9 Reasons why the 1st Time Home Buyer Hire a Real Estate Appraiser

In a Real Estate transaction, the decision is on you – the buyer or sellers; make it an informed one by hiring us.

1) Real Estate Brokers and their Agents are not Lenders, Title Examiners, Certified Appraisers, and especially, they’re not Attorneys.

2) When Real Estate Agent’s List a property to market, 92% as of late 2019 Home Buyers will be Financing that home with a Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS).

3) Both the Residential Real Estate Broker and their licensed Agent’s core competency is to market and sell real estate. They do not possess either the Education, License, Experience, and regulatory compliance as NAR Ethics mandates.

4) Residential Brokers and their Agents are to advise their client’s to speak and or to engage the most relevant licensed professional for their customers’ best interest. In the context of financing a mortgage, Lenders are required by law to hire a qualified Licensed or State Certified Residential Appraiser.

5) Real Estate Agents are not responsible for either a higher than the market price or lower than market price “Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).” Only a qualified State Licensed and Certified Appraiser is the acknowledged expert.

6) In closing, if there is to be Mortgage Lending in your transaction in 2020: It’s Individual Lender Policy, Rules, and Stipulations. Then Federal and State Agency rules. And finally, The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) which is the recognized ethical and performance standards for the appraisal profession in the United States.

7) USPAP was adopted by Congress in 1989 and contains standards for all types of appraisal services, including real estate, personal property, business, and mass appraisal.

8) Compliance is required for state-licensed and state-certified appraisers involved in federally-related real estate transactions. Continuous updates and Appraisal education occurs every two years.

9) In closing, appraisers have the credentials, continuous education, information, and analysis they need to deliver unbiased and thoughtful opinions of value. This is unlike the “Comparative Market Analysis (CMA),” which is simply a non-standard, non-compliant, subjective marketing and real estate sales tool.

Want to know more about Appraisers? Go to the source

Five Outdated Seller Beliefs Debunked

Rose Colored Glasses Are Out-Dated Too

Any seller who has not sold a home in the past five years is in for a shock, everything they thought they knew about selling a home has changed.

Home Sellers, here are the new rules of engagement which you could easily make a few costly mistakes and jeopardize our chances of a timely sale.

Three Major Changes that have altered the homebuying and selling landscape forever.

Change 1: HGTV. Buyers spend countless hours watching HGTV and have developed extremely refined tastes. They know what they want, and what (in their minds when they look at homes for sale…”As Seen On TV”.

Change 2: Mobile Devices and HIDEF, Highspeed Internet. Expect No Mercy. Today’s sellers have between seven and 10 seconds to sell their home, and those seconds are on a mobile device anywhere on the planet — not in any home for sale. If a buyer does not like your online listing, they’ll move on to the next, in a heartbeat, never to return or review.

Change 3: Internet Real Estate Web Sites. Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Opendoor and a host of broker-owned sites have populated the internet with user-friendly websites that provide property data, historical facts, HD pictures, automated valuations, neighborhood and school info, and more. All the above has completely removed the need for buyers to visit in person to determine if they like a home.

These three changes have not only revolutionized the way buyers search for homes, they have transformed what they buy as well.

Historically, there were three groups of buyers:

Top-tier buyers: Buy move-in ready homes that had all the amenities they were looking for.

Middle-tier buyers: Buy homes in “original” condition, for a decent price and then improve the home over time with sweat equity.

Bottom-tier buyers: Are contractors and flippers looking for distressed properties they could buy for 60 percent to 70 percent of retail value.

The middle tier, which historically represented a significant percentage of market sales, is disappearing. Todays group is paying more to obtain move-in-ready homes that look like the finished properties they have seen on HGTV.

In the past few years, we’ve seen sweeping societal shifts as homebuyer wannabes, for many reasons, are less willing or even capable of fixing up a home they’ve purchased.

With buyers moving away from “original condition” properties they perceive as needing upgrades, homes that appear in the middle tier are being forced down into the bottom tier and need to be priced accordingly. Sellers who do not understand this new reality stand to end up with far less than they imagined.

