Main Line Homes Blog


Why are appraisers not more consistent?

Why are appraisers not more consistent?


MoneyI find appraisals today one of the most frustrating parts of the real estate transaction. Appraisers are not consistent, they ignore the very detailed instructions laid out for the appraisal and then when challenged refuse to make any changes.

I had an appraisal at the end of last year where the instructions specifically said no sales over six months were to be used. The appraiser went back almost a year, used a distressed sale and then adjusted all sales to that distressed property. He ignored sales that settled within weeks of the transaction which supported the price.

I had another appraiser who also last year refused to accept comparable sales because they were not similar houses, although they were just doors away from the subject property. One was a large twin, my sale, the other a smaller single family house which had sold for a higher price. You cannot make an adjustment for that?

Now, I have a local development, consists of one and two bedroom condo apartments as well as some two bedroom townhomes also part of the condo association. The townhomes always sell for higher prices than the two bedroom apartments. When pricing here, I look at the two bedroom apartments, but usually more to know where those are selling, but use town home comps from this development and a nearby development that has town homes, because frankly, comparing an apartment to a town home is not a comparable sale. But, just had an appraisal where the appraiser used only sales within the original development and only adjusted for square footage, not for the fact that one is a townhome and the other an apartment.Refused to use comps from this nearby development that were similar size and supported the price.

Meeting another appraiser today and have prepared using just comps in the development. Probably will be told he needs a comp from outside the development to support the price.


Just one of the issues we deal with on a daily basis to get a home to settlement.

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Comment balloon 5 commentsNick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • August 27 2014 08:39AM


So true but I do my best to work with the appraiser and still try to provide proper comps.....I would suggest taking the 30 hour appraisal class in your really helps.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 5 years ago

Appraisals are one of the most stressful part of the process these days.  We are fortunate to work with some outstanding appraisers on our panel, but in the past I've seen some really shoddy work - comps that aren't comps, better comps ignored with no rhyme or reason, etc.  I've shared in your frustration!

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 5 years ago

David that is a good suggestion, I will add it on for my ce classes. I do try to work with them, provide comps, but when they totally ignore you, or the rules on their own appraisals it is frustrating.

John, it is also stupid that the listing agent cannot have the appraisal thrown out it has to be the butyers agent who has no incentive to drop a bad appraisal where FHA loans are involved and you are then stuck with them for 6 months.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) almost 5 years ago

Nick & Trudy - Your title line asks the question many real estate agents have asked, especially in recent years.  I noticed the uptick in inconsistency when more appraisers were coming to appraise from out of area.  They simply didn't and don't seem to know the local market.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 5 years ago

Myrl, it is hard to know ifthey are listening to you or not. We often try to work with appraisers and explain how we got to a certain price and why the home sold for what it did. Only when the value comes in do you know if they just nodded and smiled to avoid an arguement or agreed with you, or actaully listened and took what you said to heart.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) almost 5 years ago

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