Realtors Are Professionals Too

As an appraiser, you’re a real estate professional and you are in the business of valuing property.  Inevitably, at some point in your career, you’re going to make another real estate professional angry.  Some other professional, maybe an agent or a loan officer, is not going to be happy with your appraisal.

You might have found something that hadn’t been disclosed, you might have used different comps than the agent wanted, the list goes on and on and we deal with these things on a pretty regular basis. Maybe you need a new, different way of thinking to deal with angry professionals.

You can have a situation where you get to an impasse, neither side is happy or one side is very unhappy. It happens to all of us, no matter how great of an appraiser you are or how much time you spend visiting real estate offices to connect with and network with agents, it will still happen. If you’re in this business for more than just a few months, you’re going to have a situation where you end up in a disagreement with another professional, often a real estate agent.

Appraisers should be an unbiased, third party that is completely neutral to the transaction. Your job is to determine what the market is saying about this property based on your analysis and research.  Regardless of the deal on the table for the purchase, you still need to remain an unbiased party.

Well, take a moment to put yourself in the agent’s shoes.  Agents are not unbiased. An agent’s job is to represent their client and to work in their best interest. However, they are also professionals that want to get paid for the work that they do, they have a desire to earn the commission for that purchase. Can’t really blame them, you want to get paid too.

Being an agent is a lot more than just putting a sign out in the yard.  Agents put a lot of work in behind the scenes and it can be hard work to do their jobs. They have to rearrange schedules because somebody is coming to town to look at houses, they get phone calls at 8pm, they have to constantly reassure clients, they have a lot of documentation to complete, etc.

The bottom line is agents are people, they are biased. It’s no wonder they act the way that they do. I’m not excusing real estate agents lying, I have absolutely zero tolerance for that. However, they are looking at the transaction from a different point of view. The agent might be pointing out all these great things about the property and have a stack of comps in their hands and they might be looking at all that when they consider the “value” of the property. No wonder they’re upset when you “come in” with an unexpected valuation.

At the end of the day you and the agent are both professionals doing your jobs. Next time you get angry at a real estate agent, next time you feel like the agent is clueless, or next time you think the agent is upset for no good reason, remember that they have skin in the game.  Do your job and remain an unbiased third party but also consider that the agent is just a person doing their job.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 474

11 thoughts on “Realtors Are Professionals Too”

  1. Pingback: Realtors Are Professionals Too - Appraisal Buzz

  2. They are just doing their job!

    Just like you are doing your job trying to make money form unfortunate appraisers who believe your drivel will help them. I am glad I stopped giving you money and recognized the scam you are pulling trying to make believe you make millions from appraising.

    Get a job and an iron free shirt!

    1. Considering I’ve been telling you and others to “Seek the truth” on this site for 6 years Joe, please tell us how you fell into the trap so that others may avoid your path to disappointment?

      Relating to this blog, considering one can become an agent in a matter of months, and thus agents are not true professionals, the title and premise of the article is a joke. Why can’t these agents fill out a complete MLS listing? Why do they often lie when they fill it out? Why as appraisers in the definition of market value should we believe “both parties are well informed or well advised”, when the sales we get from them are often not comps? When the average agent completes 3 deals a year, and appraisers like Dustin churn out 4 to 9 appraisals a day, why would anyone take their opinion seriously.

      Seek the truth.

  3. I realize that agents are just doing their job. But, when . . . you fill in the horror story. It is shameful the level of training the newbs are getting. This is a broker issue. Who handles training? The market. They learn (or refuse to learn) by doing. So, we all end up training them, while the broker does whatever it is they do. Not being snarky. They just haven’t shown the ability or the willingness to train their own people.

    1. Yes Myles, in doing hundreds of VA Tidewater appeals the level of incompetence never stops amazing me (both on the agent/broker side and the lender side). By amazing, I mean agents and or other interested parties asking me what information I would need in order to change the report. Why as the appraiser would I offer my expertise to the agent in the hopes of incrementing myself so they could get a commission check? Why should I as the appraiser offer up any week points in my opinion / report, provide others with outlining individual sales that by themselves may cloud the the opinion of market value, etc.?

      Seek the truth.

