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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Low appraisals continue to block people from selling homes or refinancing mortgages, leaving many sellers and real estate agents unhappy.
"We really feel we're at the mercy of appraisers," said Randy Lane, a Broward County, Fla., homeowner whose sale fell through recently when two value estimates came in well below the negotiated price.
"This requirement is costing everybody, including the consumer, because we're not getting quality appraisals," said Tim Singer of Coldwell Banker in Fort Lauderdale.
Appraisers bristle at the criticism. While some concede that concerns about the law are valid, they also say real estate agents and sellers have vested interests that blind them to the reality of falling home values.
"Don't shoot the messenger," said Ken Chitester, spokesman for the Appraisal Institute, a Chicago-based association with 24,000 members nationwide. "It's very easy to point fingers, especially in a depressed market."