James S. Graner


Everybody Appears Just a Little Nervous These Days!

Yesterday I set an appraisal appointment with a listing agent. This was an FHA appraisal assignment of a very cute and well maintained home that was purchased two years prior with FHA financing.

She was very pleasant and accomodated my request for entry into the home. I asked for an appointment that day, however we agreed on me observing the home the next morning.  I reviewed the listing on the multiple listing service and selected comparable sales that might be good sales, these were homes that were also in good condition.

Later on that last night I got a phone call from that listing agent. I paraphrase her statement "Would the REO sales and listings in the neighborhood hurt the appraisal value?" Well she was not the client of the report, so I could not talk specifically of this appraisal. I relaxed her with generic talk about good comparable sales in a neighborhood are often the best sales for a good subject property inside the same neighborhood. I went on to say that REO sales often have problems associated with them, unless they have overwhelmed the market, REO are usually sales represent an oppertunity for a different buyer than a neat and clean marketable home.

The listing agent was pleasant in her questions and I did not mind the phone call. I understand that this type of phone call was not common last year, however I understand this kind of phone call is just part of the current market conditions and real estate depression that we currently have.

Comment balloon 13 commentsJames Graner • July 01 2008 02:13PM


How ironic.  I just got off the phone with an appraiser and we discussed exactly these issues !  His answers were essentially the same .

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 10 years ago


I hope he was pleasant and understood why you had anxiety on the deal.


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

I'm constantly badgered by underwriters who feel all markets are depressed and REO driven wanting comps from the past 6 months (In Northern Michigan, nothing sells for the 8 months of winter.) and current listings and negative time adjustments.  I, like you, believe that, unless the market is driven by REO listings and sales, they then comprise an entirely different sub-market appealing most to investors and flippers.  Unfortunately, while I have statistically documented a rather stable market up here for the past several seasons, many of my fellow appraisers have been watching too many news shows outlining the dire real estate market in Michigan which, by and large, was restricted to the more urban southern areas of the state.

Posted by Richard Glesser (North Country Appraisal Services) over 10 years ago


Here in Missouri we are not that depressed. I am able to give comps within three months, however not necessarily the best comps. This causes me to provide five and six comps.

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


Our market is not depressed.  Those unfamiliar with it don't understand that annually, we have a winter dormant marketing season where essentially the real estate market hibernates until the spring.  This translates to a period of time from October through May when sales once again begin with renewed market activity.  This year even later since our spring was cold and we had freeze warnings overnight this past month of June.  Because there's limited sales volume during the winter, an appraisal done in April often has no comparable sales within 6 months, but plenty from May through September of the previous season.

Posted by Richard Glesser (North Country Appraisal Services) over 10 years ago

Yeah, I got the same kind of call.  Karma, what goes around comes around.  I help everyone I can even if it doesn't necessarily help me.

Posted by Steve Dawson (J. Rockcliff Realtors (#01723588)) over 10 years ago

Thanks James. Good post. It just goes to show you that now more than ever we all need to at the top of our game! Have a nice 4th!



Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) over 10 years ago

I see more agents wanting to meet me, as opposed to giving me the code or giving me permission to use my Supra Key. I guess I would be willing to work harder as well, if I was an agent in the transaction.

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

It is an unfortunate sign of the times.  It will get better, hopefully soon!


Posted by Ronald Gillis, CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY (Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent)) over 10 years ago

Hi James---thanks for sharing your story!

I've been a Realtor for 21 years and have always felt we should let the appraiser  do his job without us, Realtors, trying to influence the out come! 

If you have comps--let the comps speak for themselves. 

Of course, when I feel that the appraiser perhaps has not had a chance to get all the comps; and the value doesn't come in; and I know I have comps--I will provide them to the Appraiser.....I always ask him/her does he/she need help with comps.  Some will accept my help others won't!  But I think that appraiser appreciates my consideration and not interfere with the appraisal process.

Posted by Aida Pinto, Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196 (United Associated Brokers) about 10 years ago


I as an appraiser I appreciate any comparables the agent can provide.  Who knows, you may have one I was not aware of.  And your right, we should let the comps speak for themselves.  Comps do speak, figuratively that is.  They tell us what is happening in the market.  That is why we have to verify the sales with a party to the transaction so that any undue influence on the sales price can be considered.

Posted by Tom Horn, Appraising The American Dream (Thomas Horn, Real Estate Appraiser) about 10 years ago

We appraise in Central Florida from Windermere to Polk City. The more information we consume the better.

Posted by AK almost 10 years ago

James: All parties need to be appeased these days. No one wants to spend too much time on something they may not get paid on.

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) almost 10 years ago