Mortgage and Lending with D A Griffin Financial.LLC NMLS 6380

THE LISTING AGENT DID WHAT?  That was my immediate response when I learned from my borrower that they did their home inspection, spent as much time as they thought they needed with the inspector, then as they were leaving the appraiser was going in.


I spent a long five years as a Realtor before I transitioned over to the lending side several years ago. One thing that will always stick in my mind was a law class where I walked away with the mantra "Keep Yourself Out of the Line of Fire". I've used this many times in my career. It can be used as well to keep your buyer or seller out of the line of fire. I always told my sellers to NOT be home for showings or home inspections, although they may not be hiding anything, they may inadvertently say something that would screw up the transaction.

I have a purchase I'm working on where we have waited about three months for the short sale agreement from the bank. Finally! last week we got the short sale letter. We proceeded with the appraisal order and the borrower proceeded with his home inspection. Everything seemed it would finally come together, then I get the news that the appraiser and home inspector were present at the same time. The home is not nearly in "move in" condition as I'd been told, and a water pipe burst when they turned on the water because the renters moved out and no winterization was done. (brings up the question of why a listing agent or seller would not be more on top of things, but that is a whole different blog)

What leaps into my mind immediately is "what did the appraiser learn that he would not have known otherwise?" I'm not saying an inspector would spill his guts about the entire report, but when the appraiser asks him if the heat pump is working, then what does he say? Does he tell the truth? Is there a buyer/inspector privilege?

The point is "KEEP YOURSELF AND  YOUR CLIENT OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE". The listing agent's office most likely made this appointment, not the listing agent herself, but it seems to me that it would be a given when appointments are being made NOT SCHEDULING THE APPRAISER AND THE HOME INSPECTOR AT THE SAME TIME WOULD BE FAIRLY IMPORTANT.

I'm not suggesting this because there is something to hide, or that any of the parties should behave in that way. As hard as it is to get usable appraisals these days then adding the extra burden of insuring the appraiser has even more reason to treat the value harshly is just sloppy work. My opinion is that appraisals are one of the biggest reason sales are not closing. Don't stack the deck against the home buyer or seller.



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Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

I've done the same plenty of times where I am going to be present.  I've never seen them get chatty with each other.  The appraiser shouldn't be relying on the home inspector anyway.  He or she should be conducting their own investigation.  Good topic for discussion though.  I've suggested this post.

Jan 27, 2011 05:06 AM #1
Keith Vermilyea
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Boise, ID

Dora, this scenario played out on one of my listings last year.  The listing was a duplex with some very fussy tenants so the Buyer scheduled the inspection and the appraisal back to back to reduce the impact on the tenants. 

Jan 27, 2011 05:07 AM #2
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Great advice!  I just hit the "suggest" button.  "Keep yourself out of the line of fire" are words to live by, both in the RE business and pretty much everywhere else. 

Jan 27, 2011 05:08 AM #3
Joyce Herr
Prudential Lancaster Real Estate - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County & Beyond

So true -talk about scheduling issues.

Jan 27, 2011 05:23 AM #4
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

Tni - I can see where if these appointments overlap it may be advisable to have the agent present. That would tend to limit conversation.

Keith - that could make sense - in this case tenants had moved out already. Again if it has to be, having an agent there would be best.

Jan 27, 2011 05:25 AM #5
Peter Grote

HI Dora,

I have been a full time R/E sales agent and appraiser and believe

I can see the issue from both perspectives. An advantage to having the appraiser find out about the broken water pipe right away is that it could avoid delaying the closing. Since the buyer is going to be informed about the broken pipe anyway the appraiser can include that issue in the report from the beginning. The lender is required to inform the appraiser of any known defects and a broken pipe in a foreclosed property should not shock the appraiser. Rather than having the appraiser guess what the repair costs are they can be included accurately in the report and all the parties to the transaction can be better informed about the property. I do believe that you are right about the owner not being present at the home inspection. The owner does not need to discuss any maintainance or repair issues. All houses have those issues and some inspectors like to find things that are not there anyway.

Jan 28, 2011 02:31 AM #6
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Dora Griffin

NMLS 6380
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