Random Thoughts of an Appraiser

Matt Simmons
Matt Simmons, Partner of Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons

Here at Appraisal Buzz, we typically have entire articles dedicated to specific hot topics within the appraisal industry. We love hearing from experts in the field about what’s going on and what they think about it all. There are plenty of times where appraisers have collectively had thoughts or concepts that can be communicated and/or questioned within a sentence and don’t need a dedicated article. We are pleased to have Matt Simmons, partner of Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, offer a periodic collection of observations on what’s going on in the valuation world. Matt is a licensed appraiser and consults on both residential and commercial income-producing acquisitions. Matt’s random thoughts are strictly for your entertainment. Enjoy!

  • “Because the underwriter said so” is not an adequate response to my revision question.
  • I’ve always struggled with the way that reviews are engaged in the world of finance appraisal. It seems like having a fixed fee creates a conflict for the appraiser. Take the Form 2000, for example. Agree with the original appraiser, you check a few boxes, and then you are done. Disagree – you write a term paper and develop your own Sales Comparison Approach. Even if the Standard 3 Development is the same either way (that’s debatable), the Standard 4 Reporting is vastly different, as the time to complete the reporting phase is exponentially longer if you disagree. Seems like a strong incentive to agree.
  • Advisory Opinion 21 in USPAP is probably the most underrated guidance material for appraisers. It’s a Declaration of Independence for those who feel boxed in by the profession.
  • Performing a 1004D Appraisal Update for an appraisal you didn’t originally complete is crazy, in my opinion. Read the language on the form for Scope of Work. Step 1.) “concur with the original appraisal.” No thanks. At a minimum, that makes it an Appraisal Review and an Appraisal.
  • It drives me crazy when an AMC sends a bid request with, “What’s your best fee and turn time?” – Um, those are going to be mutually exclusive, so which one do you want? The best fee or the best turn time? A cousin to those requests are, “Rush order – what’s your best turn time?” Well, I suppose I’d be willing to drop everything, rush off, have it done within 6-7 hours for $8,000, but I doubt I’ll get the job. This is your fire drill, not mine. If you’re asking me to hit a fast-moving target, it would at least be nice to tell me where to aim.
  • Was a kindergarten class enlisted to come up with the name for jumbo loans?
  • Why are there constant requests about what “Other” is in the Present Land Use? By definition, it’s vacant land. This is a 1004 report and it’s right there on Page 560 of the Fannie Mae Selling Guide. Stop asking.
  • Speaking of the selling guide, more appraisers should be aware of and share with clients the update from 2016 that addresses contract changes AFTER the appraisal is completed. No need to revise the appraisal because they’ve changed the sales price or concessions. Would save all of us time if we collectively educate clients.
  • We sell our opinions for a living. Is yours worth paying for? Or is its value only in that it satisfied a requirement to obtain it? We should evaluate our work in that context.

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About Matt Simmons

Matt Simmons
Matt is a partner with Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, LLC, a commercial and residential appraisal and consulting firm based in Fort Myers, Florida. He is a Past President of the Real Estate Investment Society and has served as a guest lecturer in the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University for several years. Matt is qualified as an expert witness in several state and federal jurisdictions and also serves as an expert on value and economic impact for land use and zoning matters. He is a licensed broker and consults commercial and residential investors in income-producing acquisitions. In 2012, Matt was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board. He is the youngest appointee in the history of FREAB and served as the 2014 Chairman.

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