A Typical Work Day For An Appraiser

complete real estate answers, CREA, completeREAAppraisers are normally experts at analyzing real estate markets and property value, but appraisers who work from a home-based office or run their own small business may not be familiar with what it takes to manage an office.

It can often be time consuming and confusing, requiring a large chunk of time taken out of a work day (assuming one is working a normal 10-hour day), just trying to handle the small tedious tasks, such as organizing orders, calendar management, and keeping track of submitted orders to AMC companies, and making sure you are being compensated in time, if at all!

Even dealing with some of the AMC companies, is such a tedious task. Between keeping tabs on payment, receiving new orders, updating current orders, and submitting completed orders, often has me scrambling everywhere. Heaven forbid I should have to make an actual phone call to these AMC’s, will have me in a rage between being placed on hold from anywhere between 10-15 minutes, or even trying to communicate the purpose of my phone call (many of these AMC places outsource their staff to foreign countries, and the cultural gap in communication is significant!).

Ah, and I would be remised not to point out the ever so eloquent, Engagement Letters! Reading through one of these letters, often reminds me of those Snickers commercial they played during the Super Bowl a few years back…”Not going anywhere for a while?”.

If I have spent 1-2 hours trying to get through one of these letters would be a generous summation, but often times, that is not the case. Not only must you be careful to comply with USPAP requirements (this is always a given), but you must also be very careful to comply, understand and follow all the various AMC requirements/guidelines as well, and when you are dealing with multiple AMC’s, this can often times get very tortuous.

Every morning I wake up and ponder on how I can make my job/career more attractive, while maintaining a higher quality level, but spend less time on the menial tasks and ultimately make my life more rewarding and less stress full.

My colleague appraisers! Do you have any resolutions for me?

Thus far, what I have come up with is this:

compete real estate answers, CREA, CompteREAPreparation – be ready to handle the work load for the day. Ensuring that all technical infrastructures are in place and adequate (computers, software, phone, internet connections, etc..), which I have come to learn in my years in this business that you have to spend a good portion of your earnings on the technological portion in order to make the business work for you! I have to now think about office space that will allow me the ability to handle the increase in volume that I have been experiencing in just the past few months. Working from home has become a bit of a challenge, due to lack of space and infrastructure needs.

CopleteREA, CREA, Compete real estate ansersOrganization – Staying on top of time management; a) make sure to do your due diligence before going out on the field for inspections (navigate what your day is going to look like when driving between properties, keeping in mind time of day and any traffic concerns), b) Organize your orders mindfully, which often times will require a call to the MC explaining the situation, and you will be quite surprised to hear that they are often times willing to accommodate you.

compete real esate asnwers, CREA, CompeteREAAdministrative Support – A good assistant can make your life so much easier. They help you get more of the important work done, such as, help with calendar management, communicating with the various AMC’s, helping to maintain your high work standards, and also helping to alleviate some of the stress involved in this business.

So to recap; Preparation, Organization, Administrative Support and Marketing, are all crucial elements for a small business to thrive.

I have not yet delved into the marketing aspects on my blog site…..stay tuned for more to come…

Call or email Nana Smith with any questions:

NanaGsmith@gmail.com

203-858-6727

C.R.E.A. – comment and/or share your own experiance using this form;

Housing Market to “Spring Forward”

Spring-Forward

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward”! Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong and is currently three times stronger than last year at this time.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2014 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2015, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Selling Your Home? The Importance of Using an Agent

exprealty, CompleteREA, CREA, Nana Smith

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past two years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that for the second year in a row 96% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%) or negotiate the terms of the sale & price (31%) or understand the process (63%).

Stephen Phillips, the Chief Operating Officer for HSF Affiliates LLC, put it best:

“Home buyers are more informed than ever with their Internet searches and ongoing research; however, there’s a critical need to transform that information into analysis and advice that helps consumers make the best home-buying and selling decisions.

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots”. This is obvious as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

If you need your house sold…CALL ME!
203-858-6727 cell

Confused about Collateral Underwriter?

CU images

What is really happening with CU? How does it affect you?

My Appraisal Today FREE email newsletter can help.
I report the facts, plus my opinions on what it means for you.

CU Facts:
– Not all loans go to Fannie Mae – Freddie, VA, FHA, jumbo, etc. do not.
– Lenders are not required to use CU.
– Fannie guidelines, including CU, are the minimum. Lenders can add their own.
– Gradual implementation of CU’s web based interface, which has the list of the “20 comps” suggested by CU. This information is not available to AMCs or appraisers.
– Some appraisers get few or no appraisal warning message and some get on a lot of them, depending on their clients.
– A new Fannie Letter (dated 2-2-15) specifically tells lenders to manually review the appraisal warnings before sending any to appraisers.
– CU sends out warning messages for adjustments on only 6 factors: GLA, lot size, view, condition, quality, and location. For example: GLA adjustment for (comp x) is smaller than peer and model adjustment.
– CU warning messages for “data consistency”: the 6 factors above. Plus, CU also looks at consistency, not adjustments, for 6 additional characteristics: quality rating, condition rating, total below grade areas, finished basement areas, above grade bedroom count, and above grade bathroom count. For example: “The condition rating for (comp x) is materially different than what has been reported by other appraisers.”
– Per Fannie, there is no direct relationship between AQM and CU. However, Fannie uses data analytics like those seen in CU to find patterns of behavior. AQM decisions are not based on automated results. Humans are required.

