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  #1  
Old 10-14-2010, 09:34 PM
Yen Apprentice's Avatar
Yen Apprentice Yen Apprentice is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
State: Minnesota
Professional Status: Appraiser Trainee
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Default Problem with Realtors not doing their jobs

I was wondering if anyone else is fed up of Realtors not doing their jobs? Examples:
  1. Because seller concessions may or may not be deducted in the sales grid, the listing agent changed the actual list price to accommodate the concessions, making it look as if the selling price was higher, and in turn, not disclosing the concession amount.
  2. I called an agent to verify the 730 square foot basement with 1200 finished square feet in the basement (not possible, I know. He was wrong). He informed me that he doesn't usually verify that kind of information for short sales, etc. and he probably got that from an older listing from another Realtor online. Since I was going to have to get that information from the county instead, I asked if he was interested in having it so that he may fix his MLS data sheet. Of course, he said sure! Also, no where on his data sheet did he indicate that the property was a distressed listing, but he disclosed that to me over the phone, so I ended up using a different property.
  3. I was trying to use an active listing in my report. This Realtor from the cities (not the area where the property is located) did not list any rooms, the lot dimensions and did not indicate where the bathrooms were located. I sent an email asking for this information and asked him to fix his MLS data sheet with the correct information.
Do Realtors not have a higher authority? Surely they have high standards, right?

Thanks for any input/suggestions.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:07 AM
Mountain Man's Avatar
Mountain Man Mountain Man is offline
 
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Location: North of the ATL.
State: Georgia
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
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Brokers and real estate licensees act in a FIDUCIARY manner. IE: they work to get the best deal for their client. The agents are doing exactly as instructed by their clients. Unless it's illegal, of which not disclosing concessions isn't, then they must comply with their client's instructions.
Appraiser are to be D3P... disinterested third parties. These are completely two different sets of scope of work. If you want to live long in this biz, you will learn quickly the different rolls each party plays in a real estate transaction. BTW, the closing attorney usually represents the LENDER, not the buyer. Buyers are completely un-represented unless they hire their own buyers agent and buyers attorney.
  #3  
Old 10-15-2010, 12:22 AM
Yen Apprentice's Avatar
Yen Apprentice Yen Apprentice is offline
 
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State: Minnesota
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I know personally that this Realtor altered the MLS data sheet for appraisal purposes. I have had a discussion with said Realtor about seller concessions. This Realtor informed me that seller concessions are part of the selling price and value. When I brought this up in an appraisal class, everyone seemed to think that this was an unethical act. I agree. This Realtor did it to hide the concessions in the actual selling price to alter future appraisal outcomes.

I guess I don't understand your comments about an appraiser being a disinterested third party, or about the lawyer. I never mentioned anything about being an interested party, and I never mentioned anything about a closing. Are you referring to the "distressed" property that he did not disclose? Are they not obligated as a member of the MLS to disclose this, as it pertains to the property?

My concern is this: The MLS provides a lot of useful information, but when the Realtors don't complete the data sheet, there are a lot of holes in the property information, some that the county records would not even have, i.e. the finished basement area, etc.
Are Realtors not obligated to disclose all information available to them as a member of the MLS?

Thanks again,

Yen
  #4  
Old 10-15-2010, 07:25 AM
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Jungle Boy Jungle Boy is offline
 
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Location: West Palm Beach
State: Florida
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The less information the listing agent provides in the MLS sheet, the more phone calls he's going to get (if the listed price is reasonable, that is).

The photos in the MLS listing (exterior and especially interior) are what draw most buyers to the property. Of course, living area and bedroom count are probably more important the photos.

Some agents prefer more of phone calls, some prefer less.

MLS services require a minimum amount of information in the listing (it probably varies, depending on the MLS), but much of it is up to the agent to either put in or leave out.

As a listing agent, what I have found brings in tons of showings, is putting in the Broker Comments: $1,000 bonus to buyers agent, if closed in 2010. This brings in more showings from other agents than anything else.

The agent is working for their client, not you the appraiser.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2010, 07:44 AM
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HF Mudd HF Mudd is offline
 
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Location: Queens County
State: New York
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
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Welcome to the forum Yen.

When you state "I know personally that this Realtor altered the MLS data sheet for appraisal purposes", do you mean the hard copy he handed you or on the MLS system? Some systems allow you to look at the listing history and see when changes were made, what the changes were, etc.

