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When is an appraiser working out of there area of expertise?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX The Producers ~ Omaha Nebraska

When is an appraiser working out of there area of expertise?

I purchased a new construction home by Hearthstone Homesan area volume builder.  They are known for having the most square feet for the money in Omaha.  They do complete subdivision of homes that are all very similar in size and price range.  They had not built in the Bellevue area for a few years and they bought some land to do just 30 homes.  So I purchased one of the last homes to be finished knowing that there homes 1/2 mile away where selling for as much as $30,000 more.  So I was using basic supply and demand principals.  New homes sell out and 5 year old homes were going for more so my brand new home with warranty should be worth what they are getting.

So now that I have informed you of the situation I will tell you what happened.  I had people looking at the home within hours of closing and had an offer that I turned down.  I then received an acceptable offer from a willing and able buyer.  Everything was great and until the appraiser got involved.   money house.jpg

The appraiser called to schedule the appraisal and I had never heard of him and his phone number was from a different area code and you guessed it the home didn't appraise out.  He appraised it for only $2000 more than I purchased it for.  So I asked the buyers agent to get a copy of the appraisal.  After reviewing the comps I saw that he didn't look at all at the sells outside the neighborhood.  I called some agents that have many years working in that area to make sure I was not out of line and they all agreed that is was not an accurate appraisal of the home. 

So my question is.  When is an appraiser working out of there area of expertise?  This guy drove about three hours to do this appraisal, and was not an affiliate member of the local board so he had to be let in the home because he had no lock box key? 

Three months later I sold the home and I had a different appraiser and she said it was an easy one and appraised it for $22,000 more.  Was the first appraiser working out of his area of expertise? I have been told I should consider taking him to small claims for my losses.