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Ah, The Selling Agent Rebuttal

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Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
I just appraised a small frame home sale in the cultural district of Fort Worth. This is an area with old, old homes that is gradually getting refurbished home by home. I knew I was in trouble when the seller met me at my truck (this is Texas) and wanted to know if I understood the Monticello addition. My response was not very nice, "quite well, but the Monticello addition is to the west, this is the Bailey addition." The seller quickly changed the subject to how the neighborhood was changing and there was new home up on the corner, most of the value is the land (if they only knew the trouble of that comment), how he has owned most of the properties on this block at one time or another and how the borrower had her remodelers here to help her plan her remodel. The man did not quit talking the entire time of the inspection. he asked me if I knew an appraiser buddy of his, asked me if I was familiar with property values in Country Club Heights, etc.

To make a long story even longer, the home is 2/1 frame home, no central h/a, no garage, no anything. It is marginally average, but livable and occupied. The seller is not the listed owner on any records I have except the sales contract and the tax records were updated on line less than a month ago. Guess what folks, I did not get the $80,000 sales price and the onslaught has begun.


The seller, the selling agent and just about everybody else claims I don't understand the area. The selling agent faxed me four comps to consider raising my opinion of value. With the "we can make it work and $77,500" comment. One sale was from 2001 with two garage apartments, one sale just over a year old that happened to be remodeled, one sale I already had in my report and one sale I ignored because it was over six months old and did not help their cause at all.

Here is my rebuttal:

Ms. XXXX,

Thank you for sending the selling agent comps for further consideration. Here is the breakdown on the RE agent comps. I can not use 3401 Hamilton or 3333 W 5th Street in the market grid because they are over a year old and your underwriters will not accept them. 3333 W 5th Street was sold in 2001 and had two garage apartments which the subject does not. I utilized 3421 Hamilton in my appraisal and is already considered in my opinion of value. I can add 3312 Hamilton if you wish and I have comped it out, but this sale reflects a lower adjusted value than any other comp and may serve to lower my opinion of value. This home is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The subject is 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. This home has 500 sf more of living area and is "beautifully updated with loads of extras, refinished hard woods, ceramic tile, new kitchen appliances, new cabinets, new counter tops, floors,etc." The subject property has no updates. I can include this sale and lower my opinion of value thanks the RE agents help, or I can ignore this sale since it is over six months old and stay with an opinion of value at $74,000. Please understand that I am an unbiased party to this loan to protect the mortgage company and the borrower from overpaying for a property and exceeding collateral requirements. I will gladly speak to the borrower on your behalf with your permission, if only to point out that I understand the neighborhood much better than the biased RE agent and seller. My opinion of value is based on pertinent factual data, not whimsical hopes and dreams. Keep in mind that you can always get another opinion of value that may be more sympathetic to your seller and RE agent needs, but you must first ask yourself if you are doing the borrower any favors by doing so in our stagnant real estate climate.

Kind regards,

Tim Hicks, RAA


Any suggestions, comments? How do you handle the crazy comps provided by the RE agent for re-consideration? I thought this topic should be started, since the re-fi boom is clearly slowing down and the pressure is gong to increase to make loans and is about to become paramount. If you think it was tough before, wait until the dwindling loan officers are fighting for the few sales available.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Oh yeah, I'm too conservative an appraiser for this area, too! Funny how that word turns up isn't it, Larry!
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Hey Tim, you should be thankful for such good comps.

The last group of "comps" that I got from an owner included 2 sales that were just about 2 years old and 8 current listings. Great bunch of "comps".

If I had not been so conservative, I could have massaged those listings into the anticipated value.
 

Linda M Lynch

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
As I said in a different post on this board, I had two real estate agents on my case this week trying to convince me that their substandard property in "difficult" neighborhoods were comparable to new, lakefront property 15 miles away. One of the agents ended the conversation that he would recommend a different appraiser be used. I told him that recommending that was certainly his option and I had no problem with it because it wouldn't be my license on the line. Of course, by this time I knew full well that the people who had been interested in purchasing the property had withdrawn and told him that they would pay no more than the appraised value I had given.
 

Karl

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
RE Agent = Licensed Prostitute, They'll love U to death till they get the commission.
 

aprazer

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
I had an agent hand me a $700,000 comp for a sale at $450,000. I looked at the title date and there was none. I explained that this was not an appropriate comp or a valid sale yet as it was not a closed sale. Her reply was a first.
"But the contract is already half signed"

Of course I told her I would use half of it.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Careful Karl.

Some of us have 23 year old broker licenses sitting right next to our 10 year old appraisers licenses in our back pockets. And I think that many of us who sold for a living for so many years are very proud of the job that we did for our clients. In addition, I know some darn nice people who work very hard right now in a down market to get their clients houses sold. In fact, I'm proud to call many of them my friends and fellow Realtors. In fact, Wednesday evening, I spent 4 hours on a trout stream with a young man who is working very hard to establish himself in a niche market up here. He's a good broker and a darn good fly fisherman.

What I'm saying is, generalizations are like blankets; they cover both the good and the bad.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Tim,.....That rebuttal letter is A #1 Primo. Like it a lot. How satisfying is it .... when the very comps others give would logically result in a further DECREASE in the value opinion we have offered ? So unfortunate that we should have to be on the receiving end of such expressed dislike for....an opinion. Could there have been any creative cc: "copy to" lines to add to the lower-left corner of your memo......even if you had no earthly intention of ever sending a copy to anyone ?
 

Frank Bertrand

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
As an Independant (not connected with any licensed real estate agents or brokers), I have a distinct advantage to those appraisers who are also brokers. One question I get asked by individuals who are looking for an appraiser they ask, "are you connected with any real estate broker or company?" When I say no, they say "great! I don't want any broker knowing my business or try to list my property, or rub the back of one of her friends across town!!"

There's just too much opportunity to misuse one license or the other.

The public recognizes incest when it sees it.
 

Karl

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
Can't agree more about the blanket, Not only cause I also have RE license but, As my first passion is Motorcycles, I can relate to the "Blanket" & actually no matter what breed, type, or anything or anyway else U wanna cataogarize people. It comes down to just 2 Kinds Those U can count on & Those that don't count.
When a RE Agent calls all upset about I "killed the deal" My reply is U can add in Since these are the nicest & greatest people U ever met & the kids are just simply adoreable ETC ETC Generarlizing my response is something like this. U can save it! All U need to do is CUT YOU'RE COMMISSION" & have the buider REALLY pay the closing cost, that brings the price in line with the other homes that are almost identicle to this one, that your agency has sold in the past 6 months
 
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