Why I Don't Use A Laser

by Mike Armentrout

From personal computing, to the internet, to unlimited mobile apps, technology has revolutionized our lives.  It's hard to imagine how we functioned before the advent of this modern age.  Many of the tools we have at our disposal are nothing short of amazing. 

As an appraiser and a business owner, I have always embraced new technologies once they became affordable and reliable.  If something claims to increase productivity and profitability, I am eager to look into it. 

From the early days of training, I was never fond of the idea of tape measures since they required significant work or outright assistance.  I instead opted for a small measuring wheel with a retractable handle.  As laser measuring devices came to the market, I eagerly purchased a more basic model to see if this was something that would really benefit my inspections.

After several weeks of using it, I started to realize it may not be what I was hoping for.  While there were some uses where it wa…

The Elusive C2 Condition Rating

Hey Underwriters! Reviewing Additional Sales Will Not Always Mitigate Risk

By Mike Armentrout

Normally I write an article to chime in on a topic as it relates to appraisers.  Rarely do I address colleagues in other related fields outside of my own industry.  Today shall be different.

This post is specifically intended to talk to our lender clients about an increasingly frequent stipulation request we are seeing from many underwriting departments.  That is to comment on or possibly grid additional sales.  Here's how it goes; after we submit a report, an underwriter sends over three to four sales and asks why they were not considered.  Sometimes these sales were discovered in our original research and other times they may be outside of the defined market area.

Appraisers do have the duty to respond to any and all questions that the client as an intended user may have in analyzing collateral.  Such requests should also be handled in a professional manner.  It is certainly a lenders' prerogative and responsibility to scrutinize an appraisal when they are…

What Happens When Contracts Rocket Past List Prices

by Mike Armentrout

In light of the historic low inventory levels, the existing demand appears to be exploding.  This does not mean that the current demand is unprecedented in terms of volume.  We simply have some markets with a very low supply of available listings and a disproportionate number of buyers.

This is not only resulting in multiple offer scenarios but is also ramping up the offering prices as buyers are leveraging whatever they can to beat out the competition.  In fact, it has become a wild West environment as agents are attempting new strategies to win the bidding wars.

So with all this frenzy, one might ask when will it change?  The simple answer is, when supply comes more into balance with demand.  Until then however, appraisers are going to have to work through some minefields. With agents desperately seeking new listings, they are feeling the heat to close as many buyers as possible.  The last thing they want to deal with is appraisals coming back less than the contra…

Regulation Differs Between Accountants and Appraisers?

by Mike Armentrout
So the other day was ironically Friday the thirteenth.It started off without a hitch until I got the dreaded call from my accountant.He hit me with the news that my various personal returns and first quarterly estimates would result in me writing checks that totaled over $16,000.I spent the weekend pouring over the numbers and still could not figure out how I owed so much more than the prior year and yet only made a few hundred dollars more than last year. I talked and texted the accountant several times with questions in hopes of finding cause for revision, but was met with only disappointment.I am sure he could sense my growing frustration.In fact, I’m sure the thought crossed his mind that after twenty four years of doing taxes for our company and the personal taxes of my business partner and myself; he just might lose us as a client.
Then it hit me.This was eerily similar to many calls we get as appraisers from disgruntled AMCs, lenders, realtors, sellers, buyer…