The Bakersfield Californian reports that real estate appraiser Gary Crabtree, SRA of Affiliated Appraisers will no longer provide news media with monthly reports that examine the local real estate market, saying that his business has been damaged because "industry insiders don't want to hear the truth" about a troubled market.
To learn a little more about Gary, I "Googled" him! I found out that besides providing market analysis for clients and consumers, he's been working with the FBI to document a practice called "cash out at closing" that frequently uses overstated property valuations as the starting point.
The basic scenario, said Crabtree, involves realty agents who have listed houses that aren't selling. To move the properties, they entice buyers - or friends - to "submit an offer [for the home] that is $30,000 to $100,000 above the current list price," with the promise that they'll get substantial cash at closing.
No good deed goes unpunished! As it turns out, some of Gary's lender clients aren't too happy with his market analysis though. For the past two years, Crabtree, who runs Affiliated Appraisers, has been providing reports that compile single-family home market statistics, including unsold inventory, existing home prices and new home prices.
According to Gary's "Open Letter" (click here for a copy):
As a result of my cooperation with the media, my business has suffered greatly. My conclusion is that industry insiders (Realtors ©, Lenders, Underwriters) “don’t want to hear the truth”. As long as the market performed at record levels, everyone wanted my information and opinions. Now that the market has entered a “correction phase”, my information and opinions have become less popular.
Gary says "
I have not received an appraisal assignment from a local lender for over a year. Local lenders have their own “stable ” of “preferred” appraisers whose license has been issued in the past four years, and have not experienced a market correction in their professional lives or that are “willing to work with the lender”.
Read Gary's Complete "Open Letter" (click here for a copy):
Examples of the types of reports Gary provides:
Related Stories - Gary Crabtree
Appraiser to stop releasing reports - http://tinyurl.com/2h2pwk
Appraisers seek curbs on lender pressure - http://tinyurl.com/yrrpzx
Slow Real Estate Market Hinders Valuations - http://tinyurl.com/2h7e8z
Overstated home valuations bring fraud, foreclosures - http://tinyurl.com/yt7esj