Sweating Out The Appraisal


I’m not at all sure if it’s like this for buyers and sellers right now (I think it is!) but nothing is producing as much stress and nervousness in this market as is the seemingly long waits that are occurring around appraisals. Sure, there are those deals that slide through and the appraisal is done in the first week…but a whole lot of them are taking much longer. Often it takes a couple of weeks just to get an appraiser to set an appointment and since criteria is so much more rigid we worry that it won’t come in to value…and then what?

As I’ve said before here, Realtors and even the reps at the banks have no ability anymore to speak to the appraiser. If it doesn’t come in there’s no arguing the point. If an appraiser is inexperienced you could be in for a problem. If the appraisal comes in lower than your purchase price somebody has to make up the difference if it’s to close.

I have a transaction currently in El Granada whereby the appraiser was sent via the HVCC system. After about 3 weeks in escrow I get a call from a young guy who asks me to open the listing for him the next day. I notice he’s calling me from the 209 area code. I ask where he is…Stockton. He tells me he’d like to meet me at 10:30AM the next day and also shares with me that he has a 9:30AM appointment in Oakland and will just zip on over after that job. Oakland to El Granada in a half hour to 45 minutes? 

“Do you think it’ll take longer than that” He asks.

“Have you been to El Granada before” I reply.

“No” he says. “And where exactly is El Granada? Isn’t it in Half Moon Bay?”

This dialog didn’t get me all warm and fuzzy about this appraisal to tell you the truth. As of this morning we’re still waiting for it to come back in…it was done last Friday!

2009 is a strange and different world in Real Estate…it really is.


  1. As an appraiser with 25 years of residential experience, I can only ask how does this appraiser work in both Oakland and El Granada and claim to be good at what he or she does. The current system is just a joke and it will continue to go downhill. The appraisal is and has always been the “evil necessity” in the real estate transaction. For those who want to live in Stockton and work in El Granada, have at it. This is the system that has been set up by government and they don’t have a clue as to what the affects on the industry are. Someone had to take the blame for the failure of the big banks and Wall Street so we now have appraisal management companies and HVCC. I have been hearing many complaints from real estate agents over the past 6 months and at this point I just laugh because I don’t believe “more government” equals “better government”.

  2. This is so disturbing…

  3. The appraisal came in just fine. Looks like we’re done.

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