Elizabeth R. Elstien, Realtor turned real estate writer & educator (Self Employed at Elizabeth R. Elstien: Write, Research, Edit, Sell, Educate)

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Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Sounds completely nuts to me. How is it there's no value? $12,000 for an appraisal is also insane. The highest price I've ever seen for an appraisal was $1,500.

May 16, 2023 03:31 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

     Owner financed properties don't need comps. Custom made terms and conditions Elizabeth R. Elstien . No value... none? Not even for the land under the home? It's waterfront but part of an illegal subdivision, non comforming?

     Appraiser gets paid whether value comes in okay or not. Appraisal redos are because a foreclosure used, a flawed comp, out of date, too far away from local market, etc but they glean and justify what they have for current listing / comp sales.

     Seller pays for 2nd appraisal if allowed or always have option of picking up stakes, replanting them at a different bank lender for hopefully a more favorable result.

     $12,000 for an appraisal? Whoa. Can see if there was a site one environmental $$$$ done. Need more information.

May 16, 2023 03:30 AM
Mary Thompson
Lanier Appraisal Service - Flowery Branch, GA
Lake Lanier Appraiser in North Georgia

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!  Lacks enough information for me to comment intelligently on this one. Having no comps is not a reason for a ZERO value. You either go back further in time with a time adjustment, or you travel further with a location adjustment as warranted. Or you use Cost or income approaches to value if this is an investment property or commerial property. The cost for Appraisal leads one to believe this is NOT a typical residential property. I need more information. If I were appraising this property and truly had issues with comps, I would advise the lender before I proceeded further. 

May 16, 2023 08:34 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I would have a conversation with the Bank manager and review what documents were signed when loan application was made. That price for that appraisal doesn't sound right and if they did not determine a value , in my opinion they did not perform a service to be compensated.  

May 16, 2023 03:42 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

I think we are in an area where this does not make sense, we need more details to offer opinions.  My thoughts are it might be time to change horses here.  Bank and appraiser

May 16, 2023 03:22 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Without knowing the area or all of the details, I am not really qualified to speak on your situation.

However, I will say that that appraisal fee is about 10X what the most expensive one here in Charlotte would be. As well, if the appraiser didn't see ANY value in a property, why would he/she visit it? Appraisers have a general idea of value BEFORE they visit the property...at least the good ones do. He/she should have turned it down.

If one of my clients HERE was charged $12K for an appraisal, both the lender AND I would report the appraiser to the state Board.

You'll have to come back and share what happened with this, Elizabeth!

May 16, 2023 08:06 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Something is wrong with this story.   Lawyer up!

May 16, 2023 07:02 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Something sounds off. Is the property being appraised vacant land? No matter what it is, is has some kind of value. Is this a new appraiser? Maybe he added an extra $0 to his bill? It all sounds very crazy.

May 16, 2023 04:56 AM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
A moving experience!

I don't know what to respond to first.

An appraisal that came in at no value (really... the land holds zero value?), or an appraisal that charged $12,000?!  Both outrageous.

I'm in no position to comment on whether the bank should have denied the loan or not, or whether the comps were legitimate (for all I know the property could be sitting on a toxic waste dump).  And if the first appraisal cost $12,000, why on earth would the borrower want the lender to conduct a second appraisal?

The whole thing sounds ridonkulous.

May 16, 2023 03:23 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I've had an appraiser say "I can't do this"  but not charge the client because he couldn't find comps.  But I've NEVER had one A- charge that much or B- take the money and not do the job.  Holy Moly.

May 16, 2023 07:55 AM
Caroline Gerardo
Licensed in 20 states - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady nmls 324982

Sounds like commercial property dreams with average house where buyer intended to tear down and build at later date. Sale price based on future investment value. How did they plan to subdivide a half acre in residential location?

Before the appraisal was ordered did listing agent provide comparable sales in past three months with a loan? If there were zero comps then how did they determine listing price?

Commercial appraisal for multiple lots minimum cost is $5000/10000. Sounds like borrower applied for construction loan of multifamily.  This is not a residential appraisal so there is no set schedule for an AMC (Appraisal Management Company) to disclose prior appraisals that were this complex. Appraisal can charge for complexity and access and surely borrower noticed the fee when they paid and asked questions. What appraisal type was ordered? (The code identifies what loan type lines up and is answer to your question)

Without a licensed appraisal valuation a lender cannot issue a loan. Without comps this lender stated they are not moving ahead. No use asking for second opinion, formal denial letter in less than 30 days is on it's way. 

This deal should have been a hard money loan as you state there are no comps. Build it out then refinance each parcel in a two years when the project is completed.

Using single family river homes compared to speculation land is not USPAP appraisal standard. Owner carry in past with unknown appraiser. If that appraisal was less than a year and appraiser licensed the copy should have been provided up front. If that old appraisal was not arm's length it does not support your argument. Seller picked appraiser buddy back then and everyone was fine as loan was not sold to secondary market, no one cared.

