Friday, June 12, 2009

Competency Wins ONE!!

The story below sent to me by a Pennsylvania State-Certified Residential Appraiser.

The HVCC strikes again.

Got a frantic call yesterday morning. Could I do a rush purchase appraisal at XXXX and have the report back by Monday? I pull it up on MLS - lakefront, $500,000 sale price. I tell them yes - but it means giving up a planned weekend and my fee would be lotsa beaver pelts - complex rush assignment.

I figured they'd scream and walk away. Not so - got the order - check came this morning. So I call the Realtor's office to set appointment - the person at the appointment desk says the Realtor wants to know where I am from. I laughed and told her and said "why? Is she worried about competency?" She fell all over herself apologizing, I said no offense - if she isn't she should be thanks to the HVCC.

A few minutes later the Realtor calls back, all apologetic. Yes, she was worried about competency. She hopes I took no offense. It seems I am the second appraiser to try to get an appointment. The first one, she refused to give him access to the property. The reason? The appraiser was coming from a town 4 1/2 hours away. When he tried to set the appointment, he told the Realtor she would have to meet him there because he didn't have a lockbox key. Oh - and could she provide him all the sales she used to do her CMA and he should use to do the report? Oh, and could she provide assessment records for the subject and all sales? Oh, and did she have a map of XXXXX?

The Realtor blew a gasket, asked him if he'd like her to write the report for him and just give it to him to sign, too? Then she refused entry and called the lender and raised bloody h***. Her stance is she has a fiduciary duty to the seller, her office has a fiduciary duty to the buyer - and that includes not letting an appraiser complete the assignment who is not competent to do so. Not once was value mentioned - what WAS mentioned was "knowing the market, understanding just what is involved with these lakefront properties, understanding the motivations of buyers and sellers at this particular guard gated lakeside community".

It seems I got the job, despite fee, because said lender is friendly with a LO from a good client (with whom I can now have no contact thanks to HVCC). The lender called him and asked him if he knew someone local, competent to complete an assignment involving a waterfront residence. He gave them my name and phone number and warned them I wouldn't come cheap, but I was worth the money. Well, well.

So - now I wonder - what idiot appraiser is willing to drive 4 1/2 hours one way and be in really over his rubbers for probably less than full fee And how come whoever ordered the appraisal didn't check out the appraiser's competency to perform such an appraisal?? 4 1/2 hours away - yeah, right - sure he's competent to appraise in this area - especially considering he didn't know where the property was, didn't know it was lakefront, had no idea it was guard gated with a chunk of change initiation fee (often used as a bargaining chip and concession), doesn't have MLS or assessment records access and expected the Realtor to do his work for him.

What we have here is a Realtor who stood up for her seller and another agent's buyer to ensure competency. Good for her - I hope more will do so. Until these AMC's stop shopping for fee and turn time, until they are regulated, until they select appraisers based on quality, knowledge, competency and experience in a given market, the HVCC will continue to damage the real estate market - and especially the consumer.

Three cheers for a gutsy Realtor - may there be many more like her!

From a southern Pennsylvania Appraiser and offered by Appraiser Active with no comment. We'll leave that to you.

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