Recently I wanted to order an appraisal before making an offer on a property my client was interested in. However, the Appraisal Management Company (AMC) will not accept the appraisal without the contract and full knowledge of contract price and contributions. I don't even want to write the offer until we know where we stand. Even if I was willing to order 2 appraisals, (one before and another after) there is no reason to believe the 2nd one that could be used for the loan would match. With recent changes to the industry, trying to guess what the appraisal will come in at in advance of making an offer is like trying to hit a moving target blind folded!
The Government stole (LIKE THIEVES) the business our appraiser spent almost a decade building. I can't even call her anymore unless we have an FHA loan and I am sure they will screw that up soon enough. She would NEVER add false value for me or anyone else. However, she would at least TRY to do a reasonable job and she would at least take our call with questions or additional info that could have been overlooked if we disagree on value. We may not win, but we at least got a fair hearing because she wanted us to call again. Now, that real estate appraisers don't have to earn the business from relationships with people, they don't appear to care about the product they produce nearly as much. It's easiest to simply take the ultra conservative approach and go low. In this environment, they know they can get away with it.
It is amazing to me that 3 out of 4 low appraisals received, either came in exactly at sales price minus contribution on initial delivery or after I raised holy cow over it, they agreed and raised the appraisal to a number that still equaled sales price minus contribution, to the PENNY! Giving them this information in the first place is what corrupts the process, period! It shouldn't matter WHY the appraisal was ordered. The appraisal should be done without ANY knowledge of contract price or contribution. Afterwords, the lender can apply their guidelines according to the contract and appraisal.
This doesn't take the lazy aspect of the CYAssets attitude from the AMC appraisers out of the mix, but at least it helps purify the process a little. The Appraisal Management Company (AMC) was sold to us as a way to make the process fair. In fact, it does the exact opposite. It rigs the field and cheats everyone involved in the process, except the AMCs and the politicians who rigged the system.