Why did borrower go to this bank? What types of loans does the bank offer? What did they apply for?

Fighting the appraisal with no comparables is an impossible battle. Without evidence borrower has nothing to dispute.

Borrower could complain about the fee, ask for some portion of refund but seems like this is after the fact, and they knew. Appraiser doesn't work for the bank and did what he/she was contracted to do.

What is sale price? Are permits approved? Buyer has experience as an investor building out whatever is planned- a mini hotel? If you provide the listing I might suggest lenders who can help you. Sounds like needs speculation type loan to build.

Move on quickly to another lender or cancel.


May 16, 2023 07:29 AM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

Sounds like the Appraiser relied on the AVM or Cloud CMA for comps and the computer couldn't locate any and then didn't want to visit the property in person and do the leg work and now wants $12,000 for their service - LMFAO...

May 16, 2023 05:57 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Do you access the home by helicopter, boat or some other means? LOL! I'm asking because of the crazy appraisal costs. Why are they charging so much?

Sounds like you have a very unique situation on your hands. The bank probably has to give a written denial within a certain amount of time but I don't know the rules. One of the mortgage guys on here can probably help you with that. 

Did you find any comparables to support the property? I've never been in a situation where there were no comparables. How about the cost to build? 

I'd be asking for more answers even if it means taking it to higher managers.


May 16, 2023 05:37 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That sounds ridiculous and that appraiser should probably lose his license or whatever.  How can something be appraised at no value, everything has at least some value, haha.  I would run it up the flagpole for sure.

May 16, 2023 04:20 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Not enough details to respond, but $12,000 for an appraisal might be grounds to file a complaint with the state licensing board along with a copy of the appraisal.

May 16, 2023 03:45 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I would imagine there has to be some value.  Crazy.  I've never heard of an appraisal coming in at no value.  $12,000 for an appraisal sounds awfully egregious as well.  

May 16, 2023 07:25 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

never had that happen, no idea.  But it sounds crazy.

May 16, 2023 07:18 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

12k for a residential appraisal?  That's commercial appraisal numbers.

We've had 'unique properties' where there were no local comps and the appraiser went outside of area, I've even seen them go out of state to find ranch comps! 

No such thing as zero value. Appraiser is off their nut.

I would be shrieking from the appraisal management company up to the banking commission on this one . . .

May 16, 2023 08:43 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

This is a very unusual situation and cost for appraisal has got to be a mistake. What are your thoughts, Mary Thompson?

May 16, 2023 07:29 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

All Real Estate is unique and local with no two homes being the same...this we know. Here, we have an example of this uniqueness. The appraiser, charged for it, the bank has high, focused standards & the market as well as the weather are at play. The only thing that comes to mind is all Real Estate is negotiable. However, what you are describing has already taken place and is after the fact making all involved unwilling to revisit the issues. That's all I know

May 16, 2023 05:49 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

My first, thought is to follow the advice of Caroline Gerardo 

and then Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate 

Sounds like a nightmare story from the other side of heaven. I wish you and the clients all the best with this.


May 16, 2023 09:23 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What you have described makes no sense to me.

May 16, 2023 09:08 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

What $12,000, no way, the most I ever heard of was $1200 and that was paying for a ASAP one.  Something does not sound right.


May 16, 2023 08:07 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I'm with Alan May on this one. Sounds nuts to me.

May 16, 2023 10:26 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

How can you charge for an appraisal with no value? I've never had an appraiser come up with zero. I don't see the value in the subdivided comps statement. Every home is subdivided down to it's current lot size. Comp bonus = river front. Location adjustment.

May 16, 2023 12:50 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's a crazy price to pay for a non appraisal!

May 17, 2023 07:34 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Wow!  I have never heard of anything that crazy. 

May 17, 2023 12:50 PM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

In Silicon Valley leanders realize that most offers are over past sale price by a large margin.  The buyers often vowed they will pay the difference even the appraisal came out short.

May 17, 2023 06:27 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Make sure to use the name of the lender and the appraiser when sharing this story far and wide. 

These big box lenders only get away with this as long as people fail to defame them publicly for their actions.

May 16, 2023 10:14 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

I've had a $7500.00 commercial appraisal but the buyer knew the cost upfront, this is nuts. Something isn't right.

May 19, 2023 07:44 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

That price is unheard! What state do you live? 

As for the appraisal, yes, it is always paid now upfront and if it does not come to a value, the borrow can switch to a different lender~ and it depends of course, on the loan they are looking for. I work now on subdivisions  with a lawyer who is very experienced. DM if you need his info, he has worked in many states before ca. 

May 18, 2023 05:52 PM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I've never heard of "no value" appraisal. $12,000 for nothing is also insane. 

May 18, 2023 11:14 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Appraisal Fees are paid upfront so not much that can be done.

May 27, 2023 03:25 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Weird!  Did the lender or the appraiser quote the appraisal cost upfront

May 20, 2023 05:04 AM