James S. Graner


My Worst Appraisal Assignment, Ever!

Several years ago, I accepted an appraisal assignment in a area of Northern St Louis City. This is an are of the city with several vacant and deteriorated buildings. When setting up the appointment, I agreed to a 5:00 PM appointment. Sad I had an earlier inspection, that day, and drove by my later appointment to snap exterior pictures. (This was back when we used 35mm film and one hour developing.) I wanted to save the cost of a role of film and developing.

While I drove by the house that I was to inspect later that day, apparently I alarmed a neighbor. I took two pictures of the front of my subject, a picture of the street, and a rear picture from the alley. I dropped off my film to be processed and my wife picked up my film later that day.

When I went back to my subject property, in the same car I drove earlier that day, I drove in front of my subject and noticed parking spaces on the other side of the street. I drove to the end of the street and attempted a U-Turn at the cul-de-sac. I St Louis City Police car drove up, blocked me in, and would not tell me what his problem was. Surprised

I was cuffed and stuffed into the back of the police car. I was drove up the sub-station where I was met by men in dress suits. I am thinking some dumb guy, my color, did something bad here. I might look a little like him, this will get cleared up. I am asked several questions of "What are you doing here?" "Who hired you for this assignment?" "How come you were on the street earlier?" Nothing was satisfying this stupid department. I was in trouble, and still did not understand what the problem was. Without being able to identify the problem, it was hard to let these idiots know what they needed to know. Question

After a few hours of trouble, I was released. I was told that the lady at her house, who could not accept an appointment until 5:00 PM in this wonderful depressed area, was sure that she was being stalked by a Twisted Evil pervert, and filed a report earlier in the day. Idea My response was" I would not have came at five if I knew she was home earlier." I refused to come back to this ladies house, the appraisal was re-assigned.

Comment balloon 5 commentsJames Graner • June 12 2008 09:18PM


Are you kidding me?  The borrower was the one that called the police? Oh my word.

I hope you learned your lesson.  Never accept an appointment after 5pm or on weekends.  Once you tell the story, all your loan officers and borrowers will understand why :-)

Posted by Sara Goodwin, Portland, Oregon Appraiser (Ashcroft & Associates) over 10 years ago

that's awful!  I hope you can laugh about it now.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 10 years ago

Many moons ago I ran a large fee shop. One of my partners was a Korean woman, who although being a very knowledgeable appraiser with an excellent command of the English language, was somewhat difficult to understand verbally - especially when she was excited.  She was inspecting a comparable for an assignment and pulled up to a vacant house in her red Porsche to take pix. She was immediately surrounded by a hoard of federal officers who were surveilling the house. After about 15 minutes of interrogation, she finally got them to call us to confirm the legitimacy of her presence. Afterward, everyone (including the feds) thought the incident was hysterical, except my partner...

Posted by Kenneth M Rossman, FL Certified General Real Estate Appraiser #RZ3504 (Appraiser, Ken Rossman) over 10 years ago


Yes I laugh now, however I was spotted a couple of years later by one of the uniforms that came in for support. He did not remember the end of the story and gave me a hard time for being in the neighborhood, which I did not belong. This was a high crime area and he thought I was trouble. I told him the rest of the story and he finally let me go. I still feel funny in that neighobrhood, going through.


Posted by James Graner (Residential Services: http://appraisalmo.com) over 10 years ago

Wow, that is a good one...how upsetting was that to go through.  I would have been so upset.  It is amazing some of the things we go through as appraisers, thanx for the great story

Posted by Patrice Estess (PB APPRAISALS) over 10 years ago