May 15, 2008

A new survey of real estate appraisers revealed that 91 percent have been asked to inflate the value of a property. The result: 81 percent feared losing repeat business if they didn't comply.

The survey was done by ValuFinders, Inc. (Culver City, Calif.), developer of the Internet-based appraisal ordering system, Appraisal CONCIERGE. ValuFinders' president and CEO Joe Williams summarized the survey results this way: "Our findings show that almost all appraisers have experienced some form of appraiser pressure." Appraisers also admitted to feeling pressured by comp check requests even before appraisals were ordered.

More than half (52 percent) of those surveyed said their jobs would be easier "if the industry adopted technology to facilitate the appraisal process." After January 1, 2009, the new Home Valuation Protection Code will require independent appraiser selection for all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.

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