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No Patience for Secretive Property Owners

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Joe Birrell (NY)

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
How do you handle this type of property owner ?

She calls us to do appraisal because she dosn't trust re agent who has listed her property. Seems the problem is that immediately upon listing owner is overwhelmed with numerous offers above asking price. Preliminary search indicates property is not in MLS.

Upon arrival I start to interview her concerning list price, days on market, amount of offers, and $ amounts. She says "that's none your business"
(and she's nasty about it). I attempt to remain polite and explain that
IT IS MY BUSINESS TO KNOW THESE THINGS, and I explain why. I even draw her an analogy of a homicide detective being told by the suspect what questions will be asked and ansewered (I did want to strangler her at the moment, and maybe it wasn't such a good analogy).

She gets even more nasty, at which point I tell her "find yourself another
appraiser" and I leave. No more patience for this type of person, getting cranky in my old age.
 

Mary Caffey

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Sounds familiar- I had a gentleman come in to list his home from 45 miles and 3 counties away- he wouldn't give me his name or legal description as he didn't want his "neighbors" to know it was for sale. I inquired how I was susposed to show and advertise his home without the info and he asked me not to put the house in the newspaper. Well we got a contract on it and called the CAD for the sq. ft appraised value and guess what ...

It had NEVER been put on the tax rolls and was 28 yrs old- Now I know why he was so secretive......


There is a reason behind every strange occurence !

mary (in Texas) :lol:
 

Lee in L.A.

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
(I did want to strangler her at the moment, and maybe it wasn't such a good analogy).

She gets even more nasty, at which point I tell her "find yourself another
appraiser" and I leave.

Sounds like a good analogy to me. :lol:
I imagine you did yourself a favor by getting out early, before you wasted any more time. If she starts off like that is she going to get any less nasty? and be happy? I doubt it. 8O
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Joe --

Seems to me that she is looking for your independent opinion of value in order that she can sort through the offers she's receiving.

I guess my question would be, why do you think this is not so?

In your dotage, surely you are past being cowed by a less than appreciative client. That was cash at the door, no?
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
The name of my company is “Home & Cabin Appraisal Co” and not “Richards Pretty Good Detective Agency.”

They (the clients) cooperate with coming forth with the info I need or I don't accept the assignment, plain and simple. I'll cooperate on who gets the info but like the doctor, who asks the patient where it hurts, I don't want to hear anything but details. Years ago, I did fire one client one time because he had deliberately lied to me about ownership, trying to keep his brother from finding out about the appraisal I was doing.

I can't lie to my client and they can't lie to me. Either way, it negates any fiduciary obligation that might exist and without that, I won't do the work.

If she doesn't stop the witholding act, I'd fire her fast. You'll feel a whole lot better about yourself for doing your job right and not appeasing some secretive so and so.
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
I get several assignments a year like that. I do them. The owner or potential buyer wants an honest opinion of value without influence from listing/asking/offer prices. I do the assignments with joy. Finally, a client who really wants my opinion of value, not a rubber stamped number. I also do this for listing agents when they are not sure what to list a home at. I had one client who owned a mortgage broker business. Another appraiser got that work. He also bought and sold investment properties. I got the assignments when he was wanting to buy and didnt know what to offer. I asked him why I didnt get his mortgage work. He told me because those other guys just gave him what he wanted. He gave me the work he wanted real numbers on.
 

aprazer

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
It has been my experience that when a homeowner is being evasive or secretive-it's for a reason. rarely a good one. I recently had a homeowner who would not let me see the basement. His 25 year old son was sleeping, so I could not inspect. I politely informed him that I was not going to omit this from my inspection. He admits he has an illegal basement apartment, promptly followed by a cursing tirade and throws me out of the house. He screams at me from the door untill I drive away.

Here's a strange one from this week-Very large older estate home(7,500SF)-3 stories. Very chatty/friendly owner-untill we get to 3rd level. He has an office, bath, some small storage rooms. I start to examine the storage rooms and he starts trying to distract me-nothing there he says-let's go downstairs. I come across a doorway, which has two stacks of file boxes piled floor to ceiling. What's behind there? Just attic he says-and I don't have time to move the boxes-he says he has to leave.
I did not take a thorough look at the exterior as he was out front when i got there-so I tell him I am going to take a quick look outside. From the exterior it is clear that he has not shown me an area of about 800SF.
I catch him as he is leaving and let him know that I am very displeased he has tried to deceive me. He still is very hestitant-what's the problem i ask? Then he tells me it is an apartment for a sibling that suffers from mental illness. Then tells me the person will scream, throw things-and the place is a disaster. Don't care lets go-we get there and it becomes clear that this is no BS. Place is a disaster and he is calling the persons name-and from his tone it is clear he expects a confrontation. Sibling is nowhere to be found. We go back outside and he keeps saying I don't where they could be-can't drive, must be around somewhere. Well he says-I have to go, be carefull if you see this person, as the person is very unstable. Great. Thanks. I measure the house while looking over my shoulder for 45 minutes. Never a dull day in this job.
 

Non Sequitur

Elite Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Louisiana
aprazer, did you look in the big rocking chair?
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
He didn't offer to let you take a shower did he? Ummmmmmmmmm....
 

Verne Hebert

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Montana
Never forget where you came from. I am sure in the early days you scratched, kicked, and gravvelled for work.

Don't have to do it anymore. My policy these days is: if they are not professional, courtesy, and pay on time I don't do any work for them.

Period.

Enjoy your work!
 
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