I would advise you to get used to the fact that RE Agents are not always the most reliable source for information. You should try your best to independently verify any information in an MLS listing. For example, you can look at the interior photos to determine condition instead of reading the written descriptions. I suggest that you take a few extra moments to look at a comparable when you're shooting the photos to try to get a feel for its condition.

The standards and ethical behavior of Realtors varies widely as it does in many professions, including our own.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2010, 08:28 AM
Yen Apprentice's Avatar
Yen Apprentice Yen Apprentice is offline
 
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State: Minnesota
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Quote:
When you state "I know personally that this Realtor altered the MLS data sheet for appraisal purposes", do you mean the hard copy he handed you or on the MLS system? Some systems allow you to look at the listing history and see when changes were made, what the changes were, etc.
I was referring to the MLS system. My supervisor and I did this particular appraisal. Our MLS does allow a person to view the listing history, and I always disclose the entire history in my report. If it weren't for the CREV (and personally knowing that there were concessions), I would not know, and neither would the next appraiser trying to use the property as a comp. It just seems shady to me.

Quote:
I would advise you to get used to the fact that RE Agents are not always the most reliable source for information. You should try your best to independently verify any information in an MLS listing. For example, you can look at the interior photos to determine condition instead of reading the written descriptions. I suggest that you take a few extra moments to look at a comparable when you're shooting the photos to try to get a feel for its condition.
I am starting to realize that now. I think it's unfortunate that agents aren't held to a higher standard as appraisers are. MLS is a vital tool in my area, so if I cannot verify the information through the county records, I pass on these comps. This is hard to do, because I am in a smaller market and usually need those comps.
The interior photos were not provided for that particular property. The only photo this agent listed was the rear photo of the property. I did inspect the property from the street. I have actually measured foreclosure properties myself before, because the listing agents typically have the square footage wrong. I can get the room count from the county field card, but it's usually not accurate, and the GLA is always wrong. Not to mention, the finished area in the basement is never on the field card.

Last edited by Yen Apprentice : 10-15-2010 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Forgot something
  #7  
Old 10-15-2010, 08:38 AM
Yen Apprentice's Avatar
Yen Apprentice Yen Apprentice is offline
 
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State: Minnesota
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Default

Quote:
The less information the listing agent provides in the MLS sheet, the more phone calls he's going to get (if the listed price is reasonable, that is).
When I was in the market for a house, I didn't even bother with properties that had limited data like that. I didn't want to waste my time.

Quote:
The photos in the MLS listing (exterior and especially interior) are what draw most buyers to the property. Of course, living area and bedroom count are probably more important the photos.
It usually helps if the agent actually posts photos. When they only post the rear photo of a property, it gets a little tricky trying to get a feel for what the interior is like. Even with a street inspection.

Quote:
The agent is working for their client, not you the appraiser.
I do realize this much, but I think it can have a major impact on future sales of properties. If the agent fails to disclose the information on their comps, these 'sales' will be passed up when it comes time to choose comps, because they didn't feel the need to disclose any further information, and I am unable to verify such data, etc.
  #8  
Old 10-15-2010, 08:50 AM
John Hassler John Hassler is offline
 
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State: California
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The issues you bring up have less to do with the agents and more to do with your local MLS. It is highly likely that your MLS can make any data field mandatory when the agent inputs the listing (such as bedroom & bath count) as well as noting sales concessions when the listing is marked as 'sold'.

I would contact your MLS. It will likely take more than one letter or visit from you to effect change. Be prepared to join a committee and/or get the muscle of your local appraisers' association. Change is possible. I speak from experience.

Last edited by John Hassler : 10-15-2010 at 09:06 AM.
  #9  
Old 10-15-2010, 09:46 AM
vanguard vanguard is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
State: Minnesota
Professional Status: Retired Appraiser
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If you are looking for any precision on the MLS data sheets or even county records in Minnesota you will
be frustrated. The local MLS permits the term “not disclosed” in the lender-mediated section which in turn
is probably transferred to the main Lender-Mediated website. This of course skews any reliable foreclosure statistics. All you can do is contact your local MLS and request that the agent adhere to their ethics commitment.
  #10  
Old 10-15-2010, 11:28 AM
Mile High Trout Mile High Trout is offline
 
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State: Colorado
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Regardless of how an appraiser feels about the quality of the Realtors listing, those listings are highly informative. Even if the information gained is that it's hardly a reliable sale.

When an appraiser becomes informed of issues such as data unreliability, concealed concessions, home repair issues, etc, etc. Their position is to report those issues objectively within the report in order to inform the client and provide necessary credibility to the report and value opinion.
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