Author: Dustin Harris

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Appraiser and Client Trust Factor

We are professionals and should be treated with the same respect and trust that other professionals are afforded. Relationships are important. The bonds we form with a spouse, children, friends, or business associates can be powerful and a strength. When trust is broken, however, deep challenges emerge.  Divorce, separation, or permanent dissolution can be the end result when someone’s integrity is on the line. The trust factor between an appraiser and the client is essential if professionalism and continued business is to be amicable. Last month, I wrote an article about taking drive-by and comp pictures. The comment boards lit up. Most appraisers agreed...

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Drive By Comp Pictures and Appraisers Safety

Rethinking Drive By Comp Pictures I posted the following true (and scary) experience on Facebook a few days ago: “I just had to file a police report. I was taking a picture of a house from the street for a drive-by pre-foreclosure. The owner ran out of the home and stood in front of my car. He demanded to know what I was doing. He walked around to the driver’s window, and I calmly explained to him that I was taking a picture for the bank. He got very verbally abusive and demanded to know why. I told him it was...

Why Most Purchase Appraisals SHOULD come in Just Above the Purchase Price 3

Why Most Purchase Appraisals SHOULD come in Just Above the Purchase Price

“…You come in just above the purchase price…” How many times have you had this comment from someone who knows relatively little about the appraisal process, “I am not so sure about you appraisers. Seems like every time there is a purchase transaction needing an appraisal, you come in just above the purchase price. If the house is selling for $200,000, you come in at $202,000. If it is selling for $450,000, you come in at $460,000. Seems a little rigged to me.” Ever had a client get really upset when you asked to see the purchase contract before you...

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Real Estate Appraiser Lifestyle

I cannot help but wonder why more appraisers do not jump ship and find another career if it is so bad out there. Now, I am not without compassion. I know it is not as easy as trading in your clipboard for a spatula. Changing jobs is a difficult process and does not happen without much consternation and heartache. However, I tend to think that so many of us are sticking it out because…

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When is an Appraiser Not an Appraiser?

With an influx of alternative valuation products now being offered to appraisers, I am often asked which of these assignments can be done by appraisers and which should be avoided. I am not a USPAP instructor, a lawyer, or a specialist in your individual state’s law, but I will give you the answer as I understand it (I am not responsible for your individual compliance to USPAP, the law, and blah blah blah). First, an analogy is in order. Imagine you are a spectator at a sporting event. Sitting next to you is your buddy who asks you about a certain call the...

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Non-Lender vs. AMC Appraisal Work

One of the hottest topics right now in the appraisal world is that of non-lender work.  I am probably asked a question concerning non-lender appraisals a couple of times per week, at least.  “How do I do more work for attorneys?”  “How do I go about marketing to home owners?”  “I want to work with more real estate agents, but I am not sure how to garner their trust.”  Okay, so that last one was not a question, but you get the point. Financial appraisal work through AMCs or local banks has slowed a great deal over the past few...

What Does the Missing Malaysian Jet have to do with Appraising 0

Malaysian 777 Disappearance and Appraising?

What Does the Missing Malaysian Jet have to do with Appraising? I find it fascinating that a jet full of passengers can just disappear.  As time passes, it is becoming more and more evident that this is not going to end well.  What is interesting to me, however, is the media coverage of the event.  Everyone seems to have a theory as to what happened (including one ‘reporter’ speculating that a black hole might have sucked them up).  The problem?  Most of these theories are based on no more than a hunch.  There is little to no evidence supporting most...

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URAR 1004s Are for Sissies

1004s are for sissies I remember the first time I ever saw a real appraisal report.  No, I am not talking about a 1004, 2055, or even a 1025.  I am not referring to a Fannie or Freddie form at all. I mean a real, living, breathing, monster of a report; the narrative!!! (insert collective gasp here) Early in my career, one of my insightful instructors brought one of his narrative reports to class.  As I perused that 76 page beast full of words (not boxes), descriptions (not canned comments), graphs (not pre-filled MC Addendums), and pictures (oh, how there were...

Geographical Competency 3

Geographical Competency

Can we stop equating distance with geographical competency? There was a recent study completed that proved, beyond a doubt, what I have essentially suspected for years. The topic was what causes criminals to do what they do. After much study and consternation, it was discovered that all criminals, regardless of the crime and in 100% of the cases, have one thing in common. They all had a mother. There is an old debate trick called “Hasty Generalization.” Basically, it means taking something that may be true in some cases and applying it to all cases. “The Hansen family home schools...

Question your appraisal fees 5

How Much Do You Charge for a 1004?

Question: “Care to reveal the minimum fee for a ‘typical’ 1004 + MC in your area?” Had an interesting email come in yesterday. It came from a friend of mine in the appraisal industry and began with this question, “Care to reveal the minimum fee for a ‘typical’ 1004 + MC in your area?” The message went on to express some concern over some of the shenanigans that was going on in his own area concerning AMCs, low fees, and appraiser’s willingness to sell themselves short. Unfortunately, the same is likely going on in every community (yours included). Though the...

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