Category Archives: Appraisal Industry

The 5th Annual Northern California Residential Appraiser Conference Recap

Thanks to the Northern Solano County Association of Realtors for hosting us

Thanks to everyone who came to the 5th Northern California Residential Appraiser Conference jointly hosted by the Real Estate Appraisers Association (REAA) and the Northern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute last week. While attendance was somewhat lighter than in past years, it was great to see so many in person. We had fantastic speakers, starting with Sandra Adomatis, SRA, 2024 National President of the Appraisal Institute.

AI National President Sandy Adomatis

Sandy gave us an update on current industry trends and the Appraisal Institute. I enjoyed hearing about PAREA, the training program alternative to the traditional appraiser apprenticeship, and am hopeful to see younger folks entering the profession. She shared a slide showing most states ready to accept PAREA now or very soon.

Of the 70,000 appraisers in the US at present, 4,000 are SRAs, 8,400 are MAIs, and another 1,400 hold reviewing designations. She also mentioned how the AI will be pushing back on the trend of using property inspectors in appraisals and the misperception of appraisers as mostly biased.

Heather Sullivan, NAA Appraiser of the Year

Next up was Heather Sullivan, head of learning and development for Aloft Appraisal, and the National Association of Appraisers Appraiser of the Year! Congrats Heather!

Heather’s talk was applying the business book classic Who Moved My Cheese? to the current state of the residential appraiser industry. Because of PTSD from my past life working for a rapidly growing music wholesaler, I can’t recommend the book, but I can recommend her talk. She discussed the changes coming and the overall process of accepting change, leaning heavily on WMMC. If you’ve been in the appraisal industry for any length of time, you’ve seen many changes (typewriters, 24-hour photo, MLS books for data, the 1004, UAD, online data availability, etc.). We’re about to see more change with property data collection, new automated tools for analysis, and new appraisal “forms.” Clients are pushing for faster production and if we’re going to serve those clients, we’ll need to adapt.

Heather shared a breakdown of the new appraisal report coming soon to a lender near you. There will be one report instead of the 15 or so different reports we deal with today with options to show sections as they apply. You start by selecting the type of property to be appraised, then the software will display required sections for every report (summary, assignment information, subject property, site, sketch, etc.), with optional sections able to be added by the appraiser as needed (energy efficiency and green features, manufactured home details, rental information, income approach, cost approach, etc.).

Side view of Jeff Bradford

Heather handed over to Jeff Bradford, CEO of Bradford Technologies. Jeff continued the discussion about the new forms coming soon and likened it to filling out your taxes with Turbo Tax. Not the most exciting description. He went into detail about the difficulties developing the new software and some challenges the industry might see. Both Heather and Jeff see the appraiser’s role in this new world to evolving even further into data analysis.

Jeff sees a problem with splitting the data collector role from the duties of the appraiser with a potentially lower income in the future the outcome. His solution-build software to help the appraiser preserve relevance in the residential lending valuation process. We then saw a demonstration of Bradford Technologies solution, NightHawk. Jeff showed us how this tool, in development, would allow for fast analysis with lots of ways to search and analyze competitive sales data, plug into an appraisal, and quickly report the results. I can’t wait to see NightHawk roll out.

From Left: Jon Reiter, Susan Reiter, Stephanie MacLean, and Amy Bolton-Christopherson. The panel was organized by Lou Rusert, standing far right

After lunch, we shifted gears to a panel of local builders. We heard from Amy Bolton-Christopherson, president of Christopherson Builders, Stephanie MacLean, CEO/President of Blue Mountain Enterprises, LLC, and Jon and Susan Reiter, owners of Reiter Fine Home Building.

This panel was especially interesting because each builder occupied a different market segment. Blue Mountain is a production home builder with communities across Northern California. Christopherson Builders is based in Santa Rosa and aims for the custom, higher quality market. I recognized Christopherson because they have rebuilt homes destroyed in the LNU Complex Fires north of Vacaville, one of my prime markets. Reiter Fine Home Building is a top of market spec builder in the Wine Country, with homes starting at $15,000,000 going up to more than $65,000,000.

Amy from Christopherson emphasized the difficulty in building new homes in California because of regulations and high indirect costs. Her example of a 1,200 sf accessory dwelling with a base price of $558,600 was eye-opening.