Seven Reasons iBuyer Direct Offers Are A Bad Deal for Home Sellers.

IBuyers (a moniker for platforms using new technology to make offers on homes and close quickly). Those IBuyer purchase offers aren’t designed to benefit the home seller; they are intended to benefit Corporate Shareholders. The Sellers are conditioned to get low offers and will pay equal or higher fees than from a typical Real Estate Broker and Agent.

1) Inaccurate valuations.  Zillow’s “Zestimate” is like all the other “Valuation”(Non-Appraisal) web sites. They simply exist to get eyeballs and personal information from their website for advertising or transaction purposes. 

2. Low Offers. No person, especially a Corporation that wants to purchase your home directly (With No Market Exposure) will not be offering you “Market Value.”

3. Serious Fees add up quickly. Most folks wince at the average 6% Fee Real Estate Agents Charge. Some Sellers have associated the iBuyer low offer to the average 6% Realtor fee.

Here’s the math: Not only will you, the seller, get a less than real market offer, there are Fees on top of that, like “Experience” Fees, Service Fees combined, exceeding what the Real Estate Agents would have charged you.

Still not convinced? When you sell your home, would you rather pay an agent who represents your interests or a company that serves their interests?

4. A majority of markets don’t need this ‘Service”. In many residential communities across the country, currently have tight Inventory, homeowners don’t even have to put money into updates or upgrades. Too many individuals want to buy homes.

5. Reducing Inventory will Raises Prices. Housing inventory continues to set record lows. Buyers are frustrated, bidding wars and home values escalate.

6. Home Buyers are Competing with Flippers. Investors don’t always flip houses for buyers. They often rent them out. Although not all renters are poor caretakers, there isn’t much incentive to put effort and care into a property.

Get enough renters on the street, and the curb appeal drops significantly. Renters come and go.

7. The negative effect of low offers. Imagine if two or three homes on your street are taking an instant offer. If this becomes a trend, appraisers may not be able to disregard the data.

Moreover, if you, the seller, make an immediate offer, you are messing with your neighbors’ home values.

That might not be your problem today, but it could be in the future.

Who benefits from instant home purchase offers? 

Instant home purchases are designed to benefit the IBuyer or investor under the guise of convenience to the seller.

How Can Sellers Protect Themselves?

 Contact a State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser. Their core mandate is to protect the Public Trust in Real Estate Transactions. The Average Fee for an independent Market Appraisal is 500.00, which is pennies on the dollar compared to paying the IBuyer Fees.

And, at the very least, interview a Licensed Real Estate Agent for a Comparative Marketing Analysis before accepting an instant offer. 

Home Owner Maintenance Cost-How it Impacts Sellers & Buyers

Home Owner Maintenance Cost-How it Impacts Sellers & Buyers

All housing components have a life span. Some parts last a lifetime, and others are more or less “consumables” and some lasting only a few years. Maintenance costs go with the property from day one of ownership and are factored to be considered to be at “market value” as defined by a Certified Residential Appraiser. 

There is a life expectancy of most of those, and that is approximately 5-18 Years, and that time goes fast. And if you, as a home Seller that could have a market value impact on your list price with low offers from market participants.

And if you’re a home buyer, performing your due diligence could save you time, frustration, and money. At the end of the day, only you can look out for what is your best interests. In real estate, it’s “buyer beware.” If your experience in real estate is limited, selecting the right professional is paramount for your success by choosing the right deal or falling into a money pit.

No one can better look out for you and your family’s self-interest other than you. Choosing the professional will provide you with that due diligence. Buying a home for the first time or third time can be emotional for those involved. Don’t enable yourself into “sleepwalking” through a home purchase process. “Sleep Walking” is a term for anyone that’s over-reliant on an inexperienced one real estate actor, In addition to not being vetted by you for professional competence.

Taking the wrong exit on the aspiration highway

Ten Years After the Mortgage Meltdown; Banks will do anything to get around primarily, the cost and secondly the purpose of an appraisal. After all, the Big banks are certainly not making enough money as it is, correct?

