Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Texas Appraiser Board is Cracking Down on Bad Appraisals

Texas Appraiser Board is Cracking Down on Bad Appraisals

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.

Comment balloon 15 commentsDonna Harris • January 06 2009 02:40PM


... wow, thats a little scary opening to an email ?!?!?! But yes, hopefully knowing they're monitoring more may dissuade the less scrupulous from bending the rules... thanks for the heads up.


Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 12 years ago

I am sure the appraisers they are looking for are the ones who teamed up with others to commit mortgage fraud.  Hopefully they also catch the buyers and other licensees who were involved when they find those transactions.

Posted by Randy L. Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 12 years ago

Great story on appraisals and them double checking what is going on with a deal. In today's market if you don't price properly things will just sit.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 12 years ago

As a former commercial appraiser in Texas, I'm glad to hear about this. Let's keep this business honest and above board!

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) about 12 years ago

Hi Donna... receiving an e-mail like that would have had me concerned too, but it sounds like these folks are really doing their jobs diligently, so I say "Bravo!"  When the checks and balances are in place, everything seems to work more fairly!

Posted by Steve Shatsky about 12 years ago

I tell my sellers and buyers alike that the house has to appraise.  I think we've seen enough change in my market that they get the message.

Posted by Joddie Roberts, Your Spokane Realtor - Spokane, WA (Mountain Real Estate and Property Management) about 12 years ago

I just went to my own blog and noticed that it looks NOTHING like it did, my photo isn't on it (just a spaceholder), none of the customizing that I've done over the years is there, none of the widgets are there - what the heck is going on?????

Yours looks pretty much as usual, mine is unrecognizable.  I'm confused. 


Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) about 12 years ago

Sheldon, Big Brother is always watching these days.

Randy, That makes sense.

Gary, Exactly, thanks.

Tim, I agree.

Steve, I'm not sure "fair" is the word, but "legal" comes to mind.

Joddie, Yes, I do that also.  Some sellers still don't listen to that, but those are the listings I don't take.  By the way, your name scared me because I once dated a guy names Jody Roberts. I had to do a double take...

Tricia, A few months ago, AR deleted a bunch of widgets from people's blogs.  Now, they only accept a few that they named.  I think it's on Brad's blog somewhere, but it wasn't too long ago.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

hi, Donna:

Thanks for this information!  It is good to know some one is watching to keep the TX housing market in check.  I'm with you: you can't just list @ $200k when your home is only worth about $150k.  So much time and energy wasted by sellers who won't concede to where the market is...

The Stage Coach Home Stager Austin Home Staging Round Rock Home Stager


Posted by Michael Fontana, @ The Stage Coach (Round Rock Home Stager Austin Home Staging) about 12 years ago

Michael, No joke!  I've got a guy whose house is worth about $80k and wants to list at $110k.  No way is that going to happen!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

We all know it is a different time in real estate but for buyers with clean credit and some $$ it's the best time. Lenders are so skeptical with appraisals now. Lenders are questioning appraisals more now than ever for fear of lending more than what the property is worth which helps prevent buyers from over paying what the property is worth. 

Take care!

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) about 12 years ago

Teresa, But that is why there are appraisals where the appraiser has to provide comparable sales data.  Maybe they should have to start providing 5-6 instead of just 3-4?

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 12 years ago

We just did a refinance on our house and they used 4 and wanted more....

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) about 12 years ago
Many observers became dismissive of any one Irish matter when her government launched unusually a wide campaign sometimes.
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