Stephanie from Blue Mountain reviewed the process her company goes through for developing a subdivision, from conception through feasibility, acquisition, marketing, and selling. She highlighted a new subdivision in Elk Grove with entry-level homes at $400,000, very reasonable and attainable for many in the Sacramento region.

Reiter Fine Home Building is different. Jon Reiter described their model of staying current with the latest trends in the very top tier of new homes in the US, designing and building one at a time. He discussed the importance of site selection for privacy and views for those who can afford a $65,000,000 home and emphasized that home size is less in demand in the top tier. He also discussed evolving tastes and how his company moved from Mediterranean to barndominium to modern.

All three panelists were kind enough to answer questions at the end of their presentations.

Yours truly in the deadliest slot, last

The final section was a discussion of short-term rental properties. Seth Carlsen, a Sacramento-based real estate investor, shared with us an introduction and lessons learned in acquiring and managing his 21 short-term rental properties. He reviewed AirDNA, the primary data source for short-term rentals, and provided comparisons to data provided about his properties by AirDNA and the actual data. He warned us to be careful to compare properties with similar amenities and maximum guest count, and to use multiple data sources.

I wrapped up the day with a comparison of short-term rentals to the standard rental properties residential appraisers deal with on a regular basis and warned about the relatively common request appraisers receive from lenders to provide a “rent survey” for short-term rentals. I encourage everyone interested in the topic to read John Dingeman’s article about the issues regarding lender rent survey requests and short-term rentals.

Thanks to host Northern Solano County Association of Realtors for allowing us to use their excellent facility. Thanks to all of our speakers who traveled near and far to share their wisdom and expertise. Thanks to Lisa Estes from the Appraisal Institute for managing the logistics so well. And thanks especially to my fellow committee members Lou Rusert and Chris Daniels, SRA for their work in planning this event.

Quiet, too quiet, and upcoming speaking engagements

I had a problem earlier this week with this website reverting to a 2016 version but was able to quickly fix with the help of the fine folks at my host, SiteGround. When reviewing the issue, I noticed that my last post was last summer. Yikes! Here’s the first effort to be more timely with my writing.

The Northern California Residential Appraiser Conference

Friday, May 3 (tomorrow), I am speaking at the Northern California Residential Appraisal Conference in Fairfield, California. My topic is a brief introduction to short-term rental (STR) properties with a focus on the issue of what to do when a lender asks for an appraiser to report “rental income” for a STR on the 1007 form.

Denis DeSaix, Penny Woods and I came together to produce the first joint conference between the Real Estate Appraisers Association (REAA) and the Northern California Chapter of the Appraisal Institute (NorCal AI) in 2018. Our goals were to bring the excellent teachers from NorCal AI to REAA residential appraisers and to build connections between the two organizations. Tomorrow is the fifth annual conference (Covid canceled the 2020 event) and we have a great group of speakers.

More information here

Other upcoming classes

The California Probate Referees Association has invited me to speak at their conference on Monday, May 20. I plan to discuss market change adjustments and contrasting, two quick and easy tools every valuation professional should use. This event is not open to the public but if you’re a probate referee in California, I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 4 I am teaching a time adjustments/market change adjustments class via Zoom for REAA. I will discuss time adjustments in detail here in a series of posts over the next several weeks.

Click here for more information or to register

What I’ve been doing instead of updating my website

I immensely enjoyed my trip to Palm Springs for the Community of Asset Analysts meeting in January. It was great to see in person many of my valuation friends. Below are some photos from the trip.

From upper left clockwise: George Dell speaking at the Community of Asset Analysts meeting; my fellow asset analysts; Brad Bassi in real life!; first time in Palm Springs; Joshua Tree NP was amazing; Yosemite Valley in the snow on the way home

Review: Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use

Review of Mark Ratterman’s book

I wrote the following for the December, 2022 Appraisal Today newsletter. This month Ann O’Rourke has published my article “Appraising in a Changing Market” which I will publish here next month. That said, if you’re a residential appraiser, you should sign up for the Appraisal Today newsletter. Each newsletter has advice that I can use in my business or my appraisal work. Go here for more information.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher, the Appraisal Institute, free of charge to Appraisal Today to review. Ann provided it to me so I can share my thoughts about it.

