When desk reviews hit home

Real Estate Appraiser with AmcAppraisalsinc.com

I just got a request to do a desk review.   Just one problem.  I am the appraiser!

So yes - had to decline that assignment, with the ordering party apologizing and thanking me at the same time!  Always a funny situation!

So now the real question is this : How will I do in the eyes of someone else?  It sure does keep you on your toes - if you will perform each appraisal as if someone else were going to scrutinize it!

Knowing this makes me work harder to write reports that truly make sense to all readers - from the professional mortgage makers, Realtors, appraisers, underwriters, borrowers, and eventually, investors, government entities, etc!

We as appraisers need to keep in mind the "stream of commerce" for those who may view our reports.  I don't write it so a 5 year old can understand it, but I also try to stay away from "appraiser jargon" that only the "insiders" speak. 

What about you?  Whom do you keep in mind when writing the report?


Comments (8)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Desk review?

Dec 27, 2010 11:56 AM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Wallace - in this case, I just completed this file for a lender (FHA) and now, it is being handed off to a company to perform a quality "review" and scoring of the appraisal.  Things like, "Did I report all prior listings and sales relevant, did I use the best comps, was my value reasonable, etc"

I do a lot of reviews these days - especially for lenders and private mortgage companies looking to understand if the original appraisal was flawed. 

That "stream of commerce" for people who view the reports keeps flowing for a long, long time....

Dec 27, 2010 11:59 AM
Shane R. Kelley
The Kelley Team at Keller Williams Realty - Burlington, VT

I keep the intended party in mind when writing my reports.  I'm both a Realtor and mortgage broker.  I recently had to order a desk review since my original appraisal came back with too many errors to list.  I thinks it's very important to be mindful of your audience or potential audience.

Dec 27, 2010 12:06 PM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Shane - I agree.  If my only client is a homeowner and an attorney, I will tailor it more to them.  I find these days, with the understanding that a mortgage lending appraisal will be seen by possibly the buyer, agent, mortgage lender, underwriter, and later an investor or secondary review source - it does add another layer to the mindset!

Hope your business is booming in 2011!

Dec 27, 2010 12:27 PM
Rodney Mason
Guaranteed Rate NMLS# 2611 - Atlanta, GA
VP of Mortgage Lending - AL, FL, GA, SC, & TN

Seeing your own come up for review does stop and make you think.  With every report completed, an appraiser's reputation is on the line.

Dec 27, 2010 12:47 PM
Richard Glesser
North Country Appraisal Services - Gaylord, MI

USPAP requires that a report be written clearly and understandably for the stated Intended User.  That is the direction I take on all reports.  A recent post of mine described the potential problems of the proposed standardized terminology and coding for condition.  One of those problems is that appraisals written for non-lending purposes will need to be written in a different manner so that the Intended User outside the mortgage circles, would understand it.  I go to great lengths to try to address all issues during the compiling of the report so that questions will not be brought in form of Addendum requests.  However, some underwriters and AMC "quality control" personnel appear to have the belief that there is no such thing as a perfect appraisal.  Further, many don't read the narrative commentary which explains unique features of the property and report.  Finally, there are many appraisers in my current market area who view review appraising as a marketing tool to discredit the original appraiser in hopes of attaining a new client in the future.  I have successfully defended my reports numerous times against these appraisers and recognize their driving force.  In reviewing, I always remain objective realizing the report may not be written in the manner I would, but is still accurate, USPAP conforming, and has a reasonable value.

Dec 28, 2010 12:04 AM
Alisa McKeel Willson
Appraisal Pros in Texas - Huntsville, TX
Certified Res. Appraiser

Being a review does make you think about your own work..or at least it does me. I've decided that putting more nformation in the report about how you arrived at some of the data in your report so it can be replicated would certainly be beneficial...

I've scratched my head and said, "huh? How did they arrive at that figure?"  It would be nice to know and I've realized that my own reports could use more in that direction.

Jan 17, 2011 04:07 AM
Richard D. Ferris
AmcAppraisalsinc.com - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

Alisa - I agree.  Doing many reviews has also enhanced some of my own process.  Like you, I figure if I am asking that question "How the heck did you get this figure?!" - and I am a professional appraiser for 16 years - the end reader is certainly at a loss!    I think it has helped me become a better appraiser overall - evaluating the reports of others!

Jan 17, 2011 04:21 AM