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Objections to Making Appraisers Scapegoats

June 29, 1986

The article by Don G. Campbell (June 8) leaves the impression that real estate sales are jeopardized by low, inaccurate appraisals due to the appraiser's incompetence.

As an appraiser with 19 years experience, I am offended. The point is, many lenders, including VA and FHA, will not allow appraisers to consider current sales in escrow. And they will not allow older, closed sales to be adjusted up for time of sale to reflect the current market when prices are clearly increasing.

Frankly, to be allowed to use current valid market sales still in escrow would make an appraiser's job easier, and every appraiser I know would welcome it. An appraiser has to conform to the lender's sometimes conservative guidelines. In doing so, he is the scapegoat for low appraisals.

Many realtors will report a current sale as "pending" and will not divulge the sale price so as not to jeopardize their deal.

An appraiser's job is to arrive at current market value. Market value is what a knowledgeable seller, under no unusual duress to sell, is willing to sell his property for, and what a knowledgeable buyer is willing to buy the property for after that property has been exposed to the open market for a reasonable time.


Granada Hills

Gougas is an independent fee appraiser.

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