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I don't know what to say

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Pamela Crowley (Florida)

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
I just received this email and don't know what to say to this person. I knew after I arrived at the house that she was in trouble. The house had been listed for 6 months at $150,000, obviously, didn't sell. I agonized over this one as I worked on it. Deferred maintenance and needed/necessary repairs are estimated at $10,000. The value I came in at was actually $129,000 and that was generous.

Now for the scary part. This young man had at least 2 rifles in the spare bedroom in plain sight on the bed; he looked like an angry young man. I'm not only very sad for this woman and her children; I'm scared.


Hi Pamela,

My name is *****, I am the son of ******, you recently appraised our house at *********. I just wanted to ask why it was appraised so low. Last year we had it appraised at $139, you appraised it at $125. Could you please fix it or something. I know when you do you your job you probably dont try to look at the human point of view, well please do this time. Ever since my parents divourced my mom has been struggleing to support us and ourselves, my dad doesnt help out much so its really hard on us. She wanted to sell the house but that didnt really work out, its hard to keep it looking good when all of us work full time and my sister and I goto school, also I work two jobs, and goto school. We need this appraisel to be above $135 so we can refinance the house, so that we can get out of debt. Can you at least help us do that? Ever since 9/11, people have been like "oh we are americans, lets all unite, hlep one another blah blah blah" but for me it seems like from the financial world we are still getting kicked when we are on the ground. My thought personally, what is america? A group of capitalist bastards who like to prey on the little people fior there own financial gain. I know you arent but thats the way it seems to me. My mom paid a good deal of our money for food and bill payments to have you look at the house and you screwed us. I try to look past that and see the good in people. We need this appraisal to get out of debt. Please help us.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
First of all, keep the e-mail as evidence.
Second, send a copy to your client.
Third, go buy them a cart full of groceries..... yes, even appraisers have a heart.
Fourth, maybe this should be first, pray for them.

If the son wants to read up on some of the same problems that they are in, and learn from the experience, tell him to read some of the comments on this form. There are plenty other post of folks describing how they got screwed from predatory lenders and crooked appraisers.
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Whoa!!! That is scary! Not sure what to say either, Pam.

Perhaps it's time to think about getting a PO Box address to put on your business cards and the appraisal......

If I think of something brilliant............

Nancy
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
I would write the person a letter and say something like this...

"I am very sorry I was unable to appraise your property at the amount you need to refinance. Perhaps you are unaware of the requirements placed on us by federal mandate. We must follow certain rules, regulations, and guidelines.

One of those is that we must remain impartial and consider the property only. If I was to take into consideration every person's situation, needs, and desires I would not be able to do my job. What if you needed a value of, say $145,000...would that make any difference in what the property is actually worth?

Market value goes up and it also goes down depending on a number of things. We don't set value, the market does. Our job is to report what we observe. We gather the data on sales in the area and make adjustments to sales based on things like location, age, condition, etc.
You may ask the lender for a copy of my appraisal..I am sure once you see the full report you will understand how I arrived at the value conclusion.

Sincerely,



You could do something else if you are lead in that direction. Do the job pro bono. I have done that on a few occasions... that is up to you, you earned the fee. You also could offer a list of things that need to be done to improve the property so it will appraise higher. In any event, I would stand my ground on the value.
 

Terry Russell

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
State
Montana
Pamela,

Stay calm. You said there was about !0k in repairs and such. If that was not included in your generosity, have someone, (a male friend if possible) go over some suggestions for repairs. I do not know what is needed but if it is mostly labor it may help the value and more importantly keep the kid busy.
I would not get deeply involved at this point and with the weapons and all I would go real slow. If you know someone else who can back up your numbers that would help. I strongly suggest not going back to that house.

Terry
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I would file the letter, send a copy to the lender AND DO NOTHING ELSE. If you start getting personally involved, you may create a situation that you do not want. People do strange things when they are in financial trouble. You don't want a strange person taking what would be an impartial business decision turning it into a personal vendetta.

If there's a local church or volunteer group, you might mention that this family needs help, but stay away. Nothing good will come of it and maybe something bad.

Roger
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
<span style='color:brown'>Pam, people are not disposable. But you already knew that. But the "fix" expressed in the letter is not good for the family, for you, or for the writer. Helping them get deeper into debt will simply postpone the consequences of the real problem briefly.

In your area there will be a ministerial alliance of pastors who network to provide service to the community. If you do not have a pastor, go a church near the home of the people you did the appraisal for and ask to speak to a pastor there. Show him the letter and get his advice. If he is "clueless" find another nearby pastor. The ministerial alliance or the church itself will have access to the social resources that these people need. The money they seek is not the cure. But food, clothing, counseling, job assistance, and hope development is available. And the best of the pastors expect to work with one person, one family at a time. It is only on TV that you see pastors doing things in large groups.........the calling of a pastor is to provide for the flock.......and that flock is made up of individuals.......when one of the flock is hurting the pastor seeks out that one for special care......and that is one of the missions of the ministers groups that abound in most of our cities.

Please keep us informed about how this family is doing. I will notify my prayer chain of their need and we will be supporting them and you.

And thank you for sharing this with us.</span>
 

bradellis

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Pam,

Sometimes what we cannot do or say can be heart breaking.

This fellow, in part in a sugar coated way, insulted you.

I would not respond at all. Just put in your file and get on with life. There is nothing wrong with trying to help out if you like by, as one suggested, buying them groceries. But you might find that even that hurts if they are the kind of folks who would not accept charity.

Discretion is the better part of valor- and remember- no good turn ever goes unpunished.

Brad Ellis, IFA, RAA
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Pam,

Greg is right on the money.
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Greg is right, but I do think you should print the email and send a copy to the lender and speak to them, as well. Perhaps the lender would be willing to try and explain to them your position (yes, not all of them are bad and may be willing to help!) This young man may have sent this without his mother's knowledge.

Do not under any circumstances speak with them yourself after this. How did he get your email address? Do you have it on your card?

This is food for thought for all of us. I typically do not EVER hand out my business card to anyone but business people and never do to a borrower if I can help it. Of course, my address, etc. is on the appraisal form itself. I hope you have caller ID. I don't but I do have a separate office address from my home. Of course in a small town, I am pretty easy to locate!
 
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