Slandering Appraisers… Fooling the Appraiser

Slandering Appraisers: Cincinnati Real Estate Broker May Be Both a Fool and a Tool

…the purpose of the game is to fool the appraiser into thinking that the property is worth the agreed upon purchase price…

Real estate broker Karen Schlosser provides videos to her customers as part of her Tech Tool Monday Series.

She recently promoted her video called “Fool The Appraiser” – a catchy marketing phrase to promote dishonesty. She literally has no idea how offensive this is to the appraisal industry and how unprofessional this makes her look to the public and her peers.

From the transcript of her video:

So, the purpose of the game is to fool the appraiser into thinking that the property is worth the agreed upon purchase price.

I wonder if anyone at the National Association of Realtors has seen this marketing strategy since it may violate NAR’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®? She sent out fliers to the brokerage industry touting her “Fool the Appraiser” video. You can do that yourself by clicking on this link.

Standard of Practice 15-2
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses and their business practices includes the duty to not knowingly or recklessly publish, repeat, retransmit, or republish false or misleading statements made by others. This duty applies whether false or misleading statements are repeated in person, in writing, by technological means (e.g., the Internet), or by any other means. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 15-3
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, and their business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading. (Adopted 1/10, Amended 1/12)

Here is the webinar handout. Clueless.

Her lack of judgment and professionalism is stunning whether or not she is good at selling properties.

Jonathan Miller
Image credit flickr - Yuri Keegstra
Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.

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21 Responses

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Wow, interesting reads. Yep, happens all the dang time. Image attached.

      For this specific article from Mr Miller; The broken record skips on. It is not the lenders responsibility to loan more money so that one borrower can make a better offer than another borrower. If a buyer wants to get funding for an excess offer which is over and above the established market value benchmarks, they have to pay the difference in cash. That is the legitimate way that price and value increases, by proving the demand with cash out of pocket. Then everyone else down the line can claim the benefit of that proven bonafide sale with higher pricing. But the first person to offer over the ceiling or value cap, they have to pay cash, no exceptions. There is no other valid way to establish the value benchmark, which is why LTV’s should theoretically never go over 100% regardless of financing type. The agent would have been more effective if they wrote an article on proper contract language to use for multiple offer bid ups, cash over value promissory clauses, right to reject if offering over list but without cash contribution, that sort of thing. Or as a pro agent would tell you; There is the highest price offer, and then there is the strongest most reliable offer, and they are not always one in the same.

      • Avatar Vince Slupski says:

        Right there, you’ve illustrated a fundamental open question regarding the basis and objective of appraisal. Is it a normative function, or a predictive function? Are we expressing what a buyer “should” pay for a property, or predicting a price on which a willing buyer and seller will actually agree?

        Tell me this: imagine two identical tract houses. One is empty, lawn hasn’t been mowed. The other has been professionally staged, lawn mowed, cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove. The staged house will sell for more, won’t it? At least the listing broker thinks so, and has convinced the seller. And let’s say it does, in fact, sell for more. Would you appraise both houses the same?

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Sweep that one under the rug with deferred maintenance language and a little quality adjust or something for whatever was in need of care. The answer is not so simple but is rooted in the idea of turn key and those pleasant feelings which come with a well maintained property. Houses are where humans live. It takes a human to perceive the value as much or more than it takes some mechanical process to measure the data. The normal rule of thumb is if the owners neglected this, there is an increased probability they neglected that. Hypothetically, an attentive homeowner does not let the lawn die. Then call up some landscapers and sprinkler guys, let them knock your socks off with outrageous prices. We value land and home together.

          Even in their brand new state, there is always a quality difference. It may not be tangible at first, but may cumulate into notable differences over time. The soil report, the structure, the construction, the attentiveness of the workers, the fine finishing, utility hook ups, seasonal care. With aftermarket there can be a big difference with identical houses depending on the methods the builder used down to the methods the owner utilized for care, the differences cumulate with time.

          Normative… What’s normal to you? I’d prefer the ruined lawn unit because come what may I’d rather pay cash out of pocket for repairs rather than finance that higher buy price over the term of a 30 or even a 15, which increases the actual cash equivalent expense. I’m thrifty. Presuming a 2x cash equivalent multiplier over the amortized term, it’s ‘normal’ to me to prioritize a lower purchase price. To the next guy, less concerned with cash equivalency. This is the market. Dynamic. Fluid. Full of conflicting interests. Conveniently the diversity of the humans whom buy and humans whom sell does create constant opportunity to make human based decisions based on both feelings and measurable quality.

          Staging is a waste of time for a buyer like me, I would prefer the home fully vacant so I can see it completely, flaws and all. When I see a staged home the first thing which comes to mind is what are they trying to distract me from. They pay what they are able and willing to pay, with financing available to them in that location. That’s rooted in the larger economy so no, we don’t predict or forecast anything. We measure the wild and zany purchasing and selling behaviors, adjust them reasonably, and provide a reasonable check to balance.

          The juxtaposition of the appraisal position is that we’re often not really needed. But if we were not present as that stopgap, we’d be needed again immediately. Our presence keeps the agents in line as an industry standard. Eliminate the independent check to balance, open the doors for just about everything the industry players might dream up.

  1. Avatar Jason says:

    Her game won’t work on professionals!

  2. Avatar Trisha Jennings says:

    Here information was helpful to realtors but her title was just misleading. I think knowing we are all on the same team, professionals who are protecting the lender and borrower from being mislead.

  3. Avatar nick says:

    She’s so full of shit it’s coming out her ears. That said she used cool fonts and graphics so it’s gotta be true /s.