Cost is $75/$60 for Appraisal Institute members for either the soft cover book or the PDF. 252 pages

I don’t understand why the PDF is the same price as the book. Apparently, the cost approach does not apply.

This is the book to get you thinking about residential market analysis.

As noted in the Acknowledgements, this book is based on Stephen Fanning’s Market Analysis for Real Estate, the general appraiser’s market analysis book. Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use follows the same outline as the other book but focuses on residential properties. Both books use the same 6 step process for market analysis and 8 step process for highest and best use analysis. Most of this book is spent discussing and reviewing the 6-step market analysis process with highest and use analysis left for the last chapter.

The book discusses the difference between fundamental market analysis and inferred market analysis and provides advice on how to know what to include for your assignment. Much of the book is timely with many examples from the Covid era plus specific discussions of rapid interest rate increases and the impact of concessions on market value.

The explanation of the market analysis process is the framework for the author to share many suggestions for best practices. For example, Mr. Ratterman makes a strong case for almost always completing at least a very basic, high-level land valuation to support the highest and best use conclusion even if a cost approach is not necessary. A specific example included in the book of a mistake that residential appraisers make, not seeing that an attached duplex could be split into two one-unit properties, was a mistake I made twelve months ago. My client was kind enough to let me rewrite the appraisal instead of suing me. Examples and advice like this are what sold me on the book.

Mr. Ratterman’s writing is easy to read. As Ann’s previous reviews of his books note, his writing is the opposite of the academic, stilted style I see in other appraisal books. He repeats important concepts and provides useful examples.

I have a couple of minor quibbles. First, I found numerous typos, unexpected in a $75 book purchase. None were significant but all were distracting. The other issue I had was with the example in the Statistical Analysis chapter. I applaud Mr. Ratterman for including a detailed example of using linear regression to value a vacant lot. His example walks through the steps to do the analysis and includes a very useful discussion of how to choose the best predictor/unit of comparison (in this case, price per acre). However, his discussion is undermined because he doesn’t mention time. It was strange to read a book where market changes are discussed at length but not included in the most detailed example.

Who is it for?

The primary audience of this book is the seasoned residential appraiser with some experience appraising complex 1-4 unit properties. The book is ideal for residential appraisers working on upgrading to certified residential. It’s also ideal for folks like me working on their SRA designation. Less experienced residential appraisers may avoid future issues by reading this book.

Conclusion: I’m keeping it. Ann saved me from having to buy it. Thanks Ann.

Click here if you want more information on purchasing this book from the Appraisal Institute. (I am not getting paid for any sales)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Overview of Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use Theory
  • Chapter 2: Market Research in Real Estate Appraisal
  • Chapter 3: Levels of Market Analysis
  • Chapter 4: Urban Patterns, Development, and Externalities
  • Chapter 5: Location
  • Chapter 6: Productivity Analysis: The Subject Property
  • Chapter 7: Market Area Delineation
  • Chapter 8: Demand Analysis
  • Chapter 9: Competitive Supply Analysis
  • Chapter 10: Evaluating Market Cycles
  • Chapter 11: Marketability Concepts
  • Chapter 12: Data Sources
  • Chapter 13: Statistical Analysis Tools
  • Chapter 14: Highest and Best Use

About the Author

Mark R. Ratterman, MAI, SRA, has been a real estate appraiser and broker in Indianapolis since 1979. He initially worked as a residential broker only but soon moved on to focus on real estate appraisals. He has written ten books about real estate and appraisal with a focus on both residential and nonresidential topics.

Additionally, Mr. Ratterman has written courses and seminars for the Appraisal Institute and has been a teacher of appraisal courses and seminars for over 35 years. He has lectured in 45 states and four foreign countries and has written over 20 seminars for both online and classroom presentation. He has been published many times in The Appraisal Journal.

Mr. Ratterman lives in the Indianapolis area with his wife of 36 years, Jeanine. They have four grandchildren who all live in their area. His contact information is listed on the Appraisal Institute website (https://www.appraisalinstitute.org/) and can be located by clicking on “Find an Appraiser.”

Early 2022 Sacramento MSA Rental Vacancy Rate

It’s tough to be a renter in the Sacramento market now. Per the US Census Bureau, the Q1 2022 rental vacancy rate dropped to 3.0%. Good luck to anyone trying to find a home to rent.

