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Is there some national database of appraisals?

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kareninfl

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
I had an issue with a previous appraiser who I think "low-balled" me in my appraisal, just for the fact that he used 5 out of 6 comparable houses that were smaller than mine and the add back for the square footage is so small that it doesn't really help. I gave him, through the mortgage company, 2 other comparables that were larger, within the same percentage as the smaller house, on the same street, sold the same month, this October, of course, priced much higher. For some reason, the appraiser still wouldn't use it - chose only to use the smaller homes.

I finally gave up fighting it and went to another bank who also did an appraisal. This time it took longer because I found out after the appraiser did it, it went to "quality review" and got "corrected." Turns out it comes in at the exact same value as the previous one. I have not seen it yet as to what comparables they used, but is there some great big database out there that if one appraiser does a house that anyone after them can use the same appraisal, it their's gets "corrected" to match the previous appraisal? How does one stop this from happening? Is it an industry standard to only use houses that are smaller so that it drags down the price because of the square footage?

Thank you for your responses.
 

Mack McClain

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
Maybe, your house doesn't have the market value you think it does.
An appraiser must "bracket" your house in terms of gross living area. He must use at least one comparable smaller and at least one comparable larger, if available. The appraiser should also choose comparables that are similar in design, appeal, quality of construction and marketability to the subject property. The additional comparables you tried to provide may have been constructed or updated with superior upgrades (extensive wood floors, tile floors, crown molding, granite countertops, etc.) This may be the reason the appraiser did not utilize the comparables you provided. I don't know...I haven't inspected your property or reviewed the appraisal.

But to answer you question...no there is no website or database where appraiser share there appraisals. Appraisal have confidential information in them…they also belong to the client (bank, homeowner, ect …who orders the appraisal). It is illegal to provide copies of the appraisal to anyone other than the client.

So, if two appraisers when out and inspected your house and came back with the same estimate value…maybe that’s what the market says your house is worth.
 

toddmallard

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
It is sometimes hard to explain why comps are used. Maybe the larger comps had a better view, more rooms, larger seller concessions etc. If 2 appraisals came in at the same value and the second appraisal was corrected back to the 1st apprisals value, I would think that the 1st appraisal was correct, not to say the second wasn't also correct. What was the overall difference between the 2nds original value and the corrected value.

As for your other concerns. No there is no industry standard as to what size. and you can't stop what the appraiser does. We are not here to give you the number you need. We are here to estimate "estimate" the market value of your home. I am also a Florida Appraiser, The values on most appraisals are not what the homeowner thinks.

Quite the opposite, usually much lower. I am doing an appraisal tomorrow in Jacaranda CC, that sold in 02-2005 for $490,000 and was recently on MLS for $699,000. than changed to $789,000, removed from MLS and sold for $750,000. just wait untill this appraisal gets turned in. The owner will probably say the same as you are. I was low balled.

most appraisers know what they are doing. most of the public has no idea what our job is. we are not here to hit numbers "although there are some who do", Our purpose is to give an educated, supported, opinion of value regarless if the loans close or don't, and regardless of what the owner thinks.

Sorry but that's the story.
 

Atlanta CG

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
The appraiser does not have to bracket the living area (as a "must") but it is sound policy to do so. However, if all other factors except the size are very comparable and the adjustments are less with the smaller homes (assuming the difference is not totally significant) then they may be the best comparables to be used. Size can be overstated - for instance, do not find out what the comparables sales sold for per sq. ft. and multiply that by the difference in size between your home and the sale as that price per sq. ft. includes many other factors as well as the size. Additionally, if your home is much larger than most others in the subdivision or neighborhood, then it might suffer from functional obsolescence due to the size overimprovement and the adjustment may reflect the diminished return for the additional size over what is typical in the area.
 

Marcia Langley

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
Karen,

There are scores of value affecting items that are considered in an appraisal and the size of the house is just one of them.

Using all smaller houses might have an impact in the final value conclusion or it might not. If the differences in size were very small, it would have minimal impact. If it were very large it might have a lot of impact.

It is true that having some comparable sales larger and some smaller is desireable but in some cases that is not a major consideration.

Asking about other, larger sales that were within the same percentage difference as the smaller sales was a legitamate question. But, like the others have said, there may have been other factors that made those sales not so comparable.

Since there is not an "appraisal database" that appraisers use, such as you asked about, and you went to a different lender then to us here in a web site it sounds like you got two independent opinions. There is no information in your post that would lead us to believe otherwise.

When your new lender said the appraisal had been "corrected" it could mean anything. That correction may not have even involved the appraiser (on the other hand, it could have). Lenders can't actually change the physical appraisal report, only the appraiser is allowed to make those corrections. But they do have the right, through their quality control process and also through their personal lending policy, to draw their own conclusions about the collateral for the loan.

Most lenders do check recent sales in other databases as a sanity check against the appraiser's work. But that is not a database of appraisals, it is just a database of sales and important information is excluded. Appraisers do not use them. You can take a look at one of these sales databases at www.zillow.com.

Of course appraisers scoff at these databases but lenders use them. Most lenders use something a little more sophisticated than zillow.
 
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