Appraisal Hotline Coming – Good or Bad?

What could possibly go wrong by injecting yet another governmental agency (YAGAâ„¢) into an already inefficient market?

A federal monitor expects to open a complaint hotline for real estate appraisals by the end of the year.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Appraisal Subcommittee, a federal monitor of state bodies responsible for governing valuations, to build a hotline for homebuyers, real estate agents, lenders and others in the industry to raise complaints.

Challenges with appraisals right now aren’t a matter of low or high, the challenges are with accurate appraisals performed by those with geographical and market competency, as well as appraisers being unable to get sufficient data due to unhelpful sellers/MLS and a dearth of valid comps.

While appraisals during the bubble often pushed home prices to artificial limits, many today charge the valuations are coming in too low, forcing purchases to be canceled and shutting out some borrowers from refinancing or modification.

No question – the market is challenging. Adding YAGA isn’t going to help matters. That said, there’s nothing I can do about this other than be informed and aware and work by best within the system we all have to live by.

Whether I am representing a buyer or a seller, all I want is a good, honest appraisal done in a timely fashion by an appraiser who knows this market, has MLS access and a lockbox key. Is that too much to ask? (answer: yes, too often)Note: “my appraisal is low!” isn’t a valid complaint. “The appraiser valued my new construction at $87 a square foot when it’s really closer to $150” is.

As a side note, finding actual news on this is a unique challenge – searching google news for “appraisal subcommittee” results from the past week yields stories put out by real estate/appraisal industry groups rather than actual reporting.

And C-Span. Thank goodness for C-Span.


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