For appraisers and real estate agents, this data is published for the top 75 markets in the US by the US Census Bureau. Go here to grab the data plus some other cool stuff from the Feds.

Like many appraisers, the past two years have been crazy for me. Life is starting to slow down so I hope to post more frequently.

Davis, Woodland, and Arbuckle Market Update for April and a quick discussion of appraiser shortages

I hope you’ve had your Covid-19 vaccine shots. If not and you’re in California, sign up now here.

Inventory continues to be low in the region with rising prices and competition for most properties. Sales volume is rising as shown below for Davis and Woodland:

Activity is up in Davis from the previous 12 months
Woodland sales volume continues to increase

Inventory has risen in Davis but is still on the low side. Woodland continues to run significantly below normal.

Prices overall are increasing rapidly in Woodland and moderately in Davis. Keep in mind that specific market segments may be trending differently depending upon demand.

Includes only single family homes in Davis city limits sold through Metrolist
Woodland sales reported to Metrolist in city limits of single family homes only

Multiple Offers

Everyone is talking about competing against 15 offers and prices 30% over initial list. Davis and Woodland are competitive, but not that competitive, as shown below.

Mean number of offers received trending up in Davis. Source: Metrolist
Woodland showing a significant increase in offers received

Arbuckle Market Trends

Arbuckle is an unincorporated community of approximately 5,000 people located about 45 minutes northwest of Sacramento along Interstate Highway 5 in Colusa County. It features homes built in the 1940-50s plus newer subdivisions built over the past 20 years and is surrounded by farmland.

Inventory is very low, not that unusual given how small the Arbuckle market is. Sales volume in 2020 was down 10% from 2019, not unusual for the area. Prices have increased significantly over the past 12 months as shown below.

Rapid price increases in Arbuckle during the pandemic per Metrolist

A longer look shows the effect of the pandemic on pricing:

Prices were stable heading into the pandemic but increased as most markets I cover did over the past 12 months
Arbuckle, CA is surrounded by farmland and split by I-5

Of the 37 homes sold in Arbuckle since 1/1/20 in Metrolist, 17 had one offer and 20 had more than one with a peak of 17 offers for one property. Competition has picked up in Arbuckle, following trends throughout the area.


Every day I receive calls and offers from lenders, agents, and buyers hoping I can help them with a purchase appraisal. I’m very fortunate to be busy and can’t finish anything quickly now because of my workload. I strongly suggest everyone to be patient if an appraisal is part of your transaction. This graph below from Freddie Mac will help explain the situation.

Source: The Effect of COVID-19 on Appraisal Volume – Freddie Mac Single-Family

Appraisal volume ties directly to interest rates. When rates fall, mortgage financing rises and drives appraisal volume up. When rates rise, appraisal volume falls. However, as shown above, the number of appraisers in the US who work with lenders has been relatively stable over the past eight years. The interest rate cycle rises and falls much more rapidly than the time it takes to develop a productive appraiser, causing appraiser shortages in times like now.

Good luck.

The Best Part Of My Job As An Appraiser

I enjoy many aspects of my career as a residential real estate appraiser. I’m self employed so I have no one to blame but myself; I set my own hours; I get to see a lot of places in the region; I spend much of my time trying to find meaning in data then communicating my findings; I even get to use a laser.

The best part of my job is the great animals I get to meet every day. I grew up with dogs in the house and have always gotten along with them. After college in the first year of our marriage, a friend offered us a kitten, Damien, who enriched our lives for 21 years. Thanks Dave.

Being able to read animals and owners is a key skill. I have yet to be bit after entering more than 5,000 homes over the past 18+ years which shows I’ve been successful.

(So that means I’ll get bit on my next inspection, I know how it works)

Anyway, here are pictures of some of the animals I’ve met over the past year.

I even met some goats recently.

And this is Brooke, our rescue from the pound, and Cat, who showed up on our patio.

Brooke, the walker who loves to play fetch
Cat. My son gave him a name but it doesn’t work for me.

What has been your experience with animals while inspecting? Any harrowing stories to share? Or have you been lucky like me and not yet bitten?

Add Histograms to Your Appraisal Tool Kit

It was my pleasure to speak at the Sacramento chapter of the Real Estate Appraisers Association last night at the Story of Value class with my good friend Ryan Lundquist. I discussed ways to explain markets in residential real estate appraisals and focused on using graphs and was surprised to see that maybe half of the crowd didn’t include graphs in their reports. This post is the first to offer advice and instructions on how to create meaningful graphs for residential appraisers.

