That's a common question that is asked of appraisers every day. Lenders and borrowers don't want to waste their time and money on loans that won't "Appraise Out". Comp Searches (pre-appraisal market value opinions) may also seem like good "Customer Service".
That may appear to be true on the front-end, but those "searches" back-up appraisal production on the back-end (causing delays in appraisal delivery) and generally it's expected that the appraiser will not be compensated for THEIR time!. Also . . Did you know that checking "comps" and providing an "estimate" of a home's value prior to receiving the appraisal order MAY put the appraiser in violation of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and jeopardize their state license?
"But ALL of my other appraisers do it!"
Yes, every profession has inexperienced or unethical members that are willing to do just about anything for a buck. Our Illinois Department of Professional Requlation (IDFPR) and professional organizations are doing what they can to crack down on illegal and unethical appraisal practices. You can find a list of Appraiser Disciplines on the IDFPR website. Further, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, NCUA, and the Office of Thrift Supervision have recently (10/2003) explained their position on "Appraiser Independence".
T.J. McCarthy, of ICAP, would like Illinois appraisers to forward all Comp Check / Value Check emails that you receive from lenders to the following email addresses:
"Today I asked the IDFPR (the state mega agency in charge of appraisers and lenders), to provide me with someone’s name and email address so ICAP members can forward these value checks to that person to prove this an epidemic and to track the major offenders"
T.J. says: "We need to let them know how these lenders are playing us against one other to provide predetermined values and win the appraisal order lotto they are running."