Like many folks, I’d assume, most don’t keep up to date with the mortgage and banking industry. Moreover, I can confirm that there have been some very interesting $#*& Going down in the new and improved “valuation space” formerly known as Appraisal, that could jeopardize appraisal accuracy, so grab a cup of whatever you like, and let’s focus forward.

Background and Detail

There has been a five-year-long false narrative campaign that there is a shortage of appraisers that have resulted in longer turn times and higher fees.

Lenders and their AMC’s have been cherry picking the data that Appraiser numbers have declined and that therefore, there are not an adequate amount of active appraisers to meet the demands in the majority of “their” areas.

Who is this source that’s spreading these rumors?

What they’re not sharing is that since legislation went into effect post, 2007-2008 has spurred the creation and growth of “Third Party (Think of HMOs) Appraisal Management Companies (AMC’s) who have appropriated the Fee Appraisal industry like Temp Agencies. 

Systematically, fees paid to appraisers have been steadily “Compressed” as this was how the AMC’s idea of paying appraisers like giving them a minority percentage of the entire Appraiser fee paid by the bank for the Appraiser.

Well, there is a term for this. it’s called “Assumpsit,” which  in English is called “Unjust Enrichment.”) And this has and has been the main reason that many Appraisers refuse to work for these AMC’s. 

And the reaction from the AMC/Lending industry was to utilize the AMC and Lender Associations and lobby groups to implement an ongoing “Appraisal Shortage Fake News” cycle that has finally gained the The Appraisal  Standards Committee to eliminate the four year degree requirement for the Certified Residencial License and lower both the Class Room and Experience hours in 2017. 

Then in 2018, Fannie Mae began the Property Inspection Waiver, and there is Senate Bill 2155 which eliminates the need for an Appraisal in rural America, where it is especially needed.

All Players in the Real Estate Industry affected with “iBuyer, FrontDoor, Zillow Offers” the banks are finding ways to get around the appraisal process and or continuously finding ways to lower the cost of an appraisal to the bank.

This race to the bottom is a one-sided, self-serving pursuit of winner take all. Like the Chinese water torture fable, each of these disruptive business models not only serves to decrease the accuracy and reliability of the service of the appraisal, but for the Real Estate Agent and Lenders as it undermines Consumers and the integrity of NAR, and the financial institutions of our country.

Reader, I’d like to Introduce to you, three new, improved and Cheaper “Valuations” that the Lenders and FNMA are implementing since 2018.

Property Inspection Waivers (PIW), Hybrid Appraisals, and Appraisal Waivers.

1) Property Inspection Waivers- (PIW)In a PIW situation, when the traditional appraisal is not mandated, but instead the buyers’ property value is based on an Automated Valuation Model (AVM) by Fannie Mae’s Collateral Underwriter (CU) program from the Independent Appraiser’s from across the country since 2014. 

There is very little daylight between Fannie Mae’s AVM and Zillow’s “Zestimate” because both rely on algorithms (not boots on the ground data) to base the value of your home and loan. 

Algorithms are both Deterministic ( producing the same output going through the same states) and Non-Deterministic ( will show different behaviors for the same input on different execution and there is a degree of randomness to it.)

Both FNMA and Zillow do not publish or share their methods to either to the Appraisers whos data they use, the Lender or the Consumer. Is that even ethical under statute or current business law? All this allows for margins of error when these fatalist Algorithms machines Appraise”your property.

However, has Fannie Mae factored that in if they’re their costs calculations? No Worries, Fannie Mae (A GSE who was bailed out by the taxpayers in 2009 have absolved themselves, including the originating Lender (as in your local lender) from any future lawsuits that may pop up in the future from current and prospective consumers. Misleading or am I too “judgy.” 

Let’s Summarize: The Government Backed FNMA is not Responsible. The Lender is not responsible, and There is no Appraiser to complain about or their E&O Insurance.

Which practitioner is potentially holding the “Bag”? Could it be the Buyers Agent and their Brokerage?

