Author: Dustin Harris

Pandemics Do Not Give Us a Get Out of Jail Free Card - Convoluted Times 25

Not a Get Out of Jail Free Card

It is not misleading to use a 1004 form for a desktop or a drive-by because, during these convoluted times… In talking with Tim Andersen, a USPAP instructor and long-experienced appraiser, I was reminded that, even in the time of C-19, USPAP applies, and appraisals must still be credible. Reports must still not mislead. USPAP has never required the appraiser to inspect the property. That is a lender construct. So long as your scope of work is clear relative the level of inspection you provided, and why that was your scope of work, you should not have a problem. Note...

Final Inspection When Not the Original Appraiser - Appraisers Blogs 25

Final When You’re Not the Original Appraiser

When You Complete a Final and Were Not the Original Appraiser First of all, let’s clear the air of any initial confusion that could be potentially floating around out there. It is absolutely okay for an appraiser to complete a final for a property when they were not the original appraiser on the original report. It is perhaps slightly more unusual, but completely ethical. However, there are a few issues that an appraiser could potentially run into if they are completing a final for a report where they were not the original appraiser. I am going to talk about one...

Is That an Arm’s-Length Transaction? The Necessary Analysis 14

Is That an Arm’s-Length Transaction?

USPAP does not define the term arm’s-length transaction. Fannie Mae also lacks such a definition. Yet, both of them call for the appraiser to use only arm’s-length transactions as comparable sales… How often do we appraisers get into the mode where we think we know it all? Occasionally, do we need to step back and look at the way we do things, just to make sure we are not missing something? Is what we know to be true and correct really true and correct? I raise this issue relative to the concept of what an arm’s-length transaction is. Are we...

Is an Appraisal Report Considered Intellectual Property? - Appraisers Blogs 8

Are Reports Intellectual Property?

Recently one of my Mastermind students asked about Intellectual Property. He told me that he’d had an associate leave his firm to go solo. Later, he was reading one of his former-associate’s reports and found the now-independent associate’s reports looked a lot like his in format, and even language. My student asked me if this was wrong. Well, I’m not a lawyer, but there are some sound issues to consider here. If you write something, if you are its author, it is your intellectual property. You can either trademark it (like a logo), or copyright it (like a novel). We...

Can We Stop Taking Comp Photos 65

Can We Stop Taking Comp Photos?

I personally do not think that appraisers should be required to take comp photos… First, before the hate mail starts rolling in, let me assure you that I understand the requirements surrounding comparable photos, and I do take them as an appraiser. I am not here to debate what the policies are, but I am here to question if those policies should be in place. I personally do not think that appraisers should be required to take comp photos. Modern technology has provided appraisers with a way to know as much about a property from the comfort of their own...

Complain About a Complaint Filed - Who Can Complain About Appraisals 71

Who Can Complain About Appraisals?

Time to get on my soapbox and complain about a complaint filed against me (not a charge, but merely a complaint). I did an appraisal of a multi-family property near my office. The property owner/borrower called me to complain about the appraisal since it came in far less than she thought it should (not unusual). Clearly, I could not answer her questions since she was not the client. This upset her greatly, so she filed a complaint with the State. The complaint had no basis in substance. In fact, the complaint was that my appraisal was too low. Since neither...

Different Properties on the Same Form? Are you Appraising the Bulk... 11

Different Properties on the Same Form?

Are you appraising the retail values of 10 sites to 10 different owners? Are you appraising the bulk or discounted market value of the 10 sites to a single purchaser? Can the Same Form Have More Than One Property on it? Lots of folks have asked me, “Dustin, can I appraise two different properties on the same appraisal report at the same time?”. Now understand I am not a USPAP instructor, I am an appraiser, so I’m going to answer this question as best I can. The question before us is legitimate, and one which I had to answer recently....

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Appraising Where It is Warmer

I found that there are not really any appraisal laws… There was a point when I was seriously considering the possibility of moving to Belize. I live in a cold climate so the prospect of living in a warmer area for at least part of the year appeals strongly to me. However, after visiting Belize, I quickly realized that – while I love the country – I personally do not want to live there – mainly because their cost of living is higher than I had been told. That being said, while there, I did quite a bit of research...

Should We Real Estate Appraisers Stop Making Adjustments? 43

Should Adjustments Actually Be Done?

How much credit should we give ourselves when it comes to making adjustments? Making adjustments is controversial. USPAP says nothing about adjustments – it does not require us to make them. They are a GSE construct. So, should we real estate appraisers stop making adjustments? Clients pay us for opinions of value, so our adjustments are really opinions based on what the market tells us (or that’s what we should base them on), but they are still opinions we form; they are not facts we find. So, maybe, should we stop making adjustments? We derive our adjustments from sources such...

Do You Tell Borrowers About Repairs in an Appraisal Inspection? 34

What to Tell Borrowers in an Inspection

It can be hard to know exactly what to tell a borrower sometimes in an inspection when it comes to repairs. For example, if you see chipping and peeling paint in an older home, and it is an FHA inspection, do you let the homeowner know that there is a good chance that their lender will ask them to repair it? While it is probably not a big deal either way, I see both pros and cons to both sides of this issue. If the borrowers seem kind and agreeable, I typically will tell them about the repairs. It gives...

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