Selling agent talking directly with Appraiser?

7 Replies

I have a house listed and the selling agent brought a client to the house, who ended up not being interested. However, the selling agent herself became interested and we ended up accepting an FHA loan offer from her to buy the house.

I find out yesterday that she knows the appraiser and is texting back and forth with him, potentially about some knob and tube she spotted while walking through the basement. Is this illegal for her to be talking directly with the appraiser? If so, how do I ask for an independent appraiser to replace the one that has been picked? And who's responsibility is it to pick the appraiser on an FHA deal? Thanks.

Appraisers are assigned randomly.

Any one involved with the transaction can talk with the appraiser. Buyers, sellers, agents, lenders etc.

@Neil Goradia

Some potential issues here for sure

-Being an FHA loan, you cannot dictate who the appraiser will be. They are assigned thru a pool. Typically, appraisers will no longer communicate with agents other than to arrange access. Nothing here is illegal. I would ask for a different appraiser due to the conflict for one reason:

The results of that appraisal sty with the property for 90 days on an fha deal. So the seller would be bound by the results for 90 days if the buyer is fha

My first thought is that she is trying to defend the value as well as the electrical matter, it is illegal to attempt to influence an appraiser, but not to speak to them or even provide them with additional information. Let them talk, and if you have a contract price and they know each other, that will probably come out in your favor.......IMO. 

FHA doesn't like K&T, if it's abandoned and not hot you shouldn't have an issue. :)

Thank you all for your responses! I think most of the k&t is dead, but there is one that is hot, which I think we could just swap out with new wiring if deemed un-safe. Interestingly enough it was approved for my clients purchase of the house 5 years ago via FHA...which is why we thought it was all good to go.

@Greg H., Yes the appraisal sticking to the home for 90 days is what my issue is. I'd rather the appraiser have done their own inspection first rather than her telling them right away that k&t exists. How do I go about asking them for another appraiser? Is it as simple as asking or do I have to substantiate it with a good reason?

@Neil Goradia In my experience, when a buyer or seller tries to influence the appraiser by suggesting comps or something else, it usually backfires as the appraiser then tries to err on the side caution to prevent any potential appearance that their opinion was swayed.

Nothing illegal here. Anyone can talk to the appraiser to provide information about the property. The presence of K&T is a material fact, not an opinion. Anyways...shouldn't the seller disclose all known material facts that might affect the value and marketability of the property?

@Angelo C. , agreed - they wanted to be transparent about it, because they purchased the home with FHA financing to begin with and it passed.

While I understand now that it's not illegal to talk to the appraiser, it should be illegal to try and influence them. So, where do you draw the line with what you tell them, you know what I mean? I think it's almost a grey area and I just wanted to avoid it all together if possible, which I know isn't easy to do.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here