2) Hybrid AppraisalsA hybrid appraisal is where the functions of the appraisal process are divided up among farmed out to unknown parties, each with their ways of doing things.

The number crunching performed by a certified appraiser and is similar to a desktop appraisal. The Appraiser property observation is farmed out by AMC to a non-appraiser. Which, could be a real estate agent or some other type of property inspector, all who by the way are not familiar with each other’s Real Estate credentials or experience. 

The problem with this type of Fractured (Hybrid) appraisal is that if the property observation is performed by someone who does not hold a State Appraisal Credential and does not know what to look for in that context. 

Knowing what to look for is one of the most critical components of the trained Appraisers job, and the results of the observation get reconciled with the other parts of the professional appraiser. Which can impact the final opinion of value?

 3) Appraisal waivers in rural areas referenced at the top of this post, SB2155 allow the Lender to invoke not only a property inspection but eliminates the need for an appraisal by an unbiased third party appraiser.  What Could go wrong?

Most would state that this is just an example of the “dumbing” down of services across all industries. The Real Estate Industry for both Residential and Commercial is a 25 Trillion Dollar Annual Market, and the wolves are at the door.

In closing – For Home Buyers getting mortgages, before allowing the bank in your negotiations, that you will enable them to perform one of these types of Valuations (they are not appraisals), you should know that you as a Consumer are not achieving your due diligence and need to be aware and accept whatever the consequences.

As for Real Estate Broker’s and Agents and or E&O insurer if you have coverage for this under any of the three Valuation substitutes you’ve have read about today, and most importantly, create a very tight legal disclaimer. 

Executors-Administrators-Trustees of Estates

With the recent popularity of living trusts and all the sophisticated tax avoidance methods being used by affluent individuals, appraisals are being needed more and more for both tax planning purposes prior to a property owner’s death, and for settling an estate after death. At Trust Real Estate Appraisal Services PLC., we specialize in delivering high-quality appraisals that meet the requirements of the courts and involved agencies. Plus, our convenient electronic ordering and delivery system allows us to provide much quicker turnaround times than other appraisal services and helps eliminate costly miscommunications. We are also experienced in these matters and will be sure to act in a manner that is sensitive to the feelings of-all parties involved.

  • Among the instances when an Estate Appraisal may be needed are:
  • Sale to a relative
  • Partitioning an estate among the heirs or beneficiaries
  • Sale to a non-relative
  • Prior to listing the home for sale
  • Partial interest (typically income property)
  • Federal or state estate tax returns
  • Gifts and gift trusts
  • Determining the basis for capital gains tax

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Who May Need an Estate Appraisal?

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants and enrolled agents
  • Gift trusts
  • Executors and administrators
  • Trustees

Attorneys Are You Searching For An Experienced Appraiser?

Trust Real Estate Appraisal Services, PLC, clearly understands that you have a responsibility to carry out the wishes of your clients – but also to guide your clients to what is legal, ethical and what is in their best interests. We also understand that Discovery is a serious process and that we have strict documentation, uniform USPAP workflow processes and maintain excellent record keeping of our field data, checklists and work files.

What You Can Expect From Us

  • Is a clearly written, defensible fair market valuation report.
  • Accuracy, Clarity & Communications.
  • Continuous Improvement and Best Practices.
  • Sustained Appraisal Regulatory and Legal Compliance.
  • How to effectively use or not use our Appraisal Services.
  • A comprehensive Scope of Work.
  • Letter of Engagement.
  • Appraisal Assignment Workflow.
  • Detailed Communications.
  • Established Fee Structure.
  • Disengagement Letter

When it comes to real estate values in West Michigan, you can rely on us for the utmost in professionalism, credibility, and expertise. All our appraisals are delivered by the method you choose; email in Adobe Acrobat, UPS or 1st class mail. Second-day air and overnight available at additional cost(s). We have an agreed turnaround time. When we agree to a deadline, we honor it. You are kept fully informed of our progress, as well as any problems we may encounter. Fair fees, and detailed work; we are at your service.