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What to do if appraiser makes a misktake on appraisal data that results in not getting a loan?

We recently decided to refinance.  Our bank hired an appraiser and provided us copy of appraisal.  We were shocked to learn a most recent comp was not used in favor of older (some 9-10 months old) lower priced comps.  Since it was only 5 doors down and of simlar size, sold only 5 months earlier, we assumed it would be used. Including this comp would have tipped the scales in our favor of receiving the loan.  She listed the reason for not using it in her comments as "property was 1,000 sq. ft. larger".  Since we live in a neighborhood of only 5 or 6 similar sized models and are familiar with all, we know this not to be true. I verified this through the tax assessors office and sent this information to the bank.  They forwarded that information to the appraisal company who sent back a comment, "appraiser says her research in sq. footage is 1,000 sq. feet bigger". Of course she would defend her position or look incompetent!  No one verified the data though!   My bank is requesting another appeal but I am not hopeful they will recognize this mistake.  Is there anything I can do at this point?
  • February 12 2012 - Atlanta
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Answers (10)

Yes, see my last 2 emails, they may be going to your junk mail file instead of your inbox.  
  • February 13 2012
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Profile picture for show755
@ Clay: I've emailed you the info to the email listed on your contact on this website.
  • February 13 2012
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If you don't mind, could you email the address of the neighbor's house?  
  • February 13 2012
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@ Clay: that's what I'm afraid of...that they will not approve of tax records as a correct source.  The fact remains, her information is incorrect.  I don't know how to prove that. So, as you said, whoever created/used that information is risking their license and will never fess up to the mistake.  However, I have seen this home with my own eyes and know how big it is.  It's like them saying, "you have six fingers on your left hand because it says so in this report." but I know for a fact that it isn't true because I can see my own hard and know it's only 5!  So frustrating!  Isn't there some way for them to fact check the sq. footage other than 'Market Data Center'?
@Jeanne: If i were to order another appraisal, and the same information exists in the 'Market Data Center' as the original appraiser says it does, won't I end up with the same problem?
  • February 13 2012
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The fact that your bank is pursuing an appeal on your behalf is a good thing - some will not.  I've had this happen with a resale, and we were able to get a second appraisal which cured the issue.  In this case, all parties, including the buyer who may have benefited by a lower appraisal, agreed that it was off.

Good luck to you!

  • February 13 2012
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"So, shouldn't the correct information trump the Market Data Center info?" 

Don't take this the wrong way because I am on your side and if I had a solution I would give it to you. If you are referring to the tax records as being the correct information then you should know those figures are often incorrect and in some case way off. If your appraiser viewed the input data by the appraiser used in the sale 5 months ago then she will consider that data reliable over the tax card. An appraiser would be risking their LIC if they stretched the GLA from 3300 to 4100, then put that information in Redlink where a potentially large number of other appraisers could view the data.      
  • February 12 2012
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I know the previous owner (not the current owner) so that would prohibit that idea.  My question is regardless of where her information was pulled from, the data is incorrect.  The correct information is verified by the tax assessors office which I pulled and copied and gave to the bank.  It sounds to me that this (and other verbage I didn't include) came directly off an an MLS or real estate listing.  How else could they have the sq. footage so far off base?  This is a huge difference in reality.  So, shouldn't the correct information trump the Market Data Center info?  Lastly, as I explained to the bank, they would not want to risk their own money if they were considering a loan on that property and would take every precaution to ensure the information given to them on that property was correct before completing the loan.  Afterall, the value of a home with 4,100 ft. vs. 3,300 is totally different.  All I am asking is for them to do the same for me.  To me this seems like an issue of following the rules even at the expense of making sure it's done correctly and truthfully.  If they stand by that information, I am being punished for a mistake someone made somewhere in the process. Also, my neighbors and anyone who refinances around me in the short term could also be affected.  Isn't there anything I can do?
  • February 12 2012
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Verified data in "Market Data Center", that sort of messed up a suggestion I was going to give you. There is a program called Redlink that some appraisers subscribe to where they can pull appraisals submitted by other appraisers so if she read a recent appraisal done for the sale 5 months ago, then she is going to consider that data reliable. I think the Market Data Center she references is Redlink.

Back to the " friend of the comp owner ", is this the current owner or the owner that sold 5 months ago? If it is the current owner and since they are sharing the correct GLA, will they allow your appraiser to go in their property and measure it? If so, it's worth the $100-$150 re-inspection fee.    
  • February 12 2012
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Per Appraiser:

Our house:

Above grade: 3,118
Below grade/finished basement: 1,080

The comp in question:

Per Appraiser report:

Above grade sq. ft: 4,100
Below grade/finished basement: 2,000 sq. feet

When questioned in the appraisal review we requested from our bank appraiser stood by this information and said, "was not used in this report due to the fact that the sq. footage was verified in Market Data Center from the most recent sale as being 4,134 sq. feet with basement sq. footage of 2,071 that was 100% finished. The tax record also shows a gross living area to be 4276 and appears to have incorrect basement sq. footage of 315 sq.f eet.

Per tax assessor and from what we know to be true as friends of comp owner:

Above grade: 3,300
Below grade/finished basement: 1,200

The real difference is: 180 ft. above grade and 120 sq. ft. below grade.





  • February 12 2012
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What is your sq ft vs what she says is the sq ft on the unused comp, vs the county records?
  • February 12 2012
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