Homeowner Rejects Hybrid Appraisal
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Appraiser Alert: Don’t Mess with a 4’ 10” Senior Citizen!
Last week I called a borrower to schedule the appraisal appointment. She asked me some very odd questions; “Are you a licensed appraiser? What is your license number? How can I verify this information?” Well I had never been asked any of these questions in my entire career, but I answered as there really wasn’t anything I was hiding.
It was 19 degrees outside when I arrived at the property and this senior citizen, not more than 4 feet 10 inches tall, was sitting on the porch. I proceeded up the porch and introduced myself, handed her a business card and put out my hand as I always do. She did not shake my hand, but instead she asked if I had identification. I showed her my driver’s license. Then she asked, “what about a copy of your license?” Well after a struggle to get the thing out of my wallet, I showed her my wallet license card. At this point, she said, ok let’s go inside where it is warm.
Once in the house, she apologized for her bluntness. She then explained she had a bad experience with another lender. She proceeded to tell me; “They sent someone to my house to look at the property. I let this person go through my home, into my bedroom and everything. They even took pictures.”
I stated that we are to observe all areas of the home, take photographs of every room and that was normal.
“I know what an appraiser does. I retired from the banking industry after 45 years. The person they sent to my home was not an appraiser. He called himself a property inspector. He explained he did not appraise the property and was there to make notes and take pictures. He did not work for the appraiser and did not even know who the appraiser was or what the process of appraising entailed. This person was a stranger in my home and had no credentials, license or professional affiliation. As an elderly single woman, who lives alone, a fear came over me and I told him to leave.”
We talked a bit and I explained about hybrid appraisals and how appraisal management companies and lenders were pushing these products thinking it will reduce the turn-around time to get an appraisal.
”That is the most asinine thing I have ever heard. The property observation is the most important part of an appraisal. It is what the appraiser uses as the foundation of the report. It is the information that comparables are selected from. Who in their right would think this is a smart thing? This has fraud written all over it.”
I asked her more about her background. In her 45 year career, she started as a Teller and worked her way up to Regional Manager, then Corporate Trainer. She retired as the Senior Vice President of Compliance.
This feisty 4’ 10” senior citizen kicked the property inspector, hybrid appraisal and lender to the curb…
I could not think of a better way to end the year.
By TJ Everett, Certified Real Estate Appraiser