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How do appraiser's do their jobs?


longhornguy

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Does anyone know how a real estate appraiser does their job? Not an HCAD appraiser, but one that the bank employs to assess the value of a home to process a mortgage on.

I actually was able to speak to the appraiser for my property for a brief period. First of all, I don't think he was anymore qualified than me to appraise my property.

I could be wrong, but when someone isn't very well spoken (e.g. "well, you know and ya know and ya know what I'm sayin'?") I tend to lose confidence in their intelligence very quickly.

They mentioned their first appraisal was a "drive-by" appraisal. I'm taking this pretty literally, but does it mean that the person drives by the property on the way to lunch and puts an arbitrary value on the property based on how their left leg feels that day? I understand Compartive Market Analysis and such, but this "drive-by" appraisal drives me nuts.

How can you really assess the true value of a house without doing a full inspection and taking the time to look at the details that matter? I guess my profession as an Estimator lends me to use this logical process.

Maybe someone on this forum can enlighten me?

This has been bugging me since I closed on my house a few months ago...

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There's a LOT of bad appraisers out there. Recently moved into a new house that the bank appraised at way below what I paid for. Luckily I knew exactly what the property was worth and luckily I was putting enough down that the appraisal did not affect my loan. Always best to find an independent appraiser that is familiar with your area.

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I believe the lender is the one that tells the appraisal company what kind of appraisal they want. I believe a drive-by appraisal is one where the appraiser does not inspect the inside of the house. I'd think they still have to measure the outside of the house to make sure the square footage is correct.

flipper

ps. ya know what i'm sayin? ;)

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I've often wondered how many appraisals are even drive-bys these days, much less someone actually setting foot on the property. I'm guessing more now, that lending standards have tightened.

On the last house I bought (2007) they (the lender) didn't even have a drive-by done. They used an 'automated appraisal'. What a racket. As much as they drill you on various loan fees, no way was I going to pay $350 for someone on bank payroll already handling my loan to launch a freakin model on their desktop and plug in my address. I pitched a fit, and told them I'd would not pay for an appraisal that wasn't conducted on my property by a human who was licensed. They actually agreed to remove the charge. (actually reduced one of the other charges, or something, by the same amount.) I was frankly surprised by them using only an automated appraisal, because I was buying in a neighborhood without a lot of recent sales data, and with a huge variation in the value and quality of the housing stock. And this was USAA--who's bank has always had much tighter underwriting than the big mortgage writers.

Uh-oh. I feel a rant coming on about all of these parasitic companies that the consumer pays for through loan fees and higher insurance rates. Grr. I am so sick of paying for everyone's 20% cut. Take for instance the 'inspector' whom the bank sent to veirfy I have completed the Ike repairs on my house. He didn't even have a copy of the claim report with him! But his company is getting their 20% cut.....any my mortgage servicer got to keep my insurance claim money another 2 weeks while the whole scam of an 'inspection' was scheduled and paperwork 'approved'. Grrr!

Ok, rant over.

Edited by crunchtastic
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Residential appraisals are just like that. They often won't even measure out the square footage and just rely on what HCAD has down.

It is possible to find a decent commercial appraiser, but in my experience they just try to give the bank a number that is sufficient to justify the deal. The bank officers usually don't really care whether it is actually a good deal or not, but they absolutely will care if a given appraiser kills too many of the deals in their pipe. The honest appraiser delivering bad news won't get called back on the next one.

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  • 2 months later...

I think the appraisers have moved from one extreme to another. A few years ago they were doing drive by appraisals and it was a little more than a formality. Now with banks freaking out appraisers are frequently not appraising properties that should appraise because its safer. Basically they are not going to get in trouble for not appraising a property. We have seen cases where a property that is selling for less than any property in the last 3 years is not appraising. Basically the appraisers dont want to get in trouble for over appraising so they are under appraising everything.

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I think the appraisers have moved from one extreme to another. A few years ago they were doing drive by appraisals and it was a little more than a formality. Now with banks freaking out appraisers are frequently not appraising properties that should appraise because its safer. Basically they are not going to get in trouble for not appraising a property. We have seen cases where a property that is selling for less than any property in the last 3 years is not appraising. Basically the appraisers dont want to get in trouble for over appraising so they are under appraising everything.

Hmm... How many of these have you seen?

flipper

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