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I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on my favorite appraisal assignments of the year. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a bit since 2009 is not quite over, but that’s okay. I won’t get specific about addresses or location because I take client confidentiality very seriously.

Top 10 Favorite Appraisal Assignments of 2009

  1. water-bill-few-easy-steps-200X200Facuets Left On:  I appraised a bank-owned property in Solano County. It was a very nice property, but unfortunately all faucets and spickets were left on (with clogged drains), so there was extensive water damage. It was unclear if the damage was done by the disgruntled home owner or a vandal.
  2. oak park kj imagery former starbucksOak Park Fixers:  This year I appraised quite a few fixer properties in the Oak Park area of Sacramento that were purchased by an investment group, re-habbed, and then re-sold on the open market to first-time home buyers. It’s nice to be a part of a project where the end result is good for the community.
  3. 008Vacant Subdivision Land in Sacramento:  Acting as a property tax consultant, I valued two parcels in Sacramento County under the supervision of an AG (Commercial Appraiser). These sites were scheduled to be finished out as a subdivision, but then the market burst and subdivision building virtually stopped.
  4. imagesCA9RGC87Spring Water & Cesspool:  I appraised a house in Placer County that was on spring water and a cesspool (as opposed to a well and septic tank). Do you think this would have an impact on market value? How much of a price discount would it take for the typical buyer to look over an atypical feature such as this to purchase the property?
  5. Dilapidated Fourplex:  This property was interesting because it had repeated damage from squatters. I had to climb through a window to inspect one of the units too, and I cut my finger on broken glass (that made me remember this property even more).
  6. fixer-property-lundquist-appraisalUpgraded Duplex:  The residential-income market in Sacramento saw a huge decline in value over recent years. All of the latest sales in this particular neighborhood were fixers. So what is a bright and shiny upgraded non-bank-owned duplex worth in a marketplace of REO fixers?
  7. city-thumbnailRancho Cordova Property:  I’ll be honest. Since my office is located in Rancho Cordova, it sure is nice to get local assignments in the same city. I don’t mind at all driving to other counties, but it’s a great thing to travel a mile from the office to take care of business. My business in Rancho Cordova definitely increased this year.  
  8. Divorce Appraisals:  I do work for home owners and attorneys during a divorcedifficult time of life. It was a pleasure to provide excellent service to home owners in need this year and at least make the appraisal process smooth in the midst of a challenging situation. I grew up in a divorced home and I know it’s not an easy time of life.
  9. Pre-Listing Appraisals for Local Agent:  I am a realtor logohuge fan of working with local Realtors and it was a pleasure to establish a new working relationship with a particular agent who began to rely upon my knowledge and services this year. This year I had more referral work from Realtors and that’s a wonderful thing!!! I am also really grateful to be more connected to some stellar local real estate agents on Facebook and Twitter too.
  10. imagesCA42V1MYRipon New Subdivision:  There was nothing terribly complex about this assignment, but I really felt like I did a solid job on this appraisal in Stanislaus County and my client was very happy with the end-product. It’s just one of those I remember putting in a good amount of time and really enjoying the finished product.

I appreciate all my clients and colleagues who made 2009 a fantastic year. This has been a trying year for the appraisal industry in light of HVCC, but I am grateful nonetheless for all the good things that happened this year. Thank you.

If you are a real estate agent or home owner, what was the best experience you had this year with an appraiser? If you are a real estate appraiser reading this post, what were some of your favorite assignments this year.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog My Top 10 Favorite Appraisals of 2009

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photoIt was six months ago on May 1, 2009 when the Home Valuation Code of Conduct was implemented. We all know there has been controversy and complaints galore when it comes to HVCC, and so it’s no wonder there weren’t any “Happy Sixth Month” birthday parties. Or did I miss the local HVCC celebration somehow?

Communication is a bit different now in the real estate world due to HVCC, and so this entry is designed to help foster more effective connections between Realtors and appraisers in a post-05/01/09 market. Yes, Realtors can still talk with appraisers and provide ample information about the real estate market or properties they have sold or listed. The only thing Realtors and agents cannot do is coerce or influence appraisers toward an opinion of value.

Below are some basic suggestions for things to say and not say to an appraiser during an inspection. My hope is that these tips will be very practical and useful for the field.

Tips for talking to Appraisers during an inspection:

  • Be conversational. Make a great impression on appraisers.
  • Be on time. If you are late, say sorry.
  • Helpful statements: “I’m glad to help out where I can.” “Let me know if you have any questions about the property or neighborhood.” “Call me if you need anything.”
  • Drop in some comments about the local market, supply and demand, bifurcation, new listings, REOs, price per square foot, or anything relevant you can pull out of your bag of tricks. This might help conversation emerge as well as a mutual market education too.  
  • If you want, bring a list of potential comps and say, “Would you like to see any recent sales I pulled in the neighborhood?” This way you leave it up to the appraiser to accept anything from you (no pressure), and you are not even labeling these properties as comparable in any sense either, but only saying “have a look if you’d like”. A method like this might be particularly useful if you sense on the phone that the appraiser may not be in touch with the local market for whatever reason.
  • Give a verbal or written list of all upgrades and repairs made.
  • If it’s ethical for you to do so, consider letting appraisers know how many offers, showings and calls your listing had. This type of information is often useful. Please be honest and careful not to steer a value conclusion with this information.
  • Ask appraisers for any local market insight they might have, and feel free to share your understanding also. Both Realtors and appraisers have expertise when it comes to the real estate market, so sharing knowledge is a tremendous benefit for both groups. For example, if you are aware of upcoming new construction, a thriving neighborhood association, employment trends, eminent domain issues, a school opening or closing, or other aspects of real estate in the immediate neighborhood, that could be resourceful information to discuss. 

Things NOT to say to an Appraiser during an inspection:

  • Don’t complain about HVCC. If it comes up, that’s fine, but there are more productive things to talk about (see above).
  • Don’t rant about another appraiser who “destroyed your last deal”. Talking about another appraiser like he/she is some sort of village idiot does not leave a good impression.
  • “Here are the best comps for you to use in your appraisal report” (this sounds like you are influencing an opinion of value).
  • “Is this one going to come in at value?” ”Is it going to appraise for at least the sales price?” ”Do your best to get the value as high as possible”. You definitely want to steer clear of value-pressuring questions or statements.

If you have any other suggestions to help appraisers and real estate agents communicate more effectively and ethically in an HVCC world, feel free to leave a comment or contact me at 916-595-3735 or ryan@lundquistcompany.com. It would be great to hear stories too of your interactions with appraisers or agents. You can comment above.

www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Talking to Appraisers in an HVCC World: Tips for Real Estate Agents

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fannie-mae-hvcc-faqSince the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) went into effect on May 1, 2009, there has been quite a bit of confusion over who can now talk with appraisers. I won’t re-hash the entire gist here since I have posted previously about the subject, but I did want to post a link to Fannie Mae’s HVCC FAQ in case you have not seen it. This document may be helpful to home owners, loan officers, and real estate agents who are wondering about what type of communication is appropriate under HVCC (as well as other questions then answer).

Download Fannie Mae HVCC FAQ (PDF)

NOTE:  HVCC only impacts loans that are geared toward Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Appraisals for litigation, estate settlement, divorce, bankruptcy, and FHA, among other purposes, are NOT impacted at all by HVCC. In effect this means an appraiser like myself can regularly and ethically communicate with many clients during the normative course of the business day because HVCC only applies to certain facets of loan work.

http://www.lundquistcompany.com/blog Have you read Fannie Mae’s FAQ on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)?

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