Home Appraiser kills deal!

I’ve never come across this and am not sure if it’s also the process in the states. We did a home inspection in our area and reported our findings to the proposed buyer as usual. We noted that there were some step cracks on one corner of the basement foundation. Nothing too serious and to monitor the crack for further movement. We had alot of rain leading up to the inspection and the basement showed no signs of leakage. Two days later the real estate agent called me and said the banks appraiser killed the deal because the house “was not structuraly sound”. The agent had the banker call back the appraiser but he would not elaborate on the situation. The bank did say that since the buyer was only going in with 5% down their would be no leaway for home improvements should they have to spend thousands dealing with a structure problem. The agent was amazed and seemed a little pissed off that we may have missed something like that. I suggested she have her client contract a structral engineer for further review based on what this home appraiser had said. She thought it was a good idea and we are waiting for his opinion. I’m certain that based on what we say with NO further movement anywhere in that home that he will not find anything further. I just had NO idea that home appraisers were in any way qualified to assess weather a home was structuraly sound or not. In my mind the appraiser is there to appraise and the home inspector to inspect. :twisted: :twisted:

The only incident close to that was an insurance company once required a structrual engineer report because the insurance agent went to the home and saw some settlement cracks. Nothing serious, but it also created a rift. Never had it happen because of an appraiser.

They are not.

Appraisers are now required to be more diligent when it comes to noticeable defects noticed during their review of the property. It must be reported in the appraisal and then at the underwriters discretion whether to have the issue further inspected by a “qualified inspector”. Some appraisers are using Home inspectors to do a quick walk thru of the property to include a limited visual (from access only) of the attic and crawl space. I get these alot on Government secured loans. Thats why the appraisal fee for these types of loans are higher.

I just recently received a phone call from a Realtor Lady Named Pendley (strange) and it was concerning a similar incident. Property had not received a home inspection but the Appraiser had taken pictures of cracks in the brick Veneer siding and submitted them with the appraisal of course the lender did not want to loan unless a structural inspection was performed and that is when I received the phone call from the Realtor not the buyer. My red flag went up and I declined; my gut feeling was they were looking for a sign off to the lender and that is not my bag of oats.

In many states it is illegal for anyone other than a licensed structural engineer to even offer an opinion as to whether a building is structurally sound or not. That’s why it is always right to refer a suspected problem to a licensed professional.

Jim King

That may be true but if I start referring all the step cracks I see in a foundation to a structural engineer for further review I’ll be out of business in no time. The appraiser was even sent a copy of our report and did not budge. I just talked to the Real Estate agent and found out that the engineer had been by yesturday and agreed that there were not any concerns on his part.

George, maybe by the time the appraiser went, furniture or other storage may have been moved and he saw something you were not able to. Just a thought.


Not based on what the structural engineer said. It’s off when appraisers start doing the job of a home inspector. Imagine if we started putting in our two cents about appraisal values, we’d be finished.

An appraiser is working for the bank. He is often times their only eyes on a property. Part of the appraisal process is to view the property an look for problems that will affect the marketablilty of the house (such as structural problems). While not every appraiser will have the same training as home inspectors, some will have the same amount, if not more than many home inspectors. Most will be just as qualified to determine if a house is structurally sound (not very) and will likely defer to the engineer. It is not possible to do a good appraisal without doing at least a partial inspection.

In this state Licensed home inspectors are allowed to do structural inspections we are not allowed to give opinions as to what is required to perform repairs. If we consider repairs as necessary we defer to a structural engineer and or to a foundation repair contractor.

Whoa what goes on in Mo. In this state the appraiser is suppose to be working for whom ever hired him is the lender paying for the appraisal???

In every state, if the appraisal is involved in a real estate transaction, the appraiser is working for the bank, no matter who paid them. Otherwise would be against the standards of practice. In real estate transactions the bank has to order the appraisal, especially if they want to sell the loan to another entity.

Even if the appraiser is working for an individual, they should be looking for major defects that would affect the marketability of the property because that would affect value. Otherwise they are not providing an accurate appraisal.

Neither am I. But if I see something interesting, I’ll call for a structural engineer. Appraisers here do the same thing. That’s all part of appraising, in my opinion. I think a good appraiser should be looking at everything, not just comps on the computer, perhaps even getting a copy of the home inspection report from the Client, seller, whatever. I know around here they always get a copy of the disclosures, although those are only useful about 1% of the time.

Same thing here.

Nice paragraph. I would give you a red box if I could. :margarit:

You have been red boxed, thanks for your support…