Agents Talking to Appraisers and the Fogginess of the Dodd-Frank Act

Real Estate Broker Owner with Vision Realty

Agents Talking to Appraisers and the Fogginess of the Dodd-Frank Act

The Dodd-Frank Act was signed into place in 2010 and is a lot of places major regulations on the financial industry. It originally grew out of the necessity during the recession of 2008 preventing another collapse of a major financial institution. It protects consumers with rules like keeping borrowers from abusing lending and mortgage practices by banks. Because of this ruling it has blurred the lines of communication between appraisers, lenders and agents. According to, Real Property Analyst, Inc. appraiser Tom Francis says "many Realtors® think they are not allowed to speak with an appraiser about their listing but they're not only allowed, they most definitely should." This new ruling has created a lot of misconceptions about the communication between agents and appraisers and we've had some lenders tell us that we cannot even contact appraiser and that Agents talking to appraisers and the fogginess of Dodd Frankcommunication has changed due to Dodd-Frank. That this is simply not the case. Because the rulings are so complex, large banks and lenders need to be cautious on the communication rules and we found that smaller lenders don't have that luxury which makes it more difficult for them to comprehend the guidelines.

In reality, the rule states the only party not allowed to speak with the appraiser is the person directly engaged with the loan origination side of the business which is the lender. This prevents any illegal activities, bribes or predatory lending practices. The only restrictions agents have on speaking with the appraiser is when. They are only allowed to speak to the appraiser before the report is submitted to the lender. This means that the agent can meet the appraiser at the property and provide information such as showing activity, sales data, and any offers the property has received. The appraisers typically want this information before the report is completed. This also helps appraisers that may be out of the area. He appraisers miscalculating property values because they are not familiar with a particular area can put a strain on the financial situation.

Also within this article were some great information on how to ensure a quality appraisal process.

Contact the appraiser before they arrived at the property and find out how far their offices from the listing, if they're familiar with the area, and how frequently they work in the area.

After you've qualified the appraiser contact them with your predominant features list, information on best comparable sales and best active listings in the area and any discrepancies with the assessors data.

When you meet the appraiser at the property point out the features on your list, review the comparables and be courteous and respectful with their field of expertise.

Finally, review the appraisal and check for any errors, defects on the comps that were used, remain tactful and send in any additional comps listing any errors on the previous mistakes.

So, communicate with your appraiser. It's allowed and encouraged.

More Valuable Real Estate Information:

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Columbus Ohio real estate - Vision RealtyAs a certified Realtor® for the top-rated Columbus Realty Firm - Vision Realty, with 32 years of dedicated real estate experience, I can help buyers, sellers, investors, short sale sellers and more find, sell or invest in the right property, at the right price, at the right time. Contact me anytime for updates and information on the Columbus OH Real Estate market.


Donald Payne - Vision Realty, Inc.
4608 North High Street

Columbus, OH 43214

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Bill Cobb
Greater Baton Rouge's Home Appraiser
Accurate Valuations Group, LLC

Valid Points, Donald!

As a Home Appraiser, I sent this to my State's Appraiser Board this morning asking for guidance be issued to ALL Louisiana State Certified Residential Appraisers: 

"LA Appraisers Need Guidance On Agent Appraiser Communication

There’s tremendous “fogginess” about Agent Appraiser communication during and after an appraisal.  We need Appraiser’s Board to issue detailed guidance, based on Dodd-Frank, on how we are to communicate with Agents before and after report submission, seriously!  

Honestly, I hate revisiting a report for comps I may have overlooked based on an Agent’s opinion. So, when I’m setting up appraisal inspections, I tell the Agent as a common professional courtesy that this is their opportunity to provide any comps used to establish listing price.  Some Agents “Farm” neighborhoods and sometimes know more than Appraisers about neighborhoods and more about individual sales that may have shown.

I was brought up in this business to understand theirs 3 professionals involved in a home sales in terms of value: Listing Agent, Selling Agent and Appraiser.  And, I do this to avoid an appeal after report submission.  Some Appraisers have a different opinion and think any Agent communication is an attempt at influencing their value decision.  This is crazy to me in that we as professionals must be able to communicate more and I thought that’s why Dodd-Frank was written, to correct the wrongs HVCC had on our industry.

Two Local Agents Stated This To Me: 

Bill, I will ALWAYS speak with the appraiser when I get the call. I like to meet the appraiser at the listing to go over the property details too. But a lender told me recently that I wasn't supposed to do that anymore. What exactly is permissible these days as far as communication?

Bill, I welcome the opportunity to speak with and on occasion meet with the appraiser either over the phone and when possible, at the appointment time. This does give me the opportunity to point out the highlights of the property as well as pass a copy if the original CMA that was done just prior to the listing. It is our job To make sure that any and all information is passed whenever possible. I would like to see open communication after the appraisal is done as well. The shoe is now on the other foot as some agents will defer you to a showing service because of time issues (not always because of fear to communicate with) and so will the appraiser is off to his next appointment. No exact right answer here, but effort by both can go along way." 




November 21, 2013 02:43 AM
Judie Berger
Sarasota Luxury Homes Expert
Premier Sothebys International Realty

A lot of good information here.  Thanks for putting this together

November 21, 2013 05:25 AM
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum


Your post should be required reading for realtors, lenders and appraisers.....Thanks.

November 21, 2013 06:58 AM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams

In my opinion whether an agent "should" talk to an appraiser or not doesn't have anything to do with any law. It comes down to the individuals involved. If the communication is delivered with respect for the other person and what they do and has a "here's some data that "may" be helpful" feel to it & the receiver is willing to accept that kind of communication then it can be a great thing and benefit all parties. If either side is off (ie the agent deliveres their communication wtih a "must use this data" type of feel or if the appraiser is the kind of person that resents anyone suggesting anything), then the clients are probably better off if the no communication between agent and appraiser takes place.

As I've often never met a specific appraiser before and don't know them,  I have found that a simple request works well before delivering my communication. I ask something along the  lines of, "I have some data about this home, comps and trends in the neighborhood - do you want it? 99% of the time they say "sure". The other 1% I bet it's good that I asked before just giving it to them.

November 21, 2013 09:21 AM
Jim Joeriman
Helping Agents Reach New Heights
Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc

In my market the appraiser contacts the agent (sometimes the listing agent and sometimes the selling agent) for entry into the property.  Often the agent will provide them with comps.  I understand the desire of either agent to get the highest legitimate appraisal price, however it seems to me that a buyers agent, functioning as a buyers agent could run into some ethical issues if they influence the appraisal. 

November 21, 2013 01:20 PM
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Additional Information

Donald Payne, Founder of Vision Realty, has been the REALTOR® of choice for buyers and sellers since 1979. Donald specializes in helping first-time homebuyers, new families, single families and more in Columbus real estate.