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 ColumbusRealtors.com, 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 communication 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.
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