapinetz, Appraiser 14

Coester Sued by Appraiser

CoesterVMS & Brian Coester have a questionable history with the law… According to a lawsuit filed against CoesterVMS and Brian Coester by appraiser Mark Skapinetz on April 20, 2017, Brian Coester and CoesterVMS have illegally accessed (hacked) his email accounts. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Stored Communication Act, Trespass to Chattel, and Trespass to Land, Conversion, Fraud, and Invasion of privacy. Mark Skapinetz is a Certified Residential Appraiser in Georgia that owns a very active private Facebook page with over 700 members. Mr. Skapinetz has been very vocal about appraisers being treated unfairly by AMC’s and advocates for appraisers.

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