Gross Living Area Histogram

Four appraisers out of 50 in the room reported using histograms. The histogram is a great tool for analyzing residential real estate markets that all appraisers should use.

What is a histogram?

For our needs, a histogram is a graph that shows the distribution of one continuous variable. The histogram splits the variable into equal-sized bins and counts the number of occurrences. It works well for important residential real estate variables like gross living area, lot size, age, and sale price.

Bin size is key to creating a useful histogram. Bins too wide loses meaning as your data is clumped together. Bins too narrow spreads the histogram out too much.

The graph above shows the sales of homes in a market area with homes of certain sizes. There is one sale less than 1000 sf and one more than 3500 sf. The most frequent size of home sold recently is around 2000 sf with the bulk of the homes in the 1400 sf to 2000 sf range.

Every report prepared for a lender asks the question “Is the subject conforming?” At a glance, any home sold in this neighborhood with between 1300 sf and 2600 sf is reasonably conforming in size. There are no sales in the 4000 sf to 5000 sf range so any homes in the neighborhood of that size are likely non-conforming. The two extreme sales, at 800 sf and 5000 sf, are unusual and likely non-conforming.

Sale Price Histogram

This next histogram examines the frequency of sale price in the market area. The most frequent sale price is in the $240,000 to $280,000 range with $360,000 to $400,000 the second most frequent range. A home in contract at $375,000 is fairly typical. A contract price of $700,000 is very unusual and is indicative of a non-conforming home.

The first two graphs were generated using ggplot2 in RStudio. Here’s an example from Excel 365 showing the year built for homes of sales in a market:

Year Built Histogram

Most homes sold in this market area (Placerville, CA small residential acreage) were built in 1970s and 1980s. A couple of homes were built in the 1800s and there are a couple of newly built homes.

The lender forms used by appraisers ask for similar information in a table format:

Table or Histogram, which is better?

Which describes the market better, the two histograms or the table?

Make A Histogram in Excel

Here’s how to use the latest version of Excel to make a histogram. This page has instructions for the latest version and older versions.

Start with your data in an Excel workbook with the top row field names and rows below sales data.

Starting with the field name, select the data to generate the histogram (ctl + shift + down arrow will select all consecutive data down)

Press F11 to insert a graph. Then chose Change Chart Type

Select Histogram then press Ok

You’ve made your first histogram!

First Histogram

However, it’s really ugly. Standard formatting for histograms is to have no space between the bins (columns). To fix that, double left click on one of the bins to activate the Data Series editor. Select the bars to active Series Option

Change the Gap Width to 0%. Notice how the columns come together. If you like having gaps between the columns, set the Gap Width to 6%.

First Not Ugly Histogram

To change the bin width, double left click on the x-axis labels (GLA in this case). Using the Format Axis Axis options, select the Bin Width control and type in what you want. Play with it until you’re happy with the shape of your histogram.

Default Bin Width

Excel defaulted to a bin width of 370 sf. Below is what the histogram looks like with bin width equal to 100 sf:

100 sf Bin Width

Here’s bin width equal to 500:

500 sf Bin Width

Here’s bin width equal to 200:

200 sf Bin Width

Which one appears most useful to you?

Context

I use histograms to understand some aspect of a market. How big are the homes? When were the homes built? How big are the lots in the neighborhood? What do homes sell for in the market area?

Then consider where the subject fits in the market. Is it bigger than typical? If so, you have support for concluding market value is higher than typical. Is it smaller? Well, now you can show a reason why the price is lower.

The Subject’s Position in a Market Area

Let’s consider the histogram above. The subject is one of the larger homes in the neighborhood but still relatively common in size. I would expect, without knowing anything else, that the subject’s market value is on the higher side for the neighborhood but with a reasonable number of homes larger than the subject. Take a look at the graph below.

The Subject is one of the bigger homes….

What if the subject was one of the largest homes in the neighborhood? The subject’s market value is likely on the upper end of the neighborhood range. Also, there are fewer directly competitive sales, implying market value may be less reliable in this market area than for a smaller home. Now let’s look at an extreme case.

