Texas is not taking bogus appraisals lightly. And maybe *bogus* is a strong word. They're not taking *fluffed* appraisals lightly.
I received an email from TALCB, the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. I don't know all the facts as to how they got involved, but they are definitely investigating some appraisals that have been done recently.
The email reads as follows:
"Rest assured that neither you nor the referenced transaction is implicated in the work I'm doing. However, your sale was used as a comparable in an appraisal report under investigation and, for that reason; I'd like to ask you a question or two.
In MLS #10000000 (attached) you described travel vouchers as part of the incentive/bonus for purchasing.
1. Were the vouchers included in the transaction?
2. Would you know, or could you estimate, their cost to the seller?
When I first got it, my intial reaction was that I was in trouble as it doesn't say anything like HI, or How are you doing, or My name is... it just starts out saying "Rest assured neither you... is implicated..."
Wouldn't you think you were in trouble if you got an email starting out like that even though they're trying to make sure you're not in trouble? I read the email a couple of times before I even looked at the bottom to see who it was from. Yikes!! The actual Licensing Board.
Then, I was wondering which property were they investigating. This is a low-end neighborhood so I can't imagine too much could be gotten away with. My listing they were asking about sold for $126k and comped out about $130k. It was one of the largest homes in the neighborhood at, if I remember correctly, 2500+ sqft. Someone probably tried to sell one of the 1200 sqft homes using my sale.
However, I liked receiving this email. It shows tha sellers can't overprice and just get an appraiser to agree to the price. The state is looking at appraisals closely, and if they see something with a T not crossed and an I not dotted, they're going to come after you.
Make sure your sellers are pricing properly, and if buyers' need closing costs, but you're listed at the top of the market, someone has to bend. You can't just roll it all in unless you want it kicked back.
And if you're a seller, please price your home properly. You can't get $200k just because you want $200k if you live in a $150k neighborhood. It's not going to happen.