Oh My God, Don’t Talk to Me!!!

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I was amused at a phone message that was on my voice mail recently. A realtor spent 3 minutes apologizing for the phone call, explaining that she understood she was not allowed to speak to appraisers anymore for fear she might sway the appraisal process. The funniest part was that while she did tell me which file the message was regarding, she failed to leave her phone number.

Are realtors, loan officers allowed to talk to appraisers? Can the appraisal be discussed?

Okay. I am sorry, but has this world lost its freaking mind? Yes, there is a world out there that tries to manipulate the decisions of licensed objective professionals, like appraisers, federal regulators, financing rating agencies and the like – and as professionals we must be hyper vigilant in our efforts to objectively approach each appraisal problem in a manner that does not favor any one side – but people, at what point did having a conversation with a Realtor or a loan officer or any other person “from the dark side” constitute pressure?

Real estate appraisers have a legal responsibility to accurately report their findings of the marketplace and to offer their opinion about how the subject relates to its marketplace. This opinion must be developed in a way that is consistent with appraisal methods that would be considered “tried and true” by the majority of our professional or industry peers.

It is time that we all employ a little known technique, with regard to community relations, known as common sense. As a very good friend of mine and I joke all the time – sense has become like courtesy it is no longer common.

Take time to smile out there, ladies and gentleman, as life is too short not to have some fun.

By John Reynolds aka UncleZev ~ Source Appraisers Speak Out

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5 Responses

  1. Uncle Zev (aka John Reynolds)

    GREAT article! I fear we have passed the point where this mistaken belief can be fixed by common sense alone.

    I think that we as appraisers need to encourage communication with agents. They are a critical source of market data. Not the only one, but an important one.

    Anyone with more than a year or two experience should be able to “resist” pressures from the evil ones that inhabit the dark realms of the real estate industry.

    The benefit we get is INFORMATION! Not just possible comps or blowing smoke up our collective skirts, but we get information about market perceptions for room counts; baths, pools, other amenities that we MAY choose to cite in our report as another source for where we got certain adjustments. We don’t all use paired sales all the time, or even the current over hyped soup du jour of credibility-regression analysis.

    When I worked as a Sr. Appraiser for the Treasury Dept. (IRS); the professional opinions of two or more agents or attorneys were almost always just as good as the (too) broadly paired sales data that was available.

    Appraisers that do not listen to agents deprive themselves of potentially valid information. Brokers that do not INSIST that their listing agents accompany the appraiser during the inspection are rank amateurs.

    “Mr. Agent, I am always appreciative of any market or property information that you can share with me. I cannot say how it will figure in the final analysis until all available data is reviewed, but whatever you choose to provide me with WILL at least be considered.”

    Such a phrase usually makes for a much more pleasant property inspection as well.

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    • Koma says:

      Oh yea try this one on for size; Called a listing agent for a property I was going to appraise and notified him who I was and could I please ask a few questions about the property. First sentence out of his mouth was you know what Joe I Hate appraisers. I know your first response is going to be, oh that’s just one agent. These other examples are not as harsh, but just as sad. Some agent responses (if you can even get them to call you back): Well I don’t remember that house that sold 45 days ago or that was a foreclosure I can’t remember anything or call the service center to get access I’m too busy or do you really want me there while you inspect…I could keep going. You know typically I would think am I doing something wrong. Before appraising (8 yrs) I worked 25 yrs in the hospitality industry and I know how to treat people, but again this is sad! I keep calling though!

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  2. bubba jay bubba jay says:

    this is a great example of how much of a total disaster this whole thing is nowadays.

    i called a listing agent the other day about a property i was appraising. just had a few questions about the house, no big deal right? wrong.

    “i dont know if can talk to you?” “is it ok that we are talking?” “i wont get in any trouble will i?”

    and this isnt the first time either.

    new regulations have turned appraisers into feeling like we have AIDS, everyone around us knows it, and we have open bleeding wounds all over our bodies.

    just lovely.

    the bleeding continues . . . . .

    (no pun intended)

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  3. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I missed this legislation but it appears that appraisers aren’t allowed to speak with other appraisers either. If they were allowed to do so (legally) I’m sure they would have organized by now.

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  4. Jeremy Hall Appraisals - Colordo Jeremy Hall Appraisals - Colordo says:

    I’ve got a “don’t call me, I’ll call you” policy. Ha! My phone rings with so many pointless amc quote requests that never land, I just put those numbers on block. Never going to miss them either. I’ve got some great agents that use me for pre lists and that is a great line of work, when you can find it. So far so good, the phone keeps ringing and the approval keeps running. Common sense in this industry starts with a dramatic increase in the appraiser fee so we can keep up with the economics of the day. 1990 called, and wants its $400 fee back. It’s time for appraisers to get current.

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