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How can I find a real estate appraiser who will present a low appraisal value?
Old 12-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #1
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How can I find a real estate appraiser who will present a low appraisal value?

I am trying to obtain an appraisal on a single family home. I am trying to obtain an appraisal for this property that is low. I have never had to obtain an appraisal before. I do not have any friends or contacts in the real estate business in this area. Can you suggest a way for me to obtain a low appraisal on this property.

Please let me clarify. I am not seeking to have an appraiser lie on my behalf. Appraisals can be presented in a range of values from low to high. I am merely seeking to find an appraiser who would be more likely to present an appraisal on the lower end of the appraisal scale. Thanks.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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Perhaps your attorney can steer you in the right direction.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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Local realtors may be the best source since they deal with lots of appraisals when buyers finance.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Usually local banks tend that deal with mortgages tend to use more conservative appraisals that come in on the lower end of the range. When I got my house, the RE agent appraisal came in 60k higher than the bank's appraisal. This is a local community bank, not a national bank...think "It's A Wonderful Life" type savings and loan.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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When I got my house, the RE agent appraisal came in 60k higher than the bank's appraisal.
I think you are comparing two different things here. RE agents may guess at property values for clients but they are not appraisers. Good suggestion about banks as a good source.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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I think you are comparing two different things here. RE agents may guess at property values for clients but they are not appraisers. Good suggestion about banks as a good source.
Sorry, I actually stated the wrong person, it was an independent loan agent that I used who hired the appraiser vs. the actual bank appraiser used on my house.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
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Sorry, I actually stated the wrong person, it was an independent loan agent that I used who hired the appraiser vs. the actual bank appraiser used on my house.
I sold a property a couple of years ago. As I recall, I had no input on who would do the appraisal. In fact, as I recall, because of the recent changes in law (based on the recent unpleasantness in the housing market) the banks didn't even have a choice. They had to pick from a pool of acceptable appraisers. You got who you got.

Finding an independent appraiser to appraise your property may well be possible. Ask your realtor (or realtors you know). They will have a good idea. Once the bank got an appraiser, my realtor was able to tell me that this particular appraiser was "good" and would not come in "low". So, I'm guessing it's possible to find such an appraiser with a "knowable" track record. Still, I don't know how it would help you in a loan situation since the "official" appraiser is the one the bank must go with. (I could be wrong, of course.)

Now, perhaps my "story" is only from a local perspective. Perhaps the laws governing appraisals are not national. But that was my experience. It was explained to me that the laws were changed because appraisers were colluding with loan institutions to put folks in houses they could not afford and we all know how that turned out. Once again, YMMV.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:44 PM   #8
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Probably your lawyer will know who to use. When I got divorced My Ex and I used separate appraisers, hers was a low appraiser and I wanted a high appraiser. We were a $100,000.00 apart on the house. We split the difference ( but since then the Mc Mansion has doubled in value).
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:17 PM   #9
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Anyone can hire an appraiser. Look one up in the yellow pages, talk to a real estate friend or ask a bank mortgage officer. Then tell the appraiser what you want to do, like getting the lowest possible appraisal that they could stand behind with documents. After all, you are hiring him (or her) to perform a specific task. I know mortgage companies will talk to appraisers and try to get a higher number if they need it. You need the opposite.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:44 PM   #10
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I know mortgage companies will talk to appraisers and try to get a higher number if they need it. You need the opposite.
My realtor explained to me that this practice of nudge-nudge-wink-wink appraising was the reason the law was changed. Maybe this sort of thing still does go on, but if so, it's at least against the law - for what that's worth. Once again, YMMV.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dimsumkid View Post
Usually local banks tend that deal with mortgages tend to use more conservative appraisals that come in on the lower end of the range. When I got my house, the RE agent appraisal came in 60k higher than the bank's appraisal. This is a local community bank, not a national bank...think "It's A Wonderful Life" type savings and loan.
+1
Banks have an interest in the property if you get the loan with them so they want to make certain it is fairly appraised.

Don't know what you are doing but appraisals have to be justified with comparable sales. Appraisers do not spend a lot of time at the property and do not see everything that is possibly wrong.

If you want it low, have you considered also having an independent inspection by a good inspector done on the property? You could also get a contractor involved to give you a price for anything that comes out of the inspection. That is what I did last summer when looking at a second home. The contractor came up with a price of $130,000 to fix everything that was wrong or that was "at the end of it's lifecycle" (like the cedar siding). Now he may have been high...and we ended up not buying it. The seller listed it for sale at $627,000. By the time we walked away he was willing to take $480,000. It took some negotiation to get there and by the time we were there we were no longer interested. Besides, Hurricane Irene did some damage and we rethought our desire to have sound front property.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:47 AM   #12
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If you are hiring the appraiser . . . he works for you. Just tell him you want an appraisal that represents the low end of the range of probable value. If you are not hiring the appraiser you can exert little control.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:58 PM   #13
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Appraisers have a code of ethics and won't fudge too much. In many, many lawsuits involving competing appraisers, I've concluded that if they are more than 10% different on a plain vanilla appraisal, somebody is cheating. If there are some weird appraisal issues, such as probability of rezoning or special use property, there can be big variances, but on a house, all of them should be really close. Hire a cheap one, tell him or her you would prefer it come in lower rather than higher and you'll get within 10% of what they would say anyway.
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