Appraising in Southwest Florida has been a rewarding and interesting profession. As pricing has become more attractive, activity is coming back. 2008 should be a return to a normal market in Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, and Naples. Lehigh still has a way to go as inventory is still high and sub prime loan defaults are most common. Condominiums are overbuilt and will require more time to become more in balance. Manufactured Home Parks should have a good season due to the affordability for seniors.
Contrary to what we hear, financing is available. In these uncertain times, it is important to hire an appraiser which takes the time to offer fresh data in their reporting. Many just hit the clone button and transfer stale data which is meaningless in this fast changing market. I hear from other appraisers about the problems with reviewers. I have noticed that if the correct information is given in the first place, reviewers are not a problem at all. When they do ask a question, it is valid. Closing delays are the result of inferior reporting and lack of comments and details.
Every time a reviewer makes a request, I consider it a learning experience for comments which are necessary to give an informative report. I also respond immediately so my customers will not have delayed closings. It is important to keep up to date on the requirements in problem areas such as Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral. Lenders will write there, but need additional comparables and listings in the report. If the data is complete and current, they are less apt to deny the loan.
As other appraisers complain about reviewers and their unreasonable requests, I have to wonder why they feel this way, and why so many problems. I believe that the customer who is loaning large sums of money, has the right to ask questions, and require more information than ever in our reports. It is not unreasonable just responsible. Reviewers are looking out for their clients well are and so should all of the Southwest Florida Appraisers. If tighter guidelines had been in place during the boom, there would be less problems now.
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