Changing an appraisal

Q: "I just got a call from an angry homeowner.  I did a refi appraisal a few weeks ago and my value was $137,000, based on 1100 square feet.  This lady said she bought the home 2 years ago for $178,000.  It was brand new construction and the builder flyer said there were 1350 square feet.  She was also angry that I did not mention her new stainless steel appliances, her new carpet and her custom curtains.  She wants me to change the appraisal NOW.  I should not do that, right?"

A: Of course you should not do that. Your client is the lender and you should not even be discussing the appraisal with the borrower. I know you want to try and explain to the borrower how the appraisal process works and the fact that her appliances do not impact value. Unfortunately, when someone is angry, they rarely listen to what you have to say. Politely explain that you cannot take direction from her and that the report is confidential between you and your client. Also be prepared for the fact that you might not have heard the last of this. Disgruntled borrowers have been known to file state board complaints or even to sue in small claims court seeking return of the appraisal fee.

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