Author: Dustin Harris

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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...

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Value Range Rather than a Single Point

I have been giving a value range…for many years… By making the choice to do lender work, we also make the choice to accept some pretty ridiculous stipulations. “When you pick up one end of the stick, you also pick up the other,” my dad used to teach me. One of those requirements that have been around as long as I can remember is that an appraisal value must be reported as a single dollar amount. This, I believe, is a mistake. By definition, market value is “The most probable price which a property should bring in a competitive and...

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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We Need More Regulations?

“There oughtta be a law!” This is the typical rant from well-meaning Americans who feel they have been wronged in some way. In some cases, they may be right. There is a place for government and there are a reasons for regulations. The problems is, we have too dang many of them! Appraisers of any walk are usually the first ones to complain against excess government overreach. Yet surprisingly, they can also be the first ones to call for more when it appears to be in their favor. Take a recent thread I was reading on a popular appraiser web...

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Time for an Appraiser Union?

Much talk has occurred lately on a variety of injustices incurred by appraisers through scope-creep, indemnification clauses, decreasing number of appraisers, lawsuit volume increases, and the like. Naturally, there are a whole lotta unhappy appraisers out there. Surely, there are many things to be concerned with, but there is a greater fear that overrides all other issues; the fear that there ain’t a dang thing we can do about it. The lack of ability to make changes to those things we view as wrong is a debilitating feeling. As small business owners, we are used to getting things done our...

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Why are Lenders not Allowing Trainee Appraisers?

Appraisalbuzz recently posted a ‘White Paper on Training the Next Generation of Appraisers. I thought it was a good enough read to repost to my subscribers. Please read the article HERE and see my comments below: I commend the authors of this well-thought out article. Though I do not agree with every suggestion contained within, I support the general purpose of the article and I thank those who have taken the time to put it together. There are some great suggestions and ideas in this article and every appraiser ought to read it and be a part of implementing a...

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