Normally, I like Dave Biggers. I think a la mode—like other appraisal software companies—has always been (and will likely always be) an advocate for appraisers. I am not saying any of that has changed, but I feel like Mr. Biggers owes me, and all appraisers, an apology.
Ever since I first heard of Collateral Underwriting (CU), I have been a bit—and at times, much—overwhelmed at what it might mean to me and my peers. Frankly, there have been times that I have been downright scared of what CU might do to my thriving appraisal business. Don’t get me wrong, I think I run a tight ship and am proud of the quality of my appraisals. However, I work a very rural market and providing iron-clad support for adjustments is not always possible. Let’s just say, the horror stories I have been hearing about paired-sales and regression tools has caused me a little bit of anxiety. The only solace I have had is learning that Fannie Mae will be looking to my peers for adjustment models. I am pretty sure my peers will have no easier time providing rock-solid adjustment evidence than do I.
This is where Dave comes in. Yesterday, I read the following open letter from him to appraisers:
Can I just say, this is the first thing I have read about CU that has made me shout for joy? It was a little embarrassing as I read it while I was sitting in a church meeting. The other parishioners must have thought I had a Day of Pentecost moment, but no, I was just happy to read what Mr. Biggers had to say about the upcoming CU and the approach we, as appraisers, ought to take with it.
So why am I calling on him to make a formal apology? Just that it did not come sooner. Dave, you could have saved me a lot of heartache over the past few weeks if you had just told me to cool my heels much sooner than you actually did.
I hope you all caught my sarcasm and I want nothing more than to thank Dave Biggers for an excellent perspective on a complicated issue. I hope his optimism plays out in reality. Thanks again for supporting appraisers, Dave!
Dustin Harris, Creating ‘Value’ for Real Estate Appraisers