Lawrence Yun, the discredited shill economist at the National Association of Realtors, has identified one culprit in the disappointing home sales numbers that have been coming out: the stupid appraisers aren't being optimistic enough.

"Lenders are using appraisers who may not be familiar with a neighborhood, or who compare traditional homes with distressed and discounted sales," Yun said in a press release. "In the past month, stories of appraisal problems have been snowballing from across the country with many contracts falling through at the last moment. There is danger of a delayed housing market recovery and a further rise in foreclosures if the appraisal problems are not quickly corrected."

OK, Lawrence (Is it OK if I call you Lawrence?). Here's the problem: If you had been complaining about overly optimistic appraisals during the housing boom, you might have a point here. But the fact is that you didn't. You thought the corruption of the appraisal industry was a good thing because it kept home prices rising, and made NAR members rich. Now that the real estate bubble has crashed and appraisers are being more conservative, you're whining like a woman in an Ibsen play.

Fortunately, The Appraisal Institute whacked Yun wiith a rolled up newspaper and sent him to his doghouse with a follow-up press release: "We take offense with the notion that an appraisal is only good if it happens to come in at the sales price. That mentality helped cause the mortgage meltdown to begin with," said the Appraisal Institute's Bill Garber. "The fact that the value reflected in the appraisal does not match the sales price is not the fault of the appraisal but a result of the market today."

Yep. It sure is.

What's appalling is how much influence that National Association of Realtors continues to have in Washington.

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