Author: Dave Towne

Landmark Acquired by Class Valuation - VA Drops 1004MC...Done Deal! 13

Done Deal

AMC Consolidaton – Class Valuation (formerly Class Appraisal) of Troy, MI is acquiring Landmark Network, of Van Nuys, CA. This document does not say ‘when’ it will occur, or if the transaction has concluded, but the way it is written, the implication is that it’s a “dun deel.” Anybody have any scuttlebutt on which of the hundreds of the remaining AMC’s might be next to be consolidated with another one? Landmark Network’s email: Hello! Eleven years ago, I set out to create a different kind of appraisal management company. One that truly valued our appraiser partners while embracing the efforts...

Report Observation & Trigger Points - Don't Fall Into a Trap! 10

Report Observation & Trigger Points

Appraisers, this is another essay written about a report I have ‘observed.’ I’ve mentioned before that I “come in contact with” appraisal reports from a variety of sources. Those that I determine have significant issues I write about. Conclusions about the ‘real value’ will be disclosed below. Trigger points for having reports formally reviewed are discussed. I do this because a majority of appraisers do not participate and interact with their peers on a consistent basis, and therefore may not get exposed to items that clients and lenders see in reports, which they question. I believe it’s important to expose items in reports that...

CoesterVMS in Bankruptcy? Not Paying for Orders Completed! 87

CoesterVMS in Bankruptcy?

…all payments on orders completed prior to 11/15/2018 cannot be paid… Appraisers, there is a body of evidence being disseminated via various sources that CoesterVMS, the AMC based in Maryland started by appraiser Brian Coester, is in bankruptcy. This message from CoesterVMS was circulated last week: “Due to financial difficulties all payments on orders completed prior to 11/15/2018 cannot be paid at this time, our BK attorneys will be in contact with all creditors. Coester can guarantee payment next day on all orders completed on or after 11/16/2018. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Does it make any logical sense to...

How Zestimate Works - Accuracy Is an iIsue with Zestimates 8

How Zestimate Works

Accuracy is an issue with Zestimates… I happened to find this article, which explains the processes used to generate Zillow’s Zestimate, the estimate of residential property value: Inside the Zestimate: Data Science at Zillow I found it interesting that they use the ‘R’ spreadsheet for doing some number-crunching, not Excel. ‘R’ is what George Dell has been demonstrating in his classes. But the graphs are generated by a different software. Accuracy is an issue with Zestimates, according to Zillow, per the article:  “Nationally, the median error rate is 8.3 percent, the company says.” However, they don’t define what ‘error rate’ means. Is...

Is Mr. Brian Coester Being Honest? I'm Skeptical... - Appraisers Blogs 19

Is Mr. Brian Coester Being Honest?

The real question I have is simple: Is Mr. Brian Coester being honest with people, and telling the truth about what REALLY happened? I’m skeptical, but I don’t do business with CoesterVMS. Brian Coester claims “We are not out of business,” as AMC runs into financial difficulty – AMC claims bank made mistake I sure have read lots of first-hand comments from appraisers about either slow pay, or not being paid, for reports completed for CoesterVMS. That makes me highly uncomfortable about accepting any assignment from them, unless they pay the report fee UP FRONT, and they don’t get the report until...

Accepting CLIENT Provided List of Comparables - Client Supplying Comps 17

Client Supplying Comps

CLIENT provides the appraiser with a list of comps… I’ve heard about this practice, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it ‘in print’: Do you supply a list of available comps for each order? Yes, in most cases. Click the “Comparables” button while completing the form to view and select available comps. This will save you significant data entry time. Please note: Option only available for BPO and hybrid valuations. I was doing some on-line research for a potential new client which provides a wide range of services to the mortgage industry, including appraisal, and found this statement among their Q&A...

When an Appraisal is Not Required - Appraisals & Evaluations Regs 4

Appraisals NOT Required

…is not required to obtain an appraisal under other law… The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a Financial Institution Letter to US banks on 10/16/18, which incorporates Appraisal and Evaluation regulations and guidelines. This consolidates previously issued regs and guidelines into one document: Letter  FIL-62-2018 Part 323 – Appraisals Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines 2000 – Rules and Regulations PART 323—APPRAISALS § 323.3 Appraisals required; transactions requiring a state certified or licensed appraiser. (a) Appraisals required. An appraisal performed by a state certified or licensed appraiser is required for all real estate-related financial transactions except those in which: (1) The transaction value is $250,000 or less;...

If It’s Not an Appraisal, What Is It? Doing Away with Reporting Type? 4

If It’s Not an Appraisal, What Is It?

…do away with specifically ‘naming’ an appraisal report as to the “type” it is… Folks, the Second Exposure Draft of proposed changes to the next USPAP was released by the Appraisal Standards Board on August 23. See embedded PDF below. The ASB is encouraging all users to review this document, and provide commentary back to them on/before October 10, 2018. One item of note is there is a proposal in the Draft to do away with specifically ‘naming’ an appraisal report as to the “type” it is. If it’s not an ‘appraisal’, what is it?? Currently we have “Appraisal Report”...

FNMA Rural High-needs Appraisal Waiver 18

FNMA Rural High-needs Appraisal Waiver

…which counties in the US qualify for this kind of FNMA rural high-needs appraisal waiver… Appraisers, you may not be affected by this new FNMA waiver process. Then again, if you service certain ‘poverty’ counties in the US, you may. A surprise to me… Kings County, New York [Brooklyn], is one such county. It probably would be in your best interest to examine this blog, and then click on the map link within the article. The map will show which counties in the US qualify for this kind of FNMA rural high-needs appraisal waiver. Once the map opens, you can...

Size vs. Value - Finaly...The Truth About Price per Sq.ft. in Valuations 12

Truth About Price per Sq.ft. in Valuations

…has nothing to do with size… This article from realtor.com titled ‘Forget Price Per Square Foot: The More Accurate Ways to Determine Your Home’s Value’ explains why price per square foot is not a good gauge of value. Excerpt: A home’s price per square foot is a common way to quantify its value… Many home shoppers even use it as a determinant for whether or not they’ll even consider touring a home. But that doesn’t mean it’s the most accurate, end-all and be-all way to gauge a home’s value and compare it with other houses. Why? Because all homes are...

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