Original Article Here

Invest your Money: The Smart Way

nana smith sells real estate in stamford ct

So you have decided to invest your hard earned money into real estate – smart move! Thousands of people are doing it and it is working! Buying a property and renting it out can take work but it can also have many benefits. Before you start investing your money there are a few things that you should know.

What are you looking for?

Every single house is not a good investment. In fact, many properties could actually lose you money. Find out approximate mortgage payment amounts and comparable rents in the same area before you make your final decision on any property.

 Is it a Good Deal?

Unfortunately, the perfect property to invest in will not fall into your lap. Find out what type of property you are looking for and start doing your research. Once you know what type of property you are looking for as well as the price, you are now able to start your search!

 Can A Realtor Help?

Being in touch with a realtor that knows what you are looking for can also help! The realtor will know exactly what you are looking for and can forward you over any properties in these criteria.

exp, exprealty, crea, completreREA, Nana Smith listing agent

Are they a Good Tenant?

What is the point in renting out the home if the tenants increase your amount of grey hair? Your goal is to make money, so make sure that your tenants are trustworthy. Call their references and make sure that everything is in writing. A little bit of extra work here can save you a lot of time in the future!

 Can it Save Me Money in Other Ways?

Did you know that your cash flow should be tax-free? That’s right! Rarely will an investor pay taxes on this! On top of that, owning property is a tax deduction. This can help you when filing taxes once a year against your other income.

nana smith, listing agent, stamford CT listing agent

 

Did you know that your cash flow should be tax-free? That’s right! Rarely will an investor pay taxes on this! On top of that, owning property is a tax deduction. This can help you when filing taxes once a year against your other income.

Great article on The Cash Flow Statement

Agent Can & Should Avoid

real-estate-email-marketing-600wMore and more real estate marketing activities are rightly focused on the most important aspect of the agent-client relationship: effective communication. As a result, email continues to be an extremely important tool in every agent’s arsenal. After all, there’s really no other method for efficientlycommunicating with so many leads and clients at such a low cost. As the real estate email marketing landscape continues to expand, it becomes that much more important to focus on differentiating yourself as a top-tier agent. Part of that process is to ensure that you’re not making any ‘rookie’ mistakes that are sure to paint you as a ‘rookie agent’.

At Zurple, we encourage our agents to get the most out of their email strategy. Still, there are a number of mistakes that are both avoidable yet stubbornly persistent across the industry. So, the next time you compose an email to your prospective or current client, be cognizant to avoid the all-too-common mistakes below.

1. Typos -It’s funny how some would suggest purposely sending typos in an email to make it seem less robotic or automated. A better way to avoid coming across like a robot is to make your emails personal with relevant information your recipient would appreciate. Take the 30 seconds to review an important email before it’s sent!

2. Poor grammar – Make sure your sentences are coherent and in the proper tense. Although not everyone notices grammatical errors, glaring issues with your grammar may put off a prospective client – calling into question your professionalism in the process.

3. Wrong property link – When sending out a link, make sure you send the right link. Sending clients, whose price range is $500k – $700k, a link to a $1.5 million home may be enough to have your future emails flagged as spam.

4. Links don’t work – If you send an email with a link, make sure it works. Sometimes email editors will do some funky things with your URL – like add in an extra ‘http://’ so always be wary. Take the 10 seconds to click on your own link – there’s no excuse not to!

5. Wrong property address – This is another easy one, but a big one. Always double-check addresses in emails targeting a specific property.

6. Personalization is incorrect – Email tags can be dangerous, because they can be wrong. Go the extra mile by keeping your data clean to ensure that personalization tags are accurate (and don’t contain typos). After all, “Dear Johhn” doesn’t look so good…

dear_johhn,

7. Date and/or time mix up – When sending out emails with dates and times, such as an open house announcement, be sure to triple check this information. A mistake here can result in some very frustrated people or even a loss of business. Remember, there’s no guarantee that someone will read your follow-up email correcting your prior mistake.

                           8.Misleading ‘from name’ – If you’re using an email service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, take extra care to ensure that the ‘from’ field uses a description that would be recognized by your audience (like, your name!). Otherwise, you can really hurt your open rates because people don’t know that it’s you who is sending the emails. Your personal brand is being used whenever people see the ‘from-name’ so make sure to get it right every time.

9.Sending to the wrong recipients – Sending information to the wrong person or group of people is a great way to ask people to unsubscribe from your list. So, it goes without saying that your recipient list needs to be accurate, every time.

10.Incomplete text – There are going to be instances when you’re writing an email, are interrupted, then finish composing that email at some later time. Except, you sent the email without realizing that you had a sentence that was just hanging or disjointed. As with typo avoidance, take an extra 30 seconds for a re-read, especially after an interruption.

