Author: Dustin Harris

Photo of Comps When People or Children Are Present - Standing Rule 48

Did That Guy Just Take a Picture of My Kids?

Looking at the tricky question of taking photo of comps when people are present… I want to talk to you today about something most of us appraisers do on a daily basis – taking comparable photos. Now, I don’t want to get into the whole “Are comps a waste of time? Do they actually serve any purpose?” debate. That’s gone on long enough and it isn’t going to stop any time soon. Instead, I want to try and clear up what is and isn’t actually required from your FHA comps; specifically, we’re going to be looking at the tricky question...

The Way Things Used To Be - Appraisal fees unchanged in two decades 106

The Way Things Used To Be

“We haven’t had a raise in two decades.” Give me a break! It’s a common complaint in our industry that real estate appraisers haven’t had a raise in two decades. The argument goes that twenty years ago, the standard fee for an appraisal was $350. Fast forward twenty years and it’s still $350. That’s a great sound bite, but the actual logic is deeply flawed. In real terms, we’ve had a huge raise thanks to the massively reduced amount of time we spend on our appraisals. It’s something I’ve written about before (Never Had a Raise in 20 Years), but...

Do Third Party Inspectors Violate USPAP 5

Do Third-Party Inspectors Violate USPAP

It was recently brought to my attention, by a reputable appraiser I might add, that the use of third-party inspectors may be a violation of USPAP. Or more specifically, that an appraiser relying on a third-party inspector for information (without knowing their name), may be a violation of USPAP. For example, there are several (and growing) companies who are providing clients with what are being postulated as “hybrid appraisals” or “hybrid reports.” The definition, as far as I can discern, is that a third-party inspector ‘inspects’ the property (usually an exterior from the street – which is why there are...

Driver for Appraisal Inspections? Do You Need an Appraiser Driver? 7

Do You Need an Appraiser Driver?

Using a Driver for Appraisal Inspections… Anyone who’s followed me for a while knows that I have three main aims. I want to help real estate appraisers make their business more efficient, more effective, and generate more money. People almost always assume that making more money relies only on cutting costs. This is completely inaccurate. If you become more efficient and more effective, and work smarter instead of working harder, then you’ll start boosting your income. In the past, one of the ways in which I’ve made my work more efficient, and in effect spent money to make more money,...

Geographical Competency...What the Flip is it? - AppraisersBlogs 18

What the Flip is ‘Geographic Competency?’

I want to talk today about one of my biggest pet peeves in the whole real estate appraisal industry: geographical competency. We belong to an industry in which large numbers of people are failing to make a living, and being forced to leave. It’s sad, but it can be reversed. One of the major changes that is needed regards geographical competency. We throw this phrase ‘geographical competency’ around a lot, and pretend that it means something. Does it really? Well, if you go and take a look in USPAP, I don’t think you’ll find it there. You’ll find the competency...

Subject as Comparable Sale: Can You Use the Subject as a Comp? 17

Can You Use the Subject as a Comp?

To keep my finger on the pulse of the real estate appraisal community, I like to check in on Facebook groups dedicated to our profession. A little while ago, I noticed that the same question was coming up over and over again; ‘can you use the subject as a comparable sale?’ When you work in a big, metropolitan area, this isn’t really an issue. Real estate appraisers in those places would probably dismiss this idea out of hand; they’re going to have plenty of comparables to use in their valuation process. In rural areas like the one in which I...

AMCs: The Bad and… the Good 6

AMCs: The Bad and… the Good

Dustin Harris, the Appraiser Coach, discusses the Bad and the Good of AMCs in this video podcast: We hear a lot of complaining about AMCs. Frankly, much of it is probably justified. Let’s explore some of those complaints. But, are there some good things about AMCs as well? The Bad: No real relationship Low fees Scope creep Speed demands – turn times Unknowledgeable customer service Revision requests already addressed in the report Uploading / portals Fee disclosure

Skapinetz Believes Appraisers Are Being Held Captive by AMCs 28

Who is Mark Skapinetz?

Mark Skapinetz believes that appraisers are being held captive by AMCs…. Reserved is not a word that anyone would use to describe Mark Skapinetz; at least of those who know him. Shy is not in his vocabulary. Mark is the founder of the “100% Real Estate Appraisers” group on Facebook. He joined me on April 23, 2017 as a guest on The Appraiser Coach Podcast to discuss everything from training the next generation of appraisers to the AMC debacle. Mark believes that appraisers are being held captive by AMCs. Though he works for a handful of AMCs himself (in other...

Is There a Fourth Approach to Real Estate Value? 16

Is There a Fourth Approach to Real Estate Value?

I want to talk to you about the fourth approach to value… …and specifically an occasion on which it truly saved my bacon. Now, I know a lot of you real estate appraisers out there probably started chuckling as soon as you read the words ‘fourth approach to value.’ If you did, I get it, believe me! I used to be the same way. Over time, however, I’ve grown to see how it can often be a vital part of the valuation process. Let’s have a quick recap for anyone who’s either forgotten the fourth approach, or never learned it...

Purchase Price with an Appraised Value to Match? 15

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...

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