Author: Dave Towne

Tenant in Distress... What Would You Do? 11

Tenant in Distress… What Would You Do?

These situations apparently caused a severe depression to engulf the tenant.  Appraisers, last week I received a call from an appraiser who was very upset about an encounter at the Subject dwelling, within city limits, not long before, and wanted to know ‘what to do.’ The appraiser scheduled an inspection for a dwelling being sold, and uses a ‘MLS Key’ for entry to homes with a lockbox, without having an agent present. The appraiser had previously been told by the listing agent that the tenant of the dwelling might be present, in a state of distress, because that person had...

Appraiser Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation 86

Appraiser Countersuing Black Homeowners for Defamation

The Maryland appraiser has filed a countersuit against the homeowners, claiming defamation.  Appraisers, there have been several lawsuits filed against appraisers by borrowers who “don’t like your value, so I’m accusing you of discrimination” over the last year or so. These lawsuits all have the same theme, and it’s entirely possible that these actions are being coordinated by a consortium of ‘organizers’ and law firms. The plaintiff representing firm for the Baltimore suit is the same law firm The Appraisal Foundation hired to write new USPAP language for the Ethics Rule, which potentially will be approved in just a few...

Bringing More People Into a Dying Profession! 82

Bringing More People Into a Dying Profession!

Some people want to bring more people (primarily of color, which is great) into a dying profession. But the profession is being killed off by (mostly white!) people who think technology is the golden spoon to accurate valuations.  Appraisers, I’ve been studying, and writing about since 2006, all kind of issues surrounding our profession, and frankly some currently does not make sense. As many know, ‘we’ have been accused of not having “enough black people” in appraiser ranks. The claim is that blacks only represent 3% or so of the total population of appraisers. The people engaged in blaming appraisers...

Wife's Tribute to Bill King 3

Wife’s Tribute to Bill King

Folks, I was in a USPAP class last Friday, during the day I was sent the tribute message below from another appraiser who knew Bill King very well, and who has been in touch with Bill’s wife. I’ve been looking for the obit. The one below was published on Sunday January 15, in the Anchorage Daily News: Orbituary William Edward King, 67, of Palmer, Alaska, passed away on Jan. 7, 2023. Arrangements are entrusted to Legacy Funeral Home, Wasilla Heritage Chapel. Note that no cause of death is stated. But before you read King’s tribute, it’s prudent that I mention...

Bias & Discrimination in Reports 10

Bias and Discrimination in Reports, Yes or No?

Appraisers, should we include discussion of B&D in our reports? Wait, What?? Bondage and Discipline? No, not that. Bias and Discrimination. Yes, it must be addressed very clearly. Now, before you blow a cork or throw your mouse at the computer screen, let’s examine what’s really been impacting ‘us’ for the past 4 plus years. One of our peers, who’s become somewhat famous for the way articles are written about appraisal and other topics, had a recent article ‘rebroadcasted’ in AppraisersBlogs, FTX Bought Government’s Silence; Did Fintechs Buy Attacks on Appraisers? A statement in that article exposes some of what has...

Average AMC Appraisal Fee 2021 vs 2022 105

Average AMC Appraisal Fee to the Appraiser

Average AMC appraisal fee to the appraiser: AMCs are taking far more of the borrower-paid fee this year than they did last year.  Appraisers, I recently sent out a message asking appraisers to send me three data points comparing borrower-paid appraisal cost, and average AMC paid assignment fees in October, November 2021 and the same months in 2022 – for SFR assignments. My intent was to provide actual useful AMC-paid fee data compared to what the borrower pays for ‘the appraisal’, without revealing specific fees in any particular location. Replies to that message were much less than I expected, and only...

The VA Required to Encourage Hybrids - Senate Passes HR 7735 18

The VA Required to Encourage Hybrids – Senate Passes HR 7735

The VA will now be required to encourage hybrid appraisals.  If you are a VA Appraiser, here’s a bit of news you need to keep tabs on. Senate Passes VA Appraisal Modernization Measure – theMReport.com The U.S. Senate has announced the passage of HR 7735, the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act of 2022. Under the terms of HR 7735, sponsored by Sen. Dan Sullivan and Rep. Mike Bost, the VA will be required to: Issue certification requirements for appraisers; Execute minimum property requirements; Review the process for selecting and reviewing comparable sales; Implement quality control processes; Establish...

Smartphone Measuring Technology 15

Smartphone Measuring Technology

This new measuring technology claims the software to be ANSI compliant.  Appraisers, over the past couple of years, there have been lively discussions on forums, Facebook groups, at conferences, etc., about a ‘new’ technology which allows a ‘phone holder’ to measure a structure, with that technology providing a “Sketch” or “Floor Plan” of that structure. Some of you may have heard about one of the originating companies, Matterport, which some real estate agents/brokers use to generate virtual 3D interior diagrams and videos used in property marketing. Smartphone measuring technology evolved from that. Until recently, I and others did not understand...

AVMs The Not So Accurate Magic Bullet 21

AVMs… The Not So Accurate Magic Bullet

That article mentioned three on-line services which claim to provide accurate property values. In alphabetical order, those services were REDFIN, ReMax, and Zillow.  Folks, in all the diatribes against appraisers by people who believe “we” have built-in systemic bias, the topic of AVMs has come up. Some of the diatribers apparently think that using an AVM will magically produce an accurate property valuation, while eliminating bias, and appraisers. Well, not so fast. A while ago I saw a ‘consumer facing’ article telling people how they could get the value on their home. That article mentioned three on-line services which claim...

Visualizing Market Activity Using Graphs & Trendlines 4

Visualizing Market Activity Using Graphs & Trendlines

Spreadsheets and graphs are powerful tools for appraisers. With proper data, and incorporated into reports, they can enhance your professionalism and decision-making ability.  Appraisers, this article will highlight the process I use to bring clarity to my research and analysis of ‘comparable’ properties. This completed process becomes an exhibit in all my appraisal reports because it helps the Intended User(s) visually see what the market has been doing over a known time period. The exhibit graph also indicates a daily rate of change for the sales over the time period, which can then be applied as a ‘time’ (market) adjustment...

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