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Comps for Pittsburgh area?

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jmatt

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Professional Status
Banking/Mortgage Industry
State
Pennsylvania
I know some appraisers don't mind helping if it results in a job, others hate it when they're asked for comps. To the latter group, my apologies.

I have a client in Irwin PA that wants to take advantage of low rates but is afraid he'll waste his appraisal fee if the value is too low. He's being told by Coldwell Banker that the house has the value and that they don't even need an appraisal (maybe doing an AVM or something?) They mentioned something about the tax assesment showing it had the value he needs, too.

The client would rather work with me however, since I'm offering a better rate.

Anyhoo, if someone would be kind enough to help I'll happily send you the order if it looks like he's in good shape. I'm not one of those brokers that shops for value, it's worth whatever you say its worth.

Thanks for your forebearance and your assistance.
 

Chris Colston

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
For your own "protection" I have moved your post to the ASK AN APPRAISER section where the replies are moderated. That way if anyone gets a bit over zealous in why we do not do comp checks, pre-valuations or "pencil searches" prior to receiving the order, the moderators will take note.

Please note that appraisers earn their living by completing appraisal assignments, not by giving out "free samples". I hope you are wearing an asbestos suit, because as long as the respondents do not attack YOU, personally, I suspect the responses will get very heated.
 

leelansford

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
What is the fee for the service that you request ("comps")?

Any time an appraiser provides "comps", the appraiser is providing an opinion that is subject to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and local law and rules. So, be aware that you are not just asking for "comps", you are asking the ethical appraiser to provide you with an appraisal.

Here is the problem with what you ask: Far too many within the lending side of things--and far too many appraisers--play the "game" of "comp check" (or whatever the term of the day may be). That is, the "high-bidder" (the appraiser who returns the highest "comp check" estimate) "wins" the appraisal assignment...and many do not play that game.

Better this: The appraisal is intended for use in the lending decision-making process and the decision MAY be that the loan should not be made.

I am certain you would not ask the title company to do a "title check" (you know, make certain there are no clouds on title BEFORE requesting a title search), or the surveyor to provide a "survey-check" (you know, be certain that there are no encroachments etc. BEFORE requesting a new plat of survey), right? Then, frankly, why ask the appraiser for a "comp check"? In any event, an ethical appraiser can NOT guarantee that the results of an appraisal of an unviewed Subject property will be the same following the appraiser's on-site viewing of the property and subsequent appraisal. So, again, why bother?
 

Mary Tiernan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Michigan
There are now lenders that will not utilize an AVM to determine value for lending purposes as the markets all over America are so shaky.

Some realtors are still seeing the market through rose colored glasses - some realtors are doom and gloom only.

An appraisal is a report on the history of the market, up to the date of the appraisal report. An appraiser does a thorough job of research of all sales, listings, and expireds in the area and analyzes their affect on the subject. This is a time consuming job.

A properly prepared appraisal report will inform the client about the market and the analysis behind the opinion of market value as provided. This is a time consuming job.

Iti s against USPAP for an appraiser to accept an order with a predetermined outcome - however, it is not illegal for mortgage brokers, realtors, or anyone else to ask an appraiser to break the law. Appraisers who break the law by accepting an order with a predetermined outcome ("must have" value) may also prepare insufficient reports which would leave the lender in a shaky spot (may have to buy back the loan, may be investigated by the FBI, CIA, IRS).

It is never a waste of money to receive a properly supported opinion of market value from a qualified professional. If the homeowner doubts that, perhaps you could refer them to someone who is facing bankruptcy due to a poorly prepared appraisal which was completed to "help the homeowner out" and resulted in a market value above market supported data.

Good luck in your business pursuits. And please, feel free to scroll throughout some of the other threads here on the Forum to get a more in depth knowledge of the appraisal profession.
 

Ken B

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Hey JMatt,

I understand.

How about faxing what you need to (412) 432-4188.

We'll see what happens.
 

TC

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Anyhoo, if someone would be kind enough to help I'll happily send you the order if it looks like he's in good shape. I'm not one of those brokers that shops for value, it's worth whatever you say its worth.

That is quite a contradiction in two straight sentences. So, what happens if it looks OK on the looksee and then after inspecting the property it does not?

Think about what you are asking. If you have agents and others saying it is OK, then let the appraiser do his job. Otherwise, what you are asking is wrong. The fee is never contingent on a pre-determined value as you are suggesting.
 

Mike Kennedy

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
" I'll happily send you the order if it looks like he's in good shape."

Really needs to lose at least 50lbs and get rid of the toupee'. Need an appraisal - order one from an Ethical Appraiser and have the owner pay cash for it at the door.

www.zillow.com

www.totalgym.com
 

Mike Plumlee

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Anyhoo, if someone would be kind enough to help I'll happily send you the order if it looks like he's in good shape. I'm not one of those brokers that shops for value, it's worth whatever you say its worth.

Translation: If you can tell me that my number is good - I'll send you the order and expect you to hold to it. If my number is no good - thanks for the free appraisal.

Analogy: Doctor, I have this giant pain in my chest. If you can guarantee that I'm having a heart attack I'll be right in for an appointment. If not, thanks for the free diagnosis.

Maybe you should step up and offer to refund your customer's appraisal fee if the home does make value. That would be providing a win-win-win situation.
 

TEL2002

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Louisiana
jmatt, you have already received info from a lender that the value is 'probably' there. That source used their vast resources...but things in life are always a gamble.

Since you 'in a sense' have a comp check already done, why not just proceed and order an appraisal. There are no guarantees in life though until the appraiser has been through the property (you would be surprised how the interior can be so drastically different from the outside). (I once did a house that on the outside appeared to be in the $25-30K range. When I was done, it came in at $105K. It was absolutely beautiful on the interior...only needed new siding to be a fantastic house.)

I would suggest you email or pm TC (he posted above) an appraisal order...without any contingencies. He's a straight up and honest appraiser. I think he might cover your area.

jmatt,

You have already received a 'comp check' from Coldwell. They put all of their resources into it...but that is still no guarantee. I doubt an appraiser looking at public records is going to be able to give any better 'comp'.

Some properties just refuse to fit into the perfect world of appraising. IAW what you see on the outside or read in the public records gives you no good clues as to what the property is really like.

Since you have a comp check, why not just order an appraisal. I would suggest you email or pm an appraisal order to TC (he posted above). Do not include any contingencies on the order. TC is from the Pittsburgh area and is a straight up and honest appraiser & it's possible he covers the area you are talking about. Is it a gamble for the owner...maybe. But life is a gamble.
 
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