Author: Dustin Harris

Purchase Price with an Appraised Value to Match? 14

Possible vs. Probable

Refusing to ‘rubber-stamp’ a purchase price with an appraised value to match. Recently, there was a news story out of Atlanta, highlighting an appraiser who had refused to ‘rubber-stamp’ a purchase price with an appraised value to match. What followed was an increasingly disturbing trend to find another appraiser who would. According to the story (which was full of holes and unknowns), the second appraiser ignored comps in the subject’s neighborhood and found sales in a superior location to help support the purchase price. This situation was talked about on social media and a man who identified himself as a...

Appraisal Fees Do Not Tell The Whole Story 14

Appraisal Fees Do Not Tell The Whole Story

Is it possible that the company with the lowest bid will also do the worst job? If you are on social media platforms where appraisers hang out for any length of time, you are bound to see a version of the following, on a regular basis: “I was just offered $275 to do a full appraisal in my hometown. Before I had time to email the AMC and tell them how ridiculous a fee like that is here, some other appraiser accepted it! Can you believe that? What kind of low-life appraiser does a full 1004 for $275?” This kind...

What Does Your Appraisal Business Look Like in Three Years? 34

Your Appraisal Business in 3 Years?

What Does Your Appraisal Business Look Like in Three Years? If I were to ask you to paint an accurate picture of what your appraisal business looks like three years from today, could you do it? If you can’t answer this question, perhaps you are getting hung up on the word “accurate”. Any individual can guess what the future might look like, but can you make that prediction with some sentiment of reality? In an exercise such as this, it is easy to get paralyzed by so many unknowns that are outside of our control. What will the markets do?...

A Possible Solution to Customary and Reasonable Fees - C&R Fees Solutions 10

A Possible Solution to Customary & Reasonable Fees

Over the past five years, a major subject of talk in the appraiser world has been that of Customary and Reasonable Fees. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue has been mostly one-sided. We tend to do a lot of griping about the fact that many of us are not being paid what is “customary” or “reasonable”, but there are very few solutions offered up. When I was young and would sometimes (not often, of course) complain about this or that, my father would always say, “Don’t come to me with a complaint unless you have a possible solution.” It was sound advice then...

Don't Fence Me In - Physical Inspection 3

Don’t Fence Me In

We truly live in an incredible world. The age of information and technology has given us more freedom than at any other time in the history of mankind. Just in the last few years, the mobile office has become a reality in such a way that it would be nearly impossible for our clients to know much about our physical office at all. Since most of us have little to no walk-in traffic, running an appraisal office from a spare bedroom at home or even from the lanai of your Belizean condo is not out of the realm of possibility....

Determining What to Charge for Appraisal Fees - Hard & Soft Costs - Imagecredit Flickr - Chris Potter 9

Determining What to Charge for Appraisal Fees

Charge too little and you can’t cover your expenses Have you ever asked yourself why gasoline prices seem to fluctuate so dramatically? Maybe it’s the weather. Perhaps it is a conspiracy in the Middle East. Surely the politicians are to blame. To be sure, the correct answer is complicated and likely multi-faceted. There is much that goes into what your card is charged at the pump, but not much the common man probably understands. You can bet however that those who make these decisions do indeed know and understand how it all works. Have you ever wondered why a Big...

You are Not Valuing Property - Value Real Estate - Imagecredit Flickr - Got Credit 2

You are Not Valuing Property

Thousands and thousands of decisions determine value. What do you do for a living? I am a real estate appraiser. What does that mean?  I value real estate. Actually, that is not quite true. Okay, technically it is, but what is the value of real estate really? Real estate is given a value only based on what a seller is willing to settle for and a buyer is willing to part with.  Of course, it is much more complicated than that (which is why appraisers are so needed), but that is the gist of it. For a moment, I want you to think about...

An appraisal is not THE opinion of value - Imagecredit Flickr - takomabibelot 0

An Appraisal is not THE Opinion of Value

Some of you are going to need to hang up your ego hats for this one. You know who you are. I see you hanging out on the online appraisal forums. You are the ones who do not just have an opinion, but THE opinion. Don’t worry, I will let you put it back on before I am done. As appraisers, we are often asked a question similar to this, “Why can two professionals appraise the same property, yet come up with two different values?” It is an excellent question, and one that has many variables, but I want to...

2

The Humility to Ask

I was recently asked by a local lender to appraise 14 vacant lots. Though the lots were all quite similar, 14 separate appraisals were needed (obviously, a large discount was given for the multiplicity). Once a value was established for each individual lot, the lender came back and now wanted a ‘bulk value’ for 10 of the lots. Hmmm. That certainly changes things. Per USPAP in fact, we now have a new assignment. As I inquired to the bank and got more information, it was clear that I was out of my element. The lender did not just need a total...

10

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

“Our investigation and the Board’s review concluded that the evidence did not reveal a violation of the Board’s laws and rules governing the practice of Real Estate Appraising. The Board has, therefore, closed the file in this matter.” That is how the most recent complaint against me ended. The ordeal began last spring. I have been called upon multiple times from my current clients to please be willing to go to a new area. It is an area with few appraisers, and there is a need. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a drive for me so I have avoided...

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