Divulge info about properties

11 Replies

I am an investor in central Nebraska and own my properties in a few different L.L.C.’s. I recently had a phone call from a guy who said he was an appraiser and he asked several questions about one of my properties so he could use it as a comp. I guess he got my number from the last real estate agent that I bought a property from. I was a little unsettled answering some of the questions about the place, that’s why I buy in my L.L.C. name and not my own. I have also had calls from out of state investors asking what my average rents, vacancy rate, numbers of rentals I have, and other relatively personal questions as well. I guess I was just wondering what kinds of questions you folks are willing to answer if any from third party people such as out of state investors, appraisers, etc. I have more or less decided from here on out that I will not be answering any of these questions because I don’t believe it is in my best interest. I am a little curious as to why someone would disclose how well their area cash flows and such if they want to continue to invest in that area without a lot of competition. Not that my area is super hot or anything. I read BiggerPockets posts everyday and have decided that I may as well start posting on here as well. What a wealth of knowledge this site is!

Hi Jerrad. I own a 5-plex in a small town in East Central Nebraska, and have actually had people who say they were appraisers from my bank (they weren't) go into the building and try to talk to tenants about the kind of info you were describing as well as looking to get my number.  Luckily I have good tenants who told them that the bank they were supposedly working for already had my contact information and if the 'appraisers' really needed it they should contact the bank and get it from them.  

I have no idea what the end game is here, but it is rather disconcerting.  

@Jerrad Shepherd ,

The appraiser may be trying to justify the value of a comparable. If you don't tell him all the reasons you got a screaming deal, then he must assume it was an arms length open market transaction, which in turn will mean the other home appraises low, which may mean it sells for less, which in turn means one of YOUR comps sold for less, which could impact market value of your home should you go to sell or refinance it.

I would be selective about what I would share, and I wouldn't lie, but I'd only share information that will, or could, lead to my property selling or appraising for more. 

I recently did a refinance personally, and bullet pointed out all the ways in which the listing agent did a horrible job of marketing the property, caved on price during negotiations, etc, among other things, to make the appraiser more comfy with an opinion of value significantly higher than I purchased the property for. I don't know how much of an impact it had, but the appraised value came in about where I wanted and expected it to.

When several of our multi's were originally purchased & had lower rents, we had a woman from a random social services group, (had the ID badge # etc) ask a LOT of questions about the properties. We had LLC's & yet she tracked us down by my name & our cell phone #'s. I figured the ONLY way that was possible was they had access to our state tax returns.

I was evasive regarding rents, tenants etc & couldn't make it to show her through anything vacant. The following year when rents had been increased significantly she was less interested, but still called for several years after that. She did show up unannounced when we were rehabbing, but stayed outside. Other than referring to it as a survey of rental properties 'in the area' she never revealed the true intent. Have not heard from her for a couple of years & we did not get an audit YET. These were definitely not C-class multi's but they had been under market rents for some time.

"Hi I'm from the Govt & I'm here to help you" is an oxymoron that still scares me even at my age.

@Pat L.

I agree, that kind of thing scares the hell out of me. I am thinking landlords/property investors will be targeted more in the future as the gap between upper and lower class earners widens. I afraid that they will be targeting our depreciation write off at some point and possibly even set rents. I have heard that you do not even have an option to opt out of government housing programs in some places as well. A damn shame...

I dont think having an LLC makes you invisible. You have to file paperwork with the state you are in and that info is public. Somebody has to sign for the LLC and that is easy enough to find.

As for the govt changing depreciation or lowering rents - are you kidding??? Real estate is what the majority of the 99% own. You and I, as the little guys, get to ride on the coat tails of their greed. Worrying about that kind of thing seems like a waste of time  ?

Also,  yes, there ARE places that dissallow landlords from discriminating based on source of income. Many many folks using housing vouchers are good people - think the elderly, etc.   pls read the multitude of threads here about “section 8 is it worth it”? 

Oh and yep - the more landlords treat tenants badly, the more tenants will fight for more restrictive legislation. The way to ensure this doesnt happen is to treat tenants fairly and equally. 

Originally posted by @Mary M. :

Oh and yep - the more landlords treat tenants badly, the more tenants will fight for more restrictive legislation. The way to ensure this doesnt happen is to treat tenants fairly and equally. 

Thank you Mary for your daily update on how bad we are .

@Dennis M.

I recently reached out to a gentleman here on BP regarding vacancy rates on a property he owns in a town Im doing some research in. A post of his from about a year ago had stuck in my brain and he seemed like a great guy so I sent him a private message through BP asking for some info and recommendations. Now I hope I wasnt out-of-line for asking. I can certainly see your point of view.

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