Tagged: MLS

The Missing Standard - It's Time to Make a Measurement Standard Mandatory! 32

The Missing Standard

What can we do to establish a national measurement standard for appraisers? Every week I talk to appraisers in different parts of the country and the conversations are almost always the same. Square footage errors are a problem everywhere, some places worse than others. Every appraiser seems to understand the problem and many of them complain about the real estate agents, home-owners, and even underwriters who challenge them about their square footage totals. They rely on the “Official Record” they believe is listed by the local tax department. Who teaches them this stuff? How is it possible the general public...

Reality vs Positivity - The Appraiser's Journey: What Happens when Reality Sets in? 41

Reality vs Positivity

Read any sales training publication and you will learn about positivity and how it helps you succeed. For the most part, this is true. But what happens when reality sets in? Positivity: Many appraisers have praised the decision by Fannie Mae to eliminate the 1004MC. No question, it is a flawed form, but every software vendor allows us to complete the form with the push of a button. This can be done in most MLS systems as well. The form shows the number of sales in the past 90 days and the number of current active listings. With enough data,...

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...

Importance of Including Sales Price Trend Graph in Appraisal Reports 2

Importance of Graphing Sales

Scatter graph can help you “visualize” the trend of sale prices over a time period… Appraisers, I’ve been including ‘comparable’ price trend graphs in my reports (using Excel) since 2008. The graphs are based on a chart of MLS sales in the subject’s neighborhood, and can be from 1 to 5 years prior to the report Effective Date – based on housing density and number of sales. (I work in urban, suburban and rural areas.) A Scatter Graph can help you “visualize” the trend of sale prices over a time period. It can also show questionable outlier sales that you...

How the Agreement Between CoreLogic & the FTC Impacts Appraisers 15

FTC vs Corelogic

…how the agreement between CoreLogic and the FTC from 2014 impacts appraisers… The FTC vs CoreLogic: Why it is important to Appraisers Some appraisers have reached out to VaCAP asking how the agreement between CoreLogic and the FTC from 2014 impacts appraisers. VaCAP wants to highlight the case and provide some key points of reference. The agreement revolves around the purchase of DataQuick by its competitor CoreLogic in 2014. The FTC at that time allowed the transaction with some parameters in which CoreLogic agreed to. See the analysis of the agreement here. A summary of the parameters are below: CoreLogic...

Price of this Fiasco May be the Downfall of the US Real Estate Market 16

The Price of Big Data Valuation Fiasco

"Price" of this Fiasco may be the Downfall of the American Real Estate Market… I Choose Not to Be Part of the Big Data Valuation Revolution The big data and automated valuation explosion will ultimately destroy the real estate industry and it will take decades for it to recover. The facts are, we live and work in a price-per-square-foot industry. The square footage data used in the so-called “official record” in local tax records is in error enough to alter home values and it’s an equal opportunity offender – values can be too low or too high. And, it’s wrong...

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard & Gives Away Spreadsheets 3

Don Machholz Hangs up his Clipboard

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Don Machholz for his willingness to assist appraisers… Appraisers, A well respected appraiser who has voluntarily helped many of us has decided to hang up his clipboard, and remove the batteries from his laser measurer. I first became aware of Don Machholz back when the screwball GSE designed MC form was introduced in 2009. Don was one of the first appraisers who used his skills with Excel programming to design and distribute an Excel computation spreadsheet for the MC. Many appraisers have been using that, and his other Excel spreadsheets, ever since....

Alternative Evaluations... Good or Bad 9

Alternative Evaluations… Good or Bad

All of these "alternative evaluations" are an attempt to reduce the fee of the appraiser… All this talk about alternatives to a full appraisal needs some common business sense added to the conversation. At the end of these comments I will include some of my background and you can make your decision if you think I am qualified to put my 2 cents in this discussion. I have said this before and I will say it again, the lenders (AMC included) just want an Appraisers signature and their E&O insurance with a value and they want it as cheap as...

Third Party Services Prohibited - Prohibition is Back! 24

Prohibition is Back!

AMC strictly prohibits the use of third party services. A recent review of an engagement letter from a large national appraisal management company revealed something pretty peculiar… “An appraiser is prohibited from using any third party services.“ Wait, What? No third party services? I am no attorney, and certainly do not know all the aspects of law, but it seems that the definition of third party services is pretty self-explanatory. To be sure I am not mistaken; I researched the definition of third party. FreeDictionary.com: “A person who is not a party to a contract or a transaction, but has...

Market conditions analysis 2

What Do You Suppose Might Have Caused This?

In my area, the Market Conditions data is basically worthless. Folks, One of the data analysis aspects I do in all reports is research sales trends of comparable properties, using MLS data, and making a graph to show report readers the actual market activity that has occurred over a long real estate cycle…usually 4-5 years back from the Effective Date. I use this to supplement, but not replace, the cruddy Market Conditions form, which poorly accounts for only 12 months of activity. In my area, the Market Conditions data is basically worthless. I’m sharing this because in the 8 years...

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