Archive for November, 2010

November 29, 2010 - Turn Around Times and Weekends

Turn around Times and Holidays.

By Craig Wallace – Long Beach Appraiser

I was logging on to appraisal port the other night, and looked at the recent survey they have up. AP does a new survey every few weeks. This one was about turn around times.

The question was “Do you believe that turn-around times should not include weekends and Holidays?  Out of 4,350 respondents, 4,371 said “Yes, appraisal turn times should be based on the regular work week”

I kind of agree, but the reality of residential real estate is that it is a non-stop process. The Agents work weekends, the home inspectors. But, what about mortgage, escrow, title?

Appraisers are a vital part of the real estate transaction, and that transaction is time sensitive. We have to get the report done and no one cares if we have family commitments, holidays or what ever else. I called an agent on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving ,to set an appoint for the Friday after Thanksgiving. This guy was a little upset, and asked why it took so long for me to call. I had to explain that this was a FHA appraisal, the order did not have a case number, and per the lenders instructions, appraisers are not to proceed without a case number, so I had to wait. He then asked, if  I can come out today, Wednesday and have the report in by Friday. I kindly told him “No” and mentioned the due date is the following Wednesday. He then went on to tell me that this was not good, they needed to close, blah, blah, blah….. I kindly told him again that I would be out Friday and turn in the Report next week, and that I would be not working over the long Holiday. In reality, there is no incentive to turn the report in any earlier, if they really needed it that fast, a rush fee would work just fine.

November 22, 2010 - Reasonable and Customary Fees for an Appraisal

Reasonable and Customary Fees for an Appraisal.

By Craig Wallace, Certified Appraiser.

What are Reasonable and Customary Fees for an Appraisal?

That seems to be the question that many in the Real Estate Industry are trying to figure out. Prior to the HVCC, the Fees I would charge for a standard 1004 on a home under 2,000 SF was $375-$400. FHA was $450+. Since the HVCC, the fees dropped to $200 -$335. I was no longer able to collect COD, could no longer market myself, and lost all of my long term clients.  But a funny thing happened to fees being charged to the borrower, they went up.

What did you pay for an appraisal on your last refinance or purchase? Was it over $500? Most likely. The appraiser only received 50% to 65% of what you were charged; the bank pocketed the rest as profit. So, I think a reasonable and customary fee is what the borrower has been paying. This shows up on your closing statement, form HUD1. This is what the market is; this is what the end user is accustomed to paying. The fee for the appraisal management company should be separate fee from the appraisal fee. The next time you have an appraiser over, tell him what you have been charged for the fee, but don’t expect him to tell you what he is receiving, because he is forbidden to tell you that. We can get removed from the list.

Some Agents and Homeowners think we are paid too much, but let’s look for a moment at what we have to do, and the hours involved. Personally, I spend about an hour doing the comparable research before I even leave the house. I can spend about an hour driving to the subject neighborhood and photographing all the comps. I can spend about 15 -30 minutes at the subject, more for larger homes. This includes measuring and inspecting. Then the drive back. Once in the office a typical report can take me between 2-5 hours to write. So, we have a total of about 5- 8 hours. A typical AMC fees is $295, so that is between $36 – $59 per hour. This does not include the cost of Gas, E&O insurance, MLS Dues, Continuing Education, Office Expenses, etc. So, this is at the low end of every other party involved in the transaction, but we have the most liability and the most oversight.

I personally feel we should charge by the hour and miles

November 8, 2010 - Year to Date October Real Estate Trends in Alamitos Heights, Long Beach

The following Chart shows the Real Estate Market  year to date for October in Alamitos Heights area of Long  Beach.The Price per Square Foot ahs risen slightly, while the median sale price has declined over the past year.

Oct 2010