11.Correct pronouns based on context – If you’re sending an email blast – aimed at the individual – make sure your email references the individual as an individual. The same rule applies if you’re writing to a plural audience. Here’s an example:
‘I was thinking you might really like this property’…
instead of ‘I was thinking you all might like this property…’

12.Missing intro – This may depend on your style & relationship with the recipient, but typically a greeting like hello, hey, or hi {first_name} is a nice thing to have at the very beginning of an email. While not a hard-and-fast rule, a missing intro can decrease the personal feel of an email.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE IS HERE:

Subscribe to my blog to get updates on Real Estate and Appraisal news

 

Talking Real Estate

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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

crea, completerea, nana smith, sales real estate

crea, completerea, nana smith, sales real estateSome homeowners consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. Here are five reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer. Below are some links of what Stamford, CT and surrounding areas have to offer:

Norwalk Condo Market

More in Norwalk

Call me if any questions 203-858-6727 or fill the form below

Fannie Mae’s “Collateral Underwriter” Is Now Open For Business

Fannie Mae’s “Collateral Underwriter” Is Now Open For Business

As this newsletter is completed Monday p.m. at the start of the 2015 blizzard, “Collateral Underwriter” (CU) has taken effect. Here is a summary of some of the key points that appraisers need to know about Fannie Mae’s newly implemented “proprietary appraisal risk assessment application” which is intended to “support proactive management of appraisal quality”.

~The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) has collected data from over 12 million appraisals and 20 million transactions since 2011. Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) users, including lenders and appraisal management companies, who submit appraisals to Fannie Mae will have access to the various CU goodies such as risk scores, flags and messages.

~CU provides a risk score of from 1.0 to 5.0 with the so-called riskier appraisals receiving the higher grade and those deemed safer lower grades. Fannie Mae calculates that 97% of submitted appraisals can be so scored with geocoding limitations precluding 3%.

~CU will look at comparable sales used by appraisers and offer alternative choices. It will also utilize census blocks to analyze market conditions and review specific fields in an appraisal (i.e. condition rating) for consistency from one appraisal to the next.

~CU analyzes appraisals submitted in UAD format on Fannie Mae forms 1004 (Uniform Residential Appraisal Report) and 1073 (Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report). Other forms such as the 2055 (Exterior Only Inspection Residential Appraisal Report) and the 1025 (Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report) are excluded.

~At this time, CU applies to Fannie Mae only not to Freddie Mac or FHA. It does not, of course, apply to private appraisal assignments nor to commercial appraisals.

“Explain, explain, explain”. Appraisal 101 teaches appraisers the importance of explaining their findings to the report readers in order to avoid misunderstanding. It would appears as though one of the unintended consequences of CU will be to increase the scope of work as appraisers try to anticipate the various “flags” that might be raised in a particular appraisal and address them proactively. While this may sound like a positive point to non-appraisers, experienced appraisers might find it difficult to justify taking the time to “explain away” non-selected comps, for instance. Will this lead to a rejection of mortgage appraisal work by experienced appraisers, leaving those less experienced appraisers performing a larger share? It is also anticipated that appraisals of more unique properties will by their very nature end up with riskier scores than those “cookie cutter” type appraisals, all else being equal, making these assignments even less attractive to many appraisers (particularly when offered by AMCs that don’t acknowledge-or offer reasonable compensation-with appraisal assignments requiring greater time and/or expertise).

On January 21st, FNC’s Steve Costello writing in the AppraisalPort Daily stated that “The first thing to understand is that there is no need to panic. There are lots of rumors floating around that CU will be the end of appraising as we know it. In reality, if you haven’t already been getting a lot of returns for corrections, you probably won’t notice much difference when this change takes place”.

This has been a common refrain whenever changes designed to improve appraisal quality (and add-often unnecessarily- to the scope of work) are implemented: that good appraisers won’t notice any difference. The only problem with this logic, however, is that good appraisers may be bolting for greener pastures.

Will the last appraiser to leave please turn out the lights?

A link to Fannie Mae’s “Collateral Underwriter (CU) FAQs” is found here: Original

DAY 4

 

Day 4, reflections of yesterday November 19thCREA, completeREA, Nana Smith, 203-858-6727, 203-212-3788

GOOD THING:

  • Did field work
  • Saw parts of Connecticut which one would love to see, if it would not be for working on reports.
  • Beautiful rolling hills, pastures and lamas!
  • Software did not crash
  • Thinking about #3. a lot!

 

BAD THINGS:

  • Nothing really exceptional had happened today
  • Still trying to figure out how I can make APPRAISAL business more SYSTEM oriented.
  • It’s almost like they (THE FNMA) came up with UAD to have all reports to look and sound conforming/systematized; its seems to me that this is what I have to do in my office. However: A) still do not know how to systemize everything, B) after I know, how do I implement, what I know.
  • Seems like cookie cutter appraising/assembly line to me, like in a factory, but I always thought that appraising was an art.

 

Nana