It’s sure not cooling me off.
The Home Valuation Code of Conduct is supposed to regulate Realtors, appraiser and lenders – basically to keep us from scamming the consumer. Since no one can seem to figure out who to blame for the bubble bursting there’s a blanket of new rules on everyone.
How? By cutting the cord of communication. The Realtor or lender can no longer even talk to the appraiser. The appraiser is chosen by the Wizard of Oz standing behind the curtain.
Real Estate Is Local
Except for the appraiser. Even the National Association of Realtors finally got a clue and jumped on the bandwagon to educate consumers that listening to the national news to learn about their local neighborhood market was a bad idea.
A little real estate 101 here: When you’re comparing apples, you compare them to other apples.
Because the Wizard – otherwise known as an Appraisal Management Company – chooses the appraiser, they’re coming from Russia to appraise Pacifica. They don’t know that Rockaway Beach is different than Linda Mar. Or that The Village is different than Shoreview.
What’s The Value?
A sale isn’t determined by what the market will bear or what a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will sell for. Sale price is now based on what the property will appraise for.
I just sold a house in San Mateo with 21 offers – yes, 21. I had to advise the seller not to take one of the higher priced offers because I didn’t think the house would appraise. I wouldn’t call that fair trade. The seller leaves money on the table and so does anyone else in the neighborhood who wants to sell. If the house is in a neighborhood of short sales like this one is – where values have dropped because of them – I’d be one pissed off property owner.
What Does It All Mean?
Tom Vanderwell tries to write a diplomatic, informative, nicey-nicey post. I see it differently.
I can’t say that I’ve relied on an appraiser “friend” to get a deal done, but I have many times called for their opinion. Appraisers, just like Realtors, focus(ed) on a geographic area and were extremely knowledgeable about that area.
Time? More and lots of it. We’ve gone from 24 hour appraisal turn-around to being thankful to being able to get it done in 17 days.
Coordination? We used to order inspections on the house; after the buyer determined to proceed with the sale the appraisal would be ordered. Why? To save money for god’s sake. If the inspections were no good, why incur the expense of the appraisal? Now it’s all done at the same time. Inspections came back bad? Oh well, you just lost $700 for them plus $400 for the appraisal.
Consumer protection? Uh…I say not.