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