Homeowners Page

Questions and Concerns from Homeowners from over 20 years of appraising
    Appraisal is the process of obtaining an estimate of value. In a real estate context, when real estate is the collateral for a loan, it is intended to ensure that the estimated value of a property meets a lenders' loan guidelines for a safe loan amount. Property Data Collection (PDC) orders are not always for an appraisal.

  1. We are not interested or not told that someone has to come to our home.
    We are a third-party provider representing your Lender and ordered to collect data from your property for your intended transaction. If you don't understand this request, please contact your lender to explain it to you. When we receive an order, we are expected to reach out for an appointment. If you wish to not be contacted in the interim, until this is sorted out, please reply "STOP" to our message.

  2. How can we trust anyone to come to our home?
    We are vetted by performing regular Background Checks. Our data, including any information collected from your property, remain confidential and abide by the USPAP confidentiality rules. We expect that other parties to the transaction handle the information we provide them in a similar fashion. If you are still uncomfortable, please inform your loan agent before scheduling an appointment because if you decline access once someone is at your property, you may be charged a cancellation/trip fee.

  3. We are just borrowing to pay-off some credit cards. Is this really necessary?
    If your agent placed an order, it's presumably because it's required. If you have any concerns, please contact your agent because when we receive an order, we are expected to reach out for an appointment.

  4. We are not sure that our loan is approved, and don't want to be charged for this until we are certain.
    We presume that once an order is placed, it's because it has advanced to that stage. If you have any concerns, please contact your agent because when we receive an order, we are expected to reach out for an appointment.

  5. Is this going to affect my Property Taxes?
    Not because of this assignment in itself. The county is not supposed to receive a copy, subject to Confidentiality Rules. However, if, as part of this transaction, you are changing names on the title, transferring, adding or removing people, it may affect you. If you have any concerns, please contact a Real Estate Tax professional.

  6. Do we have to pay you when you come to our house?
    Our Appraiser or Property Data Collector does not collect payments from homeowners. We are paid indirectly by third-parties. In addition, we cannot accept gifts or anything else whatsoever. Please don't be offended if we decline.

  7. What if we have illegal/unpermitted rooms/additions without permits?
    Our agent has to take photographs and sketch all rooms regardless. The appraiser will then address this on a case-by-case basis on his report. Unless ordered by law, our files are confidential and our agent does not sent his report the county to concern code-enforcement.

  8. What if we have legal/permitted rooms/additions with permits?
    The PDC is not concerned about permits. This is for the appraiser who may be able find details in the city/county website as part of his scope of work. However, since not all city records are available online or updated, please let the appraiser know when you reply to schedule the appointment. For permits that he cannot find, be prepared to provide him copies because in-person visits to the building department is not in the typical appraisal scope of work.

  9. How can we make an Appointment?
    Our office will contact you to schedule an appointment. Ensure that your point of contact has the correct phone numbers and emails. When setting an appointment ensure that someone of legal age will be available to provide access to all rooms on the set date and time.

  10. How long will the appointment take?
    We schedule 2-hour blocks to allow for eventualities and account for situations, including traffic, and more complex properties for example. However, if you are close to the property, we can call you about 30 minutes before we arrive so that you can meet us without having to wait the full two hours. If everything goes well, the visit to your property takes typically about 30 minutes.

  11. How can we cancel or reschedule our appointment, or what if I miss my appointment?
    Please let us know as soon as possible so we can update our online communication portal with your lender. In order to avoid a cancellation/trip fee, appointments must be cancelled no later than 24 hours before the scheduled appointment. There is no guarantee that after a cancellation or missed appointment, your access contact will be the same person.

  12. What do we have to do before you come to our place?
    REQUIRED: Ensure someone over legal age is at the property to allow entry, and that all rooms are fully accessible, including: in-laws, accessory units, storage sheds, outhouses, etc. People and pets should not be included on the photos even though we may be able to 'remove/crop' some small areas post-production. Many lenders require no personal or religious objects/photos. Ensure that you have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. If you have window bars, ensure that they meet fire-safety code (Must have Emergency release or remove). Also, ensure that the entrance/exit locks are not double-keyed (They should not need a key to open from the inside). We must also include photos of the Furnace/Heater, and the Water Heater (In California, ensure that it is double-strapped). If you are unable to comply with the above, please contact your loan agent for guidance. If we encounter issues upon arrival, we may be asked to reschedule the appointment and return at a later time, at which time they will charge you for the additional visit. At that point, our agent may either have to reschedule or, if the issues can be addressed within a short time, chose to wait for an additional fee equal to the trip-fee (So at least there will be no delay in your transaction or another appointment). Please be aware that any lender exceptions to the above MUST be included in our assignment order-forms' 'Special Instructions'.
    OPTIONAL:Some people may opt to a basic spruce-up. If so, we suggest that you focus on large, obvious items. Small items and ust are not always obvious, so we don't suggest you worry about them solely for the purpose of our visit.
    CONSTRUCTION: If you are in the middle of construction, please consult with you loan officer. If you plan construction work, we suggest that you don't start before the loan is finalized. If you have any construction tools or material in the living areas, we suggest you to remove them.
    HOA/PUD: If we are performing a traditional appraisal for a condominium, townhouse, or a PUD, we may ask you to provide access to the common area amenities (ask us because you may have to get keys/keyfobs). We may also ask you for the HOA or Managers' contact information, or you may fill out the HOA Form. (Ask Us!)

