Low-ball appraisal: Mortgage denied

by The Niche Report magazine30 Mar 2012

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- You find the home of your dreams. You're pre-approved for a mortgage. You've scheduled the closing. Then ... the appraisal comes in too low and the deal blows up. 

Even as some mortgage standards have eased, hitting a needed appraisal value is proving a frustrating blocker for buyers and sellers and those looking to refinance. If a buyer commits to a $200,000 home, but the appraisal comes in at just $180,000, the bank will finance only on the lower value -- and the buyer must come up with the difference.

Leslie Sellers, a real estate broker in Clinton, Tenn., has a client who recently went to contract on a Norris, Tenn., home. The appraisal came in 10% short.

"I explained to the appraiser that houses in Norris are older and sell for higher prices than other parts of the county," said Sellers, past president of the Appraisal Institute, a trade group. "[The appraiser] told me he was going with his value. We lost the sale."

The banks are one reason appraisals are coming in low. If they have to repossess a home, they don't want to get stuck with one worth far less than the mortgage.

"It's not like the lenders say, 'We want you to come in low,'" Sellers said. "It's more like, 'We want you to account for everything.' Some appraisers hear that and overcompensate."

Read full article from CNN Money

COMMENTS

  • by Carolina Pascua | 3/30/2012 12:08:06 PM

    What can you do that is how the valuation is being done, value depends on the activity around the property, no activity equals to less value too.

  • by B.C. | 3/30/2012 4:40:16 PM

    “I explained to the appraiser that houses in Norris are older and sell for higher prices than other parts of the county,” said Sellers, past president of the Appraisal Institute, a trade group.

    I suppose Sellers provided comparable sales to support his opinion. Appraisers cannot, and Sellers should know this based upon being the past president of the Appraisal Institute, just decide to adjust without support.

  • by gene anderson | 3/30/2012 10:33:38 PM

    NO HARD CREDIT REPORT UNTIL THE APPRAISAL IS COMPLETED. YOUR FICO SCORE IS INVOLVED IN ALL HARD INQUIRIES. A LENDER WILL RUN YOUR REPORT AT LEAST 2 TIMES ON ONE LOAN AND POSSIBLY 3 TIMES. FICO will, even though they say they do not LOWER your FICO EVERY lender will say we have to run your credit first. Don't buy into that lie.

    YOU not the bank control which appraiser completes the Appraisal. The Bank must order the appraisal from an independent company (they typically own) That company has only one obligation. Find an appraiser and get 1/2 of the normal fee for their efforts. You can refuse the appraiser and even the next one they suggest. Get resume. Verify E & O Insurance. Verify License. Require only the most knowledgeable appraiser which would be a Certified General Appraiser. Demand LOCAL. You can go to https://www.asc.gov/National-Registry/FindAnAppraiser.aspx and type in your city. Do not settle for less. Management company will complain but since you only want the very best... what can they say? You will be cutting into their profits because they may find a real hungry appraiser for $75.00 and charge you $450 and much more. They are for profit corporations and they want to make money so the cheaper their cost the more profit they make.

    In dealing with the appraiser you may ask the appraiser anything and he/she will say I can not discuss this with you. The appraiser will state that the guidelines relating to appraiser independence do not allow him to communicate with anyone. That is not true because there is no mention that the appraiser can not speak with ANYONE. There is n mention that the borrower may not discuss the assignment with the borrower. There is nothing which prevents the bank or the morgage person from speaking with anyone. EVERYONE may talk. ONLY people ON COMMISSION need be carefuL about the words they use. They may not attempt to INFLUENCE the appraiser.

    You, the borrower CAN suggest that the appraiser not use foreclosures as they are not willing buyer willing seller arms length transactions. INSIST on that or have the Appraisal Management Company show you that the majority of sales with several miles are foreclosures. If that is truE then using foreclosures is OK. PAY money to a realtor to give you the best comparables and send them to the appraiser before he or she shows up. Ask hm if he plans to use other comparables or if these are truly comparable. Drive the comps you provided. Speak with buyers. Drive the appraisers comps and VERIFY what he /she reported was true. Speak to buyers.
    WHEN APPRAISER SP GET BUSINESS CARD AND LOOK AT DRIVERS LICENSE. NO MATCH SEND AWAY.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER: They may choose an appraiser but you never must accept the person assigned.

    SO GO ON THE NET AND LEARN ABOUT ISSUES RELATED TO APPRAISALS

    LOW BALL APPRAISAL... get a realtors opinion of it and inform the appraiser you will file a complaint with FnMae and the State if he does not correct errors. Maybe hire an appraiser to review the appraisal. Who knows it might be right but I have had 4 appraisals in 2011 on property I owned. 3 required between 25 and 40 pages of analysis by me because the appraisers... knowledgeable appraisers with the license just below Certified General... were major space cadets. The 4th one died because the appraiser's comments were found to be false but a seed had been planted and the lender walked away.

    As of today the most knowledgeable appraiser have quit the business. We were just surviving thus when our fees were cut in half and we had to compete on an equal playing field with trainees and new people in the business there was no profit motive to remain in business.

    I am a retired appraiser. After 40 years I thought I had seen everything

    More than happy to answer emails. reapusa@gmail.com

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