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They're using MY sketch on the MLS handout?

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vargasteve

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I have a advertisement from E&O provider that says the leading cause (2/3rds)of suits against appraisers is SQUARE FOOTAGE ERROR

From time to time I see my sketch on MLS handout when I take a MLS flier - I'm thinking "nice sketch" HEY that's my sketch!! Yes - I'm leading somewhere here...

There are many new properties in this area that are on up / downgrade lots, the city approves a certain max sq/ft for the site. The owner designs this great house with nice foundation. The owner has lots of money to spare so improves the lower level (some of which is legal approved), and expands into the partially above ground 'basement' either during or after the final approval by the city. The approved sq/ft is X amount, however it all flows well, even has windows in 'basement' areas, all built with the same quality. Appraiser goes in, measures it, and its 300 - 400 sq/ft larger than approved by the city. (No sq/ft is indicated by the public records). So the appraiser assumes all is legal. The owner turns around & markets the home with the bigger sq/ft (in this area it could be $200K more easy), and uses the appraisers sketch as the source for the sq/ft. Happens all the time... If lets say it burns down, they got you by the ... :oops: Check the blue prints grasshopper!
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Lots of spooky little tricks to watch for. We have a 28000 Acre development called Bella Vista, just north of Bentonville, AR (home of Wal-Mart in case you need reminded) Every appraisal go to the Architectural Control Committee office and get the site plat...many have septic systems that are designed for "1 bedroom" homes. These undersized septics are necessary because they don't have a large enough lot for long laterals (poor perk) or the lot is too steep. The # of bedrooms is the controlling factor for the Health dept. It can have 10 bathrooms and be 6000 SF, but as long as the architect calls it "1 bedroom" these inefficient undersized septics will be installed and almost certain plug up in a matter of months. Yes you can have a sewing room, study, rec room, office, observary, sitting room, on and on.

Call it 3 bedroom, see it sell, plug up quickly and watch yo' hindquarters get sued. Along with the 95% of Realtors who are going to call it 3 bedroom. Several have been sued or had to pay for fixing the septic systems over the years.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
This is another reason to stick the little copyright symbol on your report.

When someone uses your sketch, you call and tell them that they are in violation of copyright laws and to remove it.

In addition, a statement within the report that no part may be used without the expressed written consent of the appraiser for any other use than lending determination or as assistance in setting a selling price. You might also add something like "Any other use in full or in part, will be subject to a $500 fee."

You may not have teeth in these things but not many of those using your work will know that.

Good luck.
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
You guys talk about getting sued, how Realtors have kept from having their pants sued off is beyond my comprehension. Locally, at least half count finished basement below grade as GLA. I have seen some include the garage in GLA, porches, you name it. Most every MLS listing says: “Size per tax records.” In cape COD homes the city classifies then all as 1.5-story. If the lower level has 1,000 sf., then the total GLA is 1,500 sf. Actually it can vary from 1.2 to 1.8 and usually does. Only a possible minor error on the order of 600 sf or about 35% off. Most important value influencing factor and they have no idea how to measure it.
The former chairman of the Virginia Appraisal Board is an MAI that teaches a lot. He calls raised ranchers with the lower below grade finished area two story. We have had that argument many times. I have told him a million times that if he uses the cost approach and counts it two story he will inflate the price out the roof. He says no, it is a two story.
Had a local appraiser called be about a year ago. A lawyer called and asked him if he verified the subject house he had appraised a year ago had a septic tank. He said no, the house was less than five years old and had three baths, so he just assumed it had a septic system and besides the building inspector would not have issued a final inspection without a septic system installed. The sewer line emptied out of a pipe into a field in the back yard.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
This reminds me of a similar situation which occurred a few weeks ago here. The borrower called and asked me to correct a floor sketch saying.....The closet in bedroom #2 is a slider and the door to the living room is arched.

By the way, where do I find the copyright symbol?
 

Sooner Mike

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oklahoma
This goes in the addendum of every report that goes out:

Report Copyright Information

"This appraisal report is the sole "property " of the author, *%(*&($*&$. Its contents, including but not limited to photos, site and comparable data, adjustments, sources or any other piece of data or reproduced image contained in the report, are copyrighted works under the U.S. Copyright code. Use of any data, formulations, pictures or other piece of this appraisal, without the express written consent of the author, is strictly prohibited. The content and data are considered to be licensed to the party described in the report only, with no reprinting or reproduction rights assigned or given in any form or manner except in the express written consent of the author. )*&%%()^*%)( is the sole owner of this report. .Use of this report represents acceptance of the terms of the copyright holder."


I have yet to use it, but if I found my sketch on an MLS sheet, I would definately bring it to someone's attention.
 

Sooner Mike

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Oklahoma
I just used the gibberish where my (or your) name goes.
 
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