Appraisers will appreciate this: Bracketing square footage

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 643418


My fellow appraisers, I would love to share with you the following addendum that I added to a report this morning. I know you can appreciate the humor and frustration in this.






Addendum to Appraisal Dated 4/13/2012


Regarding the underwriters request to add two comparables which bracket the subject's square footage.


The subject contains 950 SF. The appraisal provides seven (7) comparables that have the exact square footage as the subject (950 SF). As shown in the aerial photo above, the subject's market consists of many 950SF ranch style homes. Using homes outside of this range is not required. In addition, providing additional sales to "bracket" square footage would result in using sales outside of the subject's market  of different style and would be a disservice to the subject, offering confusion rather than clarity to this valuation.

Comments (44)

Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

The last conversation I had with an appraiser he said to me"this is a really hard time to be an appriaser." 

Apr 14, 2012 01:37 AM
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Golden Gate Sotheby's International - Oakland, CA
Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay

Wow, the underwritter must have had a long day and got dizzy.

Apr 14, 2012 01:57 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

The underwriter has a bucket list of things he needs done - they don't have to make sense.  Nothing like top down management of an industry.

Apr 14, 2012 02:32 AM
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I always warn my home buying clients about the underwriter process.  I swear underwriters sit around laughing and making this stuff up.

Apr 14, 2012 02:33 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

The underwriter really determines the fate of the transaction, so whatever they use, want or need to close the deal, the agent must respond, however, how many times does that occur? I'm with Lenn, #6, give them what they want to secure the close.

Apr 14, 2012 03:16 AM
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta
Wow, really? More needed with 7 comps that show the same square footage and ammenities of the subject property? Why would you need more? I'm with you.
Apr 14, 2012 05:01 AM
Richard Glesser
North Country Appraisal Services - Gaylord, MI

This is the reason I rarely submitted more than 3 comps.  When I had more, I felt it best to keep them for later submission if needed.  Besides, being an ethical, USPAP abiding appraiser, the first three are the best available comparables.

The pitfall of altering the square footage of two of the comps by 1 square foot to bracket is that you would stand to lose your license or defend against a lawsuit simply to meet this ridiculous request.

Apr 14, 2012 05:15 AM
Jana Holmstrup
Jana Holmstrup - CCO - Kings Mortgage Services, Inc. - Visalia, CA

While we love agents who will just do whatever it takes to get a loan closed, I LOVE your response even more!  It just needed to be addressed and you certainly did that to a 'T' :)  Not that I'm sticking up for Underwriters, but sometimes it has to be addressed for FUTURE 'checklist reviewers'.  In most cases your appraisal will be reviewed two more times in the secondary market - and God help us if the loan defaults - your appraisal will be picked apart after the fact.  And a simple omission, even like this 'duh' omission, can cause a buy back for the lender.   Unfortunately, it's CYA time here in the mortgage industry.... 

Apr 14, 2012 05:56 AM
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

Isn't it interesting that the brouhaha over influencing appraisers by buyers, sellers and their respective agents a few years ago during the inflated market only resulted in stupid regulations? Why are underwriters allowed to pressure appraisers into changing bona fide appraisals to the underwriter's pre-conceived ideas of value?

I applaud you for the totally logical additional comment on your report. Lucky you to have 7 comps! I only do BPOs, but the dearth of sales activity within the prescribed area often presents difficulties. I stopped accepting BPO orders for companies who have my reports reviewed by some fellow in India!

Apr 14, 2012 06:11 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

It seems to me that an appraiser's job is becoming more difficult and time consuming at the same time that your fees are being split with that 3rd party. Not right.

Apr 14, 2012 06:26 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Alisa, good for you!  Rules are made to be broken.  I hope the bureaucrat who is reading your appraisal agrees! lol

Apr 14, 2012 09:37 AM
Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team
Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team - Coral Springs, FL
Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise!

Most days I am not happy with many appraisers because I just do not understand the reasoning behind their choices, outside of "CYA".

On the flip side, the last three transactions, that I was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE WOULD NOT Appraise (and in two cases HOPED THEY DID NOT......


So I ask myself, is it me, its it them, is it the market and GOD BLESS ALL OF US For the last three deals that gave Buyers instant equity(even though two sellers are not as happy as they could be). 

Regardless - I DO NOT UNDERSTAND the reasoning, but then in defense of appraisers, I am not educated as one either (hence the reason - I just don't understand why appraisals do not work out these days, but FOR YEARS...they were just fine or close!   Lost, I remain,         Joy

Apr 14, 2012 12:32 PM
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Hey Alisa~I love your comment number 3-priceless!

Have an AWESOME evening!


Apr 14, 2012 03:48 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Alisa, thanks for the entertainment, always fun when a clients hires you and then tells you how to do your job wrong. I am also impressed that you could find so many good comps close enough to fit on the same aerial photo, we are lucky to find anything remotely similar in the same town.

Apr 14, 2012 08:27 PM
Beatrice M. Stambulski
COMPASS - Sherman Oaks, CA
Sherman Oaks Real Estate

Quite often I think in my area, the Underwriter has the upper hand. Someone who sits in front of the computer and has not stepped foot in one home that he is "suggesting" to be added to the appraisal. 

Apr 16, 2012 05:05 AM
Alisa McKeel Willson
Appraisal Pros in Texas - Huntsville, TX
Certified Res. Appraiser

Wow....I'd sure love to find 7 sales like that...matched pairs could finally be matched pairs... heck, I'd just like to see 7 sales...LOL...I work in a rural lake area...

Apr 20, 2012 05:30 AM
Alisa Delice
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rockville, MD
Professional Realtor in Maryland & Washington, DC

Alisa: Another appraiser named Alisa - Get Outta Town!!

Apr 29, 2012 09:50 AM
Sara Goodwin
Estimation Nation Corporation - Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon Appraiser

You very eloquantly said 'duh' without saying 'duh' - kudos!

May 07, 2012 05:13 PM
Alisa Delice
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rockville, MD
Professional Realtor in Maryland & Washington, DC

Thank you for the comment Sara - I see another appraiser up working into the wee hours of the morning :)

May 07, 2012 05:16 PM
Sara Goodwin
Estimation Nation Corporation - Portland, OR
Portland, Oregon Appraiser

Well, I do have some odd hours, but I am Pacific Time Zone, so it wasn't nearly as late as you!

May 08, 2012 11:34 AM