appraisal before even viewing the listing?

scdeb424October 10, 2013

We are selling a 12 year old starter home in a small neighborhood of similar homes. During the first week a RE appraiser made an evening appointment to appraise the house. This was our 1st "showing." The way we found out about this was through an email alert that the house was being shown except that it wasn't to a potential buyer but to this appraisal company. There was a comment from the RE agent that this was rather odd. Two weeks later it turns out that the person who had paid for the appraisal and either tagged along on the appointment or was brought later in by another agent because this person is now complaining that our asking price is too high. Their appraisal was lower than our asking price but not too low in our opinion & if there had been an offer from them we would have been happy to respond. But there was never an offer and this person thought the appraisal that they paid for was too high as well & commented that they thought our price should be lowered to $5000 below their appraisal. The house has only been on the market for 20 days and there have been 3 showings besides this odd occurrence. My questions are: Is this really as odd as it sounds or do potential buyers pay for appraisals before they step foot on the property? Has this appraisal hurt our chances for selling the home? It almost feels as if this unknown person has an harmful agenda toward the house although why, I don't know. A smaller but similar home recently sold (three months ago) and the selling price was about $2000 lower than the appraisal this person had done on our house. Incidentally, we had most of the interior redone--new flooring throughout, repainted, some updating of fixtures etc. Not sure what to think about this & I hope someone can help me understand what this all means.

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Tell the person that unless s/he has an offer in his/her hand, there's no need to communicate.

It's sounds like a flipper trying to lowball you.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:49AM
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What if the 'buyer' knows or is related to the appraiser, so they are not actually paying for the appraisal, but using this number as a bargaining token?

I don't think that the appraisal would hurt the value of your home. I think the way that would happen is if it was an FHA appraisal, it was low, and another buyer wanted to purchase via FHA as well.

I would agree this means you should ignore this person until a signed offer arrives.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:39AM
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& if you didn't authorize an appraisal, no one should have done one...
& it may be that no appraisal was actually done.

I never have heard of a flipper paying money for anything he could get for free, & in this situation, a broker price opinion from the agent would have been suficient.

I also don't know the requirements for calling yourself an appraiser in your state, but I do know that in Texas you can call yourself, for example, a 'real estate company' whether you're an agency or a management company or a flipper.

It might be interesting to find out the designations held by the appraisal company & maybe the ownership.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Sounds like an investment group who wants to buy the property to use as a rental.

lots of homes were selling here (Central Florida) a few months ago. They were given a spit shine (not much more) and went on the market as a rental.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:43AM
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Are you saying that someone you do not know scheduled for an appraiser to go inside your home w/o you knowing it? Is this correct?
In my mind, that is called trespassing.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I dug a little more and found out that it was an actual appraisal company that requested the showing. I think at this point that "maddielee" is correct. Investors could afford to get appraisals especially if they had some sort of deal or even owned the appraisal company. The real estate office allowed this appointment & it really took us by surprise. We had never heard of such a thing and it was upsetting. One odd thing--someone had tightened our kitchen faucet during the appointment. My husband just laughed about it but I was not happy.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:51PM
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Why does not your agent call the buyer's agent and find out the details?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:01AM
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There was/is no buyer's agent--the appointment was made under the name of the appraisal company & my agent only knew about it after the appointment. Apparently no realtor went on the appointment as none was noted on the email alert. There is a lock box on the door & with the code they made entry to do an appraisal.
The information I have gotten from my agent is that this was unexpected and odd. And then the info about the man being upset that his appraisal was higher than he wanted. I have never heard of this happening before and felt very uncomfortable. After re-reading everyone's input, including your very good question, I plan on speaking to my agent again. There is so much that I had never considered--thanks to everyone for the eye opening responses.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 7:59PM
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I would be pissed off that someone other than a buyer and their agent entered my home under false pretenses. This is unacceptable. An appraiser can not just let himself into any home that he feels like just because it is on the market.
I would pursue this further.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:30PM
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Who gave the person the code enterring your house?
Are you saying that anyone could claim himself as an appraiser and enter your house without an agent's accompany? Your listing agent had better have a very good answer.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:33PM
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what ncreguy said.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Your listing agent said it's "odd" and "unexpected", but where else would the appraiser get the lockbox code? If the code was given out by someone else in the RE office, aren't they obligated to let your agent know? And your agent in turn would have to let you know? I'd be checking my belongings very carefully to make sure nothing is missing.

Also - I'd make the realtor change the code on your lockbox NOW. It sounds like it's being given out a bit too freely.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I would be very disturbed if anyone was able to open the lockbox and enter my home without an agent. I'd be demanding some very clear and complete answers about how this appointment was made and who gave out the code. And having that lockbox code changed immediately.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:32PM
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