Appraiser issue

I’m not sure if this would be better in the financing forum, so mods can feel free to move this.

Right now I’m fuming b/c an inept appraiser may cost me a house. Part of the blame lies with the lender, who picked a retard appraiser, but he himself is most of the problem. Here’s the scenario: Signed a contract to purchase an REO on Sept. 21. Lender requested appraisal Sept. 29. Had to have mortgage commitment by Oct. 14 (needed appraisal for final commitment). On Oct. 10, appraiser says he just got out to look at house day before, will be done by 11th. On 13th tells lender he won’t release appraisal until he’s been paid, even though he agreed to be paid at closing. So I go to his office and give him a check at 1 p.m. on Friday the 14th. I tell him I absolutely need the appraisal done, pronto. He tells me he’ll be done within an hour. An hour and a half later I call and he tells me he’s not done, but it should only be an hour more. At 5 p.m. he leaves the office without having sent the appraisal. Saturday 4 p.m. I call and leave a message to say I’ll be stopping payment Monday morning and finding a new appraiser. He immediately sends appraisal. Underwriter finally reviews appraisal after delay in receiving and finds it to be incomplete… on the day of closing, the 21st. Call to appraiser by lender is met with rudeness. Two hours later I call and partner says original appraiser is only one who can finish job, is out of office, will be back later and will return my call. Never does any of those things. Closing comes and goes. So now I’ve got to hope seller won’t keep my 5k earnest money for missing closing and won’t sell house to someone else. Can appraiser just take my money and not do appraisal? Do I have recourse other than suing him? I know it’s illegal, at least in this state, to accept payment for service rendered if service hasn’t been rendered. So is this criminal act something to call police over, just pursue civilly. I’m always wondering if it’s worth the time to make a complaint to the state appraisal board. I really think this guy should at least have his license suspended. Thoughts?


This is a guide based on my experience, not law.

Unless your purchase contract date says ‘Time is of the essence’, closing dates are minimally flexible. It may be an inconvenience but it happens.

You can amend the contract with the buyer for a new closing date.

Around here appraisers get a check before they leave their office to do an appraisal. You should expect this in future transactions.

Appraisers are usually licensed by a state agency. You can file a complaint with that agency if you are inclined to do so. If your agreement to pay at closing was verbal, Don’t bother. It should have been in writing.

Lessons we learn along the way. :frowning: .

When traveling or buying property, expect delays and you won’t be disappointed. I went to close on a condo Friday and upon pre-closing inspection I found the seller hadn’t even moved out yet.

She said , You pay for condo today, I give you keys in one week.
Hee hee, NOT.

I hope your sale goes through

Actually, the contract says there’s a $150/day per diem after the initial closing date. It’s not a particularly flexible date at all. And I wouldn’t have had a problem with paying the appraiser in the beginning, except he waited until more than two weeks into the process to demand payment, then didn’t actually do the job after getting paid. My complaint to the state board wouldn’t be that I had to pay before he’d release the appraisal, but that he didn’t do it in a timely fashion, assuming he gets it done at all. Plus he was extrememly rude on the phone, which infuriates me… how can you run a business and be rude to customers and think that’s okay?

It’s not ok. And you will never use him again. And probably no one you know will ever use him again.

If his negligence cause you measurable damage in dollars you can sue. But nobody , almost nobody ever does.

That is a bum rap Ryan. Let us know how it turns out.

are you purchasing the REO from the lender with which you applied for financing??? was your offer made contingent upon obtaining financing??? if so you should have no problem getting your deposit back.

Wouldn’t he have a problem if he exceeded his mortgage commitment date without getting an extension?


I think that things will probably work out OK. Delays are just part of the normal frustration of REI (get used to it). If I were you, I would contact the seller and explain the situation. Unless the seller has a better offer, the seller will likely allow you to extend the closing a few days.

As for blame, the appraiser sounds like a loser. I have gotten so tired of being screwed by tenants and others, that I make it a point to ensure that they pay a price for their stupidity. If I were you, I would DEFINITELY send a complaint to the state appraisal board (or whatever it’s called) and also file a written report with the Better Business Bureau. This is obviously a civil matter and I don’t think you’d have any luck what-so-ever with the police. However, be sure to follow your complaints to the appraisal board and BBB to their conclusion. That’s the only way that you’ll hold him accountable for his actions and get a little satisfaction. Also, tell every other investor that you know of the incompetence of this person. Send a written complaint to the lender as well. Maybe you can arrange for the lender to not use that appraiser again! By doing all of these things, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll create a record of this person being a deadbeat and other investors may not have to go through the same thing!

Finally, since the lender picked the appraiser, I’d insist that the lender reduce their fees by any amount that you are required to pay by being late. Their appraiser screwed up, so they are partially to blame!

Good Luck,


Thanks for all the comments everyone. I’ll let you know how things shake out Monday. The seller had a dozen other offers, so they have a backup plan, but I’m hoping they’ll be smart enough to wait an extra couple days instead of 30.
To answer one question, the seller is a different bank than the lender.
As far as delays being normal, I’m okay with any delays, as long as I end up getting the property. This is my first planned rehab… it was carefully selected and should net a minimum of 20k. So I’m pretty antsy about it.
And yes, if my attorney can’t talk the seller out of waiving the per diem, I’ll be requesting that the lender take care of it and go after the appraiser if they want to.
As far as filing complaints against the appraiser, i definitely will be, no matter how this turns out. I think he must just assume no one will complain or follow through.

I too get frustrated with Appraisers…and I am a Lender.
A few months back we picked a no doc program for a guy who had great credit scores and 10% to put down. However the program that had the best rate for him required a “field review” of the appraisal.
Standard procedure…no big deal we blocked the appropriate time for this. The bad part is that we don’t get to pick the reviewer.
The company sends there “field Review dude out” and the appraisal comes back $30,000 low. So me being a good detective find out who did the review and called his office to ask him why he felt this property would not appraise. He tells me that he thought because it was a field review there must be something wrong with the property.
After questioning him for a while it comes out that he was not a State Licensed Appraiser. He was the Trainee that they sent out.
I had a Real Estate Broker, and two other appraisers that told me this guy was smokin something…
I gave up and ordered another appraisal and the loan closed on time.
This last pay period they took the first two appraisals out of my check!
I wonder if I can get that appraiser to pay for his trainees mistake.
I just wanted to say that I feel for you man!