    Apart from the carnival barkers that ruin/promote dishonesty, I don’t know appraisers who are only using CMA from a broker. We have our own data, we have our own experience and we use professional discretion.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Well you know, it’s just a popular talking point. Scratch the surface and you’ll find a thousand articles just like that one, without the glaring irony in the title line. How to get your value. How to make the value happen. Creating value. Proving the value, etc, etc. As if it’s some artistic effort or something.

  4. Vaughn Kerkorian on Facebook Vaughn Kerkorian on Facebook says:

    I forward this link & article to the NAR; here is their response: “Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. Any complaints of a potential violation of the Code of Ethics should be directed to the local association where the individual holds membership, which in this case would be the Cincinnati Area Board. All ethics complaints are processed locally. The Cincinnati Area Board can be reached at 513-761-8800. Thank you”.

    Chat Conversation End
    Type a message…

  5. Avatar Bill Johnson says:

    As I always say people, seek the truth. Of note, don’t we all love it when agents tell us about the 5 to 10 other offers they have on the property, as if that has any bearing on the sold properties I’m using from yesterday or from a few weeks before. I wonder why they look confused when I thank them for the information, and explain that bidding wars are often an indication of irrational thinking and thus short term overvaluation.

    Seek the truth, and believe no one.

  6. Mike Ford on Facebook Mike Ford on Facebook says:

    I’m guessing “How to defraud borrowers and Banks” just wasn’t as catchy.

  7. Mike Ford on Facebook Mike Ford on Facebook says:

    I don’t understand why any honest seller would want anything to do with an agent who advertises their own personal dishonesty & lack of integrity.

  8. Avatar Tony L Woods says:

    I googled her, found her website and emailed her and told her exactly how I felt about her disdain for appraisers and the necessary and important service that we provide to the lending world and public trust we convey.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      The culture surrounding appraisal ‘management’ has reached new lows. They want us for appraisal trivia now. Imagine being rewarded the ‘free’ rush order because your name came up on the wheel of appraisers or something. Congratulations! We need this back today. Now that’s value added service. Appraisers sharing so much of the fee with an amc that there is room to spare, and lenders are rewarded ‘free’ appraisals.

      This is the sort of thing that happens when an entire industry is prohibited from advocating for itself, prohibited from communicating with clients directly, prohibited from selling the service to the actual consumers of the product. Separation from loan production continues to do more harm than good. It’s not surprising that realty agents are just as confused as appraisers.

  9. Avatar Julio E. Sune, Jr says:


    Requirements for a real estate license in Florida

    Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
    • Complete 63 hours of approved Pre-Licensing education. …
    • Pass the course final exam. …
    • Submit your fingerprints to the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. …
    • Complete the application for licensure. …
    • Pass the Florida Real Estate Salesperson Exam.


    Requirements for a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser in Florida

    Effective July 30, 2014, The Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board permits Qualifying Education to be completed online.
    *Note all proctored exams must be taken online through the eproctor system.

    Qualifying Education:
    200 QE Hours:
    15-hour Nat’l USPAP or Equivalent.
    Basic Appraisal Principles – 30 hours.
    Basic Appraisal Procedures – 30 hours.
    Residential Market Analysis & Highest and Best Use – 15 hours.
    Residential Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach – 15 hours.
    Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches – 30 hours.
    Residential Report Writing and Case Studies – 15 hours.
    Statistics, Modeling and Finance – 15 hours.
    Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies – 15 hours.
    Appraisal Subject Matter Electives – 20 hours which shall include 6 hours of the Florida Laws and Rules.

    Experience: 1,500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience in not less than 12 months.

    College Education:
    1) Bachelor’s Degree in any field of study;
    2) Associate’s Degree in a focused field of study, such as business, economics, or real estate;
    3) Successful completion of 30 college semester credit hours in specified topics;
    4) Successful completion of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)1 exams equivalent to a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in specified subject matter areas; or
    5) Any combination of #3 and #4 above that includes all of the topics identified.
    The Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board requires a timing mechanism for all qualifying distance education courses to ensure that the courses cannot be completed in less time than the approved credit hours. Please note that your course will time out after several minutes of inactivity.
    Roster Required: yes
    Roster Process:
    Roster Sent: Every days
    Governing Agency
    Name: Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board
    Phone: 8504871395
    Fax: 4073177245
    Address: 2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, FL 32399

    • Avatar Tony L Woods says:

      Julio! That is AWESOME!!!

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      People would be singing a different tune if they had a better grasp where the king fraudsters really reside and how we are all effected by their behaviors. This lady and her article does not affect me, it’s a non issue really. Bigger fish to fry.

      Loans… The sales agent might as well have said; How to fool the lender. I mean what’s everyone in a huff about? Every single person ran through this economic system of fiat money lending is being had on a daily basis. If we want a generally higher standard of ethic we’ll need to work on a team towards unified goals.

  10. Avatar Marc Gerard says:

    So Jonathan. You brought this up, its on you to present this to he local board.

  11. In her defense, maybe she is having to deal with a lot of low bid appraisers. If any of you have family in the real estate sales business, you know what I am talking about. The borrower pays top dollar for his/her appraisal and gets the low bid appraiser sent from the AMC.

    Someone posted the requirements for an appraisal license, that looks great on paper, but there are a very large number of appraisers out there that were grandfathered in with a high school degree. Even the ones that did get the BS degree, if it wasn’t in Real Estate, the state courses don’t teach them how to appraise property. The state expects the licensed appraiser to teach that. How many of them have learned from appraisers that were never properly taught? Based on the reviews I do, I have to say there are far too many.


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Slandering Appraisers… Fooling the Appraiser

by Jonathan Miller time to read: 1 min