California appraisers are facing scrutiny due to errors found on appraisals. Citations are being given by the California Office of Real Estate Appraisers office for appraisal reports that contained misleading statements and serious errors that have led to inflated valuations.
Examples of such errors are using homes that are not valid sales, and the verification sources, sale prices, dates of sale, gross living areas and sales history have been incorrect.
It’s very important to verify that the value on a property is correct. Otherwise you may be paying much more for the property then it is worth.
Other errors and omissions have led to inflated prices for houses resulting in a misleading or fraudulent manner report. A citation is the California Office of Real Estate Appraisers office lightest form of discipline and does not show up in a search of an appraiser’s record. Citations can be requested through a public records request.
How To Protect Yourself
Always ask for your appraisal. You paid for it and you are entitled to see it. Then look it over. If there is something you don’t understand then ask.
Don’t sign your loan documents until you have seen and read the appraisal report.
If you’ve already signed the loan docs and closed the deal, even if it’s been awhile, try getting a copy by asking your mortgage originator for the appraisal report. However, if you got a subprime loan during the boom, say, and the lender went out of business, it might be hard to get your report.
It’s usually the lender who employs an appraiser, but if you’d like to check the licensee’s background you can do so online at the state Office of Real Estate Appraisers Website, www.orea.ca.gov. There, you’ll find links for locating local appraisers, looking up disciplinary actions and filing complaints.