Charge big bucks if you get this subject

I pity the appraiser asked to appraise a 6500 sf house in this market. However, you do have sales either smaller or larger. Here’s the time to really open your eyes to what is a competitive sale. Throw this graph in your report and your client will immediately see your data difficulty.

After you arrive at market value and as part of your reconciliation, consider using a histogram to support your market value.

Support for your market value conclusion

“The subject is newer than typical, above average quality custom home on a larger than typical lot. As shown above, the subject’s market value is on the higher side for the greater market area, as expected based on its superior characteristics.”

I hope you agree that histograms can be a powerful tool for appraisers.

Ways to use histograms:

  • Exploratory analysis to understand characteristics of a market area
  • Assist in determining reasonable search criteria for sales comparison
  • Visual representation of the subject’s position in a market area
  • Support for market value conclusions

I learned about histograms from George Dell. Thanks George. Get smart by taking his Stats, Graphs, and Data Science classes or at the very least, sign up for his blog. More info on George’s website.

Postscript: I am working towards moving away from Excel to using R, the data analysis package. I’ll link to the R code used for the two graphs as a separate post/update soon.

Why does North Dakota want to waive appraisals for 5 years?

Once again, the fine state of North Dakota has requested regulatory relief from mandatory federal appraisal requirements. Current law requires lenders to obtain independent appraisals when loan limits are above certain levels for federally related transactions. This law, passed in the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis in the 1980s, supports prudent risk management for a lending industry that has shown time and again an inability to manage itself.

This time, Governor Doug Burgum has requested a five year exemption on the argument that appraisers are hard to find in North Dakota. His argument for the waiver is that there is a shortage of appraisers in North Dakota. But is that really true?

I decided to test this. I downloaded a list of all active appraisers in the US from the Appraisal Subcommittee website and compared the number of active appraisers in each state to that state’s population. If North Dakota has a shortage of active appraisers, the population to appraiser ratio would be higher than in California, my state, where there is an oversupply in Southern California, right? I prepared the two graphs below to answer this for 1) residential clients (residential appraisals can be completed by any licensed appraiser); and 2) commercial lending clients (certified general appraisers only). So where does North Dakota fit in?

As of yesterday, North Dakota had 2545 people per appraiser. California, in contrast, has 4,194 people per appraiser. The US overall has 3,490 people per appraiser. North Dakota is in the top 15 for coverage for all appraisers.

North Dakota has even better coverage for commercial with 4,069 people per active certified general appraiser (US Coverage: 8,371 people per appraiser). It is top 5 for coverage in the US.

Do 35 states have a shortage of residential appraisers? Not that I’ve heard. Do 45 states have a shortage of commercial appraisers? No other state is asking for relief.

So why does North Dakota want undermine prudent financial safeguards?

I hope everyone who reads this will comment on the Federal Registry. Use this link. Comments close on 7/1/19.

Find My Appraiser

FindMyAppraiser.com

I’m excited to join the nationwide network of appraisers Find My Appraiser.

The residential lending industry is moving away from appraisals after seven years of rapid appreciation when many markets in Northern California are showing signs of slowdown and stability. I joined FindMyAppraiser.com because of their strong advocacy for appraisers and consumer protection.

From the FindMyAppraiser.com website:

FINDMYAPPRAISER.COM IS A NATIONAL REAL ESTATE APPRAISER DIRECTORY AND JOINT MARKETING CAMPAIGN

FindMyAppraiser.com serves as the link between local property appraisers and the public that needs these services.

Let the buyer beware!  Now more than ever American consumers must protect themselves when purchasing a home, buying rental property or investing in a business.   These decisions are “life changing” and can effect consumers for many years to come.  Buying a home is the biggest financial investment one will make and getting an accurate property value from a qualified local appraiser is best way to make sure you are making a wise decision.

Many banks don’t order appraisals!  That’s right.  Many home buyers believe banks will order an appraisal when they apply for a mortgage but more and more banks are using AVMs (Automated Valuation Modules) or out-of-the-area “valuers” in the mortgage process. These valuations are not performed for your benefit, they are only used by the bank.  You don’t own them and you should not rely on them to make your purchase decision. You need a properly trained market expert. You need an Appraiser.

FindMyAppraiser.com is dedicated to supporting professional appraisers and promoting consumer protection.”

Thanks to Phil Crawford and Lori Noble for putting this together.