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Appraiser: I'm No Home Inspector


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By Michael Antoniak

Appraiser Tony Bamert, Bamert & Associates, Champaign, IL, feels he’s been asked to assume some new and unwanted responsibilities on recent appraisal orders and wonders if his are isolated concerns or issues other appraisers are grappling with as well.

“Traditionally, with any conventional appraisal, I’m not asked to touch the mechanical systems in a home in any way,â€

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I don't see why the appraiser cannot simply turn on a faucet and light fixture and then state in the report that the water/electric were available or not. He should certainly not state the proper functioning of any of the systems or appliances.

As for FHA inspectors, it is his/her domain to disclose any systems, appliances or fixtures, whether plumbing or electrical, that appear to be non-functional. Since FHA inspections are done only on new construction, this isn't a big deal.

As an FHA inspector myself, I get an occasional request for something 'extra'. I screen these and do reject some of them. You have to keep in mind that lenders and underwriters don't give a hoot about your liabilities.


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In the world of million dollar lawsuit because they didn't tell you the coffee was hot, I can see what he is implying. Appraiser comes in, does his thing and in his report states that all utilities work. That is a very vague statement that can easily be taken out of context. For example, the Agent reads the report, the client asks if a home inspector should be called and the RE says no need, the appraiser already said everything works.

We know where the true blame lies, but we also know, when that same client calls the agent 6 months later to complain about the ceiling that collapsed because of a leak in the bathroom, the first thing the agent will say is "Well you need to call the appraiser" then play stupid.

Personally I remember having to tell my clients what the difference between an appraiser and a home inspector is. It is a situation that can be exploited.

Remember a little while back, agents did nothing but complain about appraisers because they didn't value the house for enough money, then when the market turned those same agents turned on the appraisers blaming them for falsely overvaluing homes?

Yes, as written and to people with common sense and no lawyer friends it may sound ridiculous, but I've known since I was 5 that coffee was hot too.

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I know what you are talking about. At the Ending of 08 FHA made everyone wanting to do FHA backed loans to go through their class for 350.00 to make sure of your code knowledge.It was a 40 hr class with a test that had to be passed with a 80 or above. Learning as well how to fill out their NSR 52580 form. I recently lost an inspection where the FHA Appraiser did the inspection as well. I do not know why the lending inst. are changing everthing in the middle of the game. It does leave alot of liability on the table. Appraiser do not carrier the required insurance, and by law are not qualified to perform inspections. This could land an appraiser loosing everthing he or she owns in one mistake. I had recently read a artical of the verything happened in Mississippi. To the tune of $750.000 settlement. The court rulings stated that the appraiser was operating out of he area of training and the he knew nothing about building codes. I would like to publish your artical on my Atlantainspectionnews.com Blog with your permission.


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