Real estate appraisals play an important part in real estate litigation, that is why it is important to have a qualified and experienced appraiser as part of the team when a question arises over the value of a property.
This becomes clear in a recent decision by the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Eastern Savings Bank commenced a foreclosure action in Queens County. The property owner/mortgagor defaulted in answering the complaint (and probably defaulted on a number of mortgae payments too – thus the foreclosure action). The bank had to prove what the value of the property was and relied in part on an affidavit from a real estate appraiser who weighed in with his opinion in the form of an affidavit.
Unfortunately for the bank, the appraiser forgot a few things. This appraiser didn’t bother to describe the premises that he was appraising and supposedly inspected; said that he reviewed comparable sales and marked data, but did not provide any evidence of those sales or whatever data he relied upon.
This is pretty basic stuff and any appraiser worth his or her salt would have known to include such materials with his affidavit. It is a bit surprising that the bank’s attorneys didn’t reject the affidavit to begin with and demand that the appraiser provide the missing materials.
If litigation is going to take place over real estate, it is important to have the right team of attorneys and experts on your side.