Category: Snippets

What We Need More than Fast Appraisals is Reliable Appraisals 13

Tech Companies Real Estate Invasion

Tech companies want a piece of the real estate pie. Amazon. Zillow. Opendoor. Rex. It seems like every week there’s a new company announcing its venture into the game. Here are some things swirling through my mind as I think critically about this trend… The obsession with speed: There is space for escrows to be faster as tech firms say, but I hope we don’t lose sight of the importance of time. It’s okay to have space for necessary inspections, negotiation based on those inspections, and a reasonable contingency period so buyers and sellers are sure about their decision. There’s...

FDIC & US Treasury Championing Automation to Replace Appraisers 13

Pushing Automation to Replace Appraisers

Regulators today are often removing barriers to responsible behavior with the hope of expanding lending activity since falling mortgage rates aren’t the answer. Banks are pushing back and it is instructive to see the way FDIC thought back in 2006. FDIC and the U.S. Treasury have turned out to be very anti-appraiser and are championing ways to automate as a way to replace us. Think about wildly inaccurate Zestimate-like AVMs on first mortgages. Economist, real estate agent and good follow John Wake shares this:

Never Appropriate for Non-Appraisers to Perform Home Valuation 4

Non-Appraisers Valuation Never Appropriate

Here is a NAR deck on AVMs (automated valuation models). Here are some recent survey results that show more than half of the respondents indicated, it is either NEVER appropriate or NOT SURE if it is appropriate for a non-appraiser to perform a valuation on a home. So the jury is still out for a third of respondents but a third are absolutely sure it is inappropriate. One can infer that appraisers have an opportunity to convey what AVMs really are to the public.  

Incomplete Data Provides Incomplete Assumptions - Data Pollution Reality 7

Data Pollution Potential to Cause Bubbles

In meetings with the National Association of Realtors and The Appraisal Foundation, there was a lot of time spent listening to AVM owners espousing their importance and more sober observations of the pitfalls. One of the presenters seemed to be bragging that 90% of the time, a good Automated Valuation Model (AVM) can be within plus/minus 10% of the actual value. Remember that Zillow’s Zestimate is within 5% of the actual value only 50% of the time. Both numbers are very dreadful and very random inconsistency across the marketplace. But still, there is a place for their use in conjunction...

Is Race Baked into Big Data? Who's Regulating Big Data When It Errs? 13

Is Race Baked into Big Data?

Chicago appraiser and friend (even though she calls me “fancy pants”) writes a stellar explanation of what an appraiser actual does – and what one of the panel experts got completely wrong because he didn’t understand our role in the mortgage process: Greetings Congresswoman Waters, Chairman Clay, Ranking Member Duffy, Ranking Member Gooden, and the Members of the Housing Subcommittee: My name is Maureen Sweeney, and I am a real estate appraiser. I grew up in a real estate family and lived through the savings and loan crisis of the 1980’s, which had a profound impact on my life. I...

Let's Have Bank Employees Make Numbers Up! ND Waiver Request 6

ND Requesting a Waiver for Five Years!

The Most Important Issue Facing The Appraisal Industry RIGHT NOW If you thought the answer was the House “modernization” panel discussion that occurred in front of the House Financial Services Committee this week you were wrong. The state of North Dakota is attempting to obtain another waiver request, not the laughably written request of last summer. Now North Dakota is requesting a waiver for five years! From the Federal Register The request seeks a waiver of appraiser credentialing requirements for appraisals for federally related transactions under $500,000 for 1-to-4 family residential real estate transactions and under $1,000,000 for agricultural and commercial real...

Race Never Considered... Emerging Narrative of Appraisers Being Racists 65

Appraisers Don’t Use Race

Appraisers don’t use race… Race is NEVER considered during a valuation Last week in a congressional hearing on the future of the appraisal profession, some research was used to suggest appraisers are showing racial bias and essentially undervaluing black neighborhoods. I was not expecting the conversation to go that way during the hearing and I’ll admit I’m deeply concerned about the emerging narrative of appraisers being racists… In the congressional hearing a panelist talked about a study that shows black neighborhoods are devalued by $48,000 compared to otherwise similar white neighborhoods. That’s alarming and society needs to have some serious...

Let's Focus on the Public Trust - Trust is Hard To Win Back 7

Let’s Focus on the Public Trust

Banking still hasn’t recovered from the financial crisis using this metric. History is repeating itself right now with the “modernization” movement – code word for “automated valuation” using abysmally unreliable technology. “Trust” is Hard To Win Back Trust is a wildly important asset to have in the banking industry. They violated the public trust during the housing bubble and have worked hard but still haven’t reach pre-bubble trust levels. Let this be a lesson to Appraisal Management Companies, Mortgage Lenders, GSEs and Regulators who are currently working hard to undermine consumer trust again through the mortgage valuation process in order...

AMCs the Single Reason for Higher Appraisal Costs & Reduced Quality 35

A Review of the Appraisal Industry

Phil Crawford of Voice of Appraisal sent a “call to action” email to his followers early this week to recommend I provide testimony on this upcoming June 20th panel. As a result, there were hundreds of recommendations sent to the House Financial Services Committee providing why I would be a good candidate to speak on the panel. I was blown away by the support and the professionalism of the emails. I thank you all. The committee told me yesterday that I would not be on the panel but offered other ways to share our views and I was very appreciative...

Appraiser Maureen Sweeney Makes It Clear...You Sign It, You Buy It 19

You Sign It, You Buy It

Maureen Sweeney, my friend and appraiser colleague from Chicago (who knew where the name “Chicago” originated from that I learned when I used to live there), wrote an opus about appraiser liability being created and the race to the bottom. It’s a great read. Spoiler alert: Apps don’t have any judgment, nor does their maker. There are moments in my life when I am glad to have given 12 years of my life to service to the Illinois appraisal community, and being part of the team that was in place when the Illinois AMC laws and rules were written years...

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