  13. What can we expect on the Appointment Day?
    • The morning of the appointment we send a courtesy text-message/SMS reminder, and proceed even if we don't receive a reply. At this point, it is considered late to cancel to avoid the trip fee even if we are not on the way to your property (See How can we make an Appointment FAQ).
    • The appraiser may arrive anytime within the scheduled two-hour appointment window, and will be at your property for about 30 minutes.
    • Someone of legal age must allow access to all rooms and areas. Pets and People should not be on photos (See FAQ:What do we have to do before you come to our place?).
    • For insurance purposes, the appraiser may not take-off his shoes, but he may put protective sleeves over the shoes.
    • We will take exterior and interior photographs that may include videos, and/or 360° views. We may also take electronic measurements to generate the floorplan, and notes. If you already have a floorplan from the builder or from another appraisal, it may be helpful, but not necessary. If you have the builder, subdivision, developer, or HOA brochures, they may also be helpful. If you have permits, and the appraiser requested them to be available when you spoke over the phone, and you did not provide them by email or MMS, please have those available as well.

  14. How can I get a copy of my appraisal?
    Even though it may have been your property that was appraised, even though you may have paid for it, and even though our agent was the one who came to your property, only your representative may provide a copy of the appraisal. We may only send the report to our client who ordered the appraisal (and that was not not ordered by you).

  15. How much is my property worth? Are market values going up?
    The appraiser may not comment on appraisal or market values; not even a range. Please don't be offended if he doesn't answer that question.

  16. How is it that we paid so much for this, and you were in our place for just 15 minutes?
    Our PDC or appraiser is paid by the AMC under another payment arrangement. Your payment was not made to us. However, your agent should have quoted you the fee as part of the process. If you have any issues with the payment, please contact him.

  17. The appraiser forgot that we added a new roof and a new water heater! We are upset and want to get credit for it.
    Please note that the roof is not always visible, and even if visible, its age is not obvious. When we arrive to your property, we ask to be provided information about updates that are not obvious. Then again, roof is not considered an update, but a repair, just as the water heater. In other words, a typical buyer expects to have these functioning for their intended purpose, but will not necessarily pay more if they are older or newer, especially when there is a low inventory of properties in the market and when property values are relatively high. If you mention these to our agent, he will include a comment to the report such as: "Per Point of Contact (POC), the property has a new roof," and let the appraiser decide if it has value influence.

  18. I have questions about my appraisal. Who do I call?
    We are only the contact for access to your property. Questions about the appraisal report should be directed to your loan officer or agent. They will follow established procedures through the Appraisal Management Company intermediary that will contact us indirectly through pre-established communication channels.But we paid for the appraisal! You may have paid your lender for it. We did not receive the payment you made to your lender. We are paid by the Appraisal Management Company under a different payment structure unrelated to any payment you may have made to your lender.

  1. This page may refer to the appraiser, inspector, PDC, person at your property, and agent, among others, interchangeably, but refer to the same person (or company) who is your contact for access to your property. This page may refer to the lender, bank, loan officer, loan agent, and client, among others, interchangeably, but refer to the same person (or company) who is your contact for your loan. This page may refer to the AMC, service provider, and third party, among others, interchangeably, but refer to the same person (or company) who is employed by your lender to facilitate the appraisal portion of your loan. When using Hybrid products, the AMC may break down the appraisal into sections PDC and Appraiser. The AMC who employs the PDC may be different from the AMC who will employ the actual appraiser who will provide the value estimate for your property.
  2. For Hybrid products, the person who visits your property may be licensed, but not necessarily the one who will complete all the work associated with the appraisal. The Hybrid (or bifurcated) product is broken down into sections. One party comes to your property to perform the Property Data Collection (PDC) that mainly included photos and floorplan, who provides it to a third party (AMC) who forwards it to the appraiser who uses it, with other data, to complete the appraisal with a value estimate. The parties in the chain may not know each other. On PDC products, the person who comes to your property may be unlicensed or licensed. However, when he is employed solely as a PDC, he works on the unlicensed capacity with a scope of work to simply collect data from your property based on technology-tools and instructions provided by the AMC affiliate who is employed by your lender. PDC capacity involves no licensed liability by our agents.

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