      1. I think you could tell them how and it wouldn’t make a difference. I’ve spoken at sales meetings and outlined answers to questions relating to why the agent and the appraiser have a different viewpoint about the contributory value of a finished basement; walked through the process I go through, which is a multi-step process. The retort: that takes too long. By all means; continue to guess. I think you mentioned that most agents don’t fill out a complete MLS listing sheet, for the interweb. I have complained to anyone who would listen: Fannie and Freddie, and HUD too, should tap someone at NAR on the shoulder and whisper about their agents lack of consistency. The old, over-simplification applies here: garbage in; garbage out. There is a ton of garbage in my local MLS and the MLS system itself fosters it. How hard is it to make the year built field a four digit requirement? That would stop agents from listing the year built as zero. That is just not hard to do. Entering the four digit number or changing it to a four digit number. But, I digress. If the big money players in the buying of mortgage paper would ask that the agents start doing ALL of their job and do it consistently, we could see a change in the validity of the MLS data. But that would probable take too long.

        1. Relating to incomplete and or misleading MLS data Myles, most people and or parties are simple minded and don’t see the big picture. Working in San Diego where there is a big push for accessory dwelling units (ADU’s), the powers that be (MLS provider) don’t care if agents double list the property (detached SFR and 2-4 unit categories). Considering such properties are not true 2 – 4 unit properties, and including them in such a category taints the market data, it amazes me that even after exposing the issue, the MLS provider still won’t change their policy. Try running a 2-4 unit zip code search where you may pull 100 sales where you have to look up each listing individually (to verify public records status) to determine its legal status to see if its a viable sale to be used in your report / MC form etc. Good luck to those who seek the truth and spend the hours necessary to produce a credible report.

          One last thought. Again, in working in a big city why do the powers that be not understand the cascade effect? Meaning, a single inaccurate / corrupt listing does not in itself cause a single issue, but rather gets repeated dozens of times. Considering A la mode offers a peer sharing option, its not unusual in my area to see a sale being used by 30 other appraisers. What lasting impact does that corrupt listing have in the area?

          Seek the truth.

  4. Louis Appraiser

    To become a real estate agent, you only must be alive, take 1 or 2 classes, pass a test (that most of them fail the first time they try) and start working for a broker that is going to take 40 to 60 percent of their commission and they don’t even have to have a high school diploma or even speak good English. It is frustrating when you pull the MLS sheets and most of the fields are black and or the description of the house is so embellished that you must double check if you have the right property. I certain states, for legal reasons, the listing agents are exempt to disclose the condition of the property and the burden falls in the selling agents’ hands to find out. The property disclosure is filled by the seller and is never given to the appraiser. I have run into some arrogant P…s that they have told me to find out myself the information I need to complete the report. That is what we deal with daily.

  5. Considering I most often have a single intended user (the lender), and or a combination of users (example VA / FHA), why in the world would I give a flying heck about what other parties feelings and or interests are? I serve no one else other than my client, and it’s solely up to them to determine if I’ve met the obligations / standards of the assignment.

    Considering I’ve had some clients for over 20 years, and have completed hundreds of Tidewaters, reconsideration of value requests (ROV), etc., WITHOUT EVER INCREASING A VALUE post ROV, I stand behind my work and refuse to even worry about others who attempt to influence me for their own profits.

    Seek the truth.

  6. I’m an appraiser who has been speaking at real estate offices for most of the last ten years. Doing that, I have learned that agents know little about what appraisers do, but appraisers also know little about what agents do. Most of the agents that I meet are quite intelligent and very professional. There are bad seeds in the appraiser and agent group. Most agents in my area work in large offices with many other agents and hold weekly education events (the ones I attend often). The education to become an agent may be less than an appraiser, but it seems to me that agents are offered many opportunities to continue the education and many agents take it. Often appraisers don’t interact much with other appraisers or other real estate professionals and I think that holds us back from being as professional as we could be and acting with one unified voice.

    1. Although I disagree, your point is taken Gary, but the big difference in this process is that appraisers don’t formally tell agents and others how to do there jobs, but yet agents and a host of others get to tell us how to do ours.

      Seek the truth

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