BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 02/02/2011

Better Living Appraisal Services

(712) 322-4023300 W Broadway, Omni Center, Council BluffsIA 51503-9019

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 02/02/2011

BBB has determined that Better Living Appraisal Services meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised Better Living Appraisal Services' rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews Customer Reviews on Better Living Appraisal Services

Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience
Neutral Experience
Negative Experience
Total Customer Reviews 0 Customer Reviews

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)
04/07/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
: BETTER LIVING APPRAISALS

CONSUMER COMPLAINT
AGAINST:


BETTER BUSINESS APPRAISALS
***************
*****************

I WAS IN THE PROCESS OF REFINANCING MY HOME AND THE LENDER SELECTED AN APPRAISER, EVIDENTLY FROM A
POOL RANDOMLY.

I AM CONTACTED IMMEDIATELY BE THE APPRAISER. I WAS TOLD THAT HE NEEDED TO APPRAISE THE HOME
IMMEDIATELY, DUE TO HIS STAFFING PROBLEMS. I TOLD HIM THAT THIS WAS A BIT PREMATURE AS I HAD
NOT BEEN QUALIFIED CREDIT WISE BY THE LENDER YET.

HE TOLD ME HE WOULD HAVE TO DO IT IMMEDIATELY OR IT WOULD HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL ************.

I AGAIN EXPLAINED THAT IT WAS TO EARLY FOR AN APPRAISAL AS THE CREDIT APPROVAL HAD NOT HAD TIME TO FINISH.
I TOLD HIM THAT THE LENDER COULD APPOINT SOMEONE ELSE IF HE WAS UNAVAILABLE. HE IMMEDIATELY CHANGED HIS DISPOSITION ON THE TIMING.

ONCE THE CREDIT APPROVED I CALLED HIM TO SET UP A TIME. WE DID IT THE VERY NEXT DAY THE WEDNESDAY BEFORE ************
ON MY LUNCH HOUR FROM WORK.

THE APPRAISAL CAME BACK EXTREMELY LOW FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE PROPERTY ITSELF.
I THEN CALLED THE LENDER AND SENT THEM COMPARABLE PROPERTIES. ONE ON MY SAME STREET AND JUST FIVE HOUSES
AWAY. IT HAD SOLD IN ************* FOR AT TOTAL OF $**********. IT IS THE SAME FLOOR PLAN AS MY HOME, ALTHOUGH
MY HOME HAS SOME ********* MORE, DUE TO A *********** ADDITION SOME ******** AGO,

HE HAD APPRAISED MY ********** HOUSE AT $***** SQ FT OR $**********
WHICH IS LISTED AS ********** HE APPRAISED AT $********** OR $******.

OF HIS 6 COMPARABLES THE HAD ALL OF THEM APPRAISED AT BETWEEN $****** AND $****** A SQ FT.

I THOUGHT THERE MUST BE SOME ERROR IN THE APPRAISAL. THE LENDER TOLD ME THEY SELDOM CHANGES THEIR APPRAISAL.

I WAS UNABLE TO TALK WITH THEM, "DUE TO PRIVACY ISSUED" . I PAID $****** FOR THE APPRISAL , WHICH IS EXTREMELY HIGH
FOR THIS AREA. AND IT APPEARS I DO NOT HAVE ANY RECOURSE WITH THIS BUSINESS AS THEY ARE HIDDEN BEHIND THEIR CLAIM
TO PRIVACY.

I BELIEVE OTHER IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS SHOULD HAVE THE ADVANTAGE SO ONE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS KIND OF APPRAISER.

TRYS TO RUSH YOU INTO AN APPRAISAL BEFORE IT TIME, CHARGES 50 % MORE THAT MOST APPRAISERS. DOES NOT APPRAISE IT
AT A FAIR VALUE.

I WILL HAVE IT APPRAISED AGAIN, AND I WILL SENT BOTH TO THE LICENSING BUREAU FOR APPRAISERS.


Business Response
My name is ****** ** ******, owner and senior appraiser at Better Living Appraisal Services of *******. I have owned this company since graduating from ******************** in ****. I will try to answer the accusations in the letter dated ******** from your company. We received an order to do an appraisal on the property at *********************** in *************** on *****************. One of my responsibilities is to do the scheduling for all of the appraisers in my office. I called ******** ******** upon receipt of the order from our client the same day as the order was sent and she scheduled an appointment for Friday ********** on her lunch hour at 12:00 P.M. We showed up for the appointment on time and waited for her for approximately 20 minutes. She did not show up at the scheduled time and we left the property to go to our next appointment. On returning to my office, I called ******** to find out why she did not meet us at the appointment. She stated she forgot that she had made the appointment and scheduled another appointment for ***************** at 12:00 P.M. on her lunch hour. When an owner does not show up for a scheduled appointment, our clients pay us for the time that was wasted and send us what they call a trip fee that is added to the appraisal fee. I am under contract with each lender we work with not to disclose their fees or I would give you the amounts, but I cannot do this due to my contract. On ***************** she did show up at the appointment and ******** ******, a certified residential appraiser in ***************** started work by viewing the subject property on the interior. I was present at the house but did not enter the interior but did help ******** measure the exterior of the house. ******** is one of my most experienced appraisers and has appraised thousands of residential properties in ******** since he received his license in *****************. In all of that time he has never had a complaint filed against him. As an independent certified residential appraiser we are governed by a set of state and federal guidelines that we must follow. Most borrowers are not aware of the privacy issues that constrain us from divulging information to them. Our clients are the lenders that hire us, not the borrowers who we are doing the appraisal on their home. We have contracts with each client that we cannot disclose information. I am sorry that ******** is angry that the value of her house was not what she had hoped for, but it was given as a true picture of the real estate market values in her area at the time of the appraisal based on ***** Area Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service data and ************** Assessor records.

Sincerely,
****** ** ******

Consumer Response
Better Living Appraisals
Case # *********

*****,

I am in receipt of your letter and the response from Better Living Appraisals.

I am amazed at his boldness in non telling the truth.

I did not make an appointment for Friday ***************** and ***** knows
this. As I stated in my original complaint he was very pushy about getting it done
Immediately. My credit approval with the Lender has not been completed by
*****************.

He said he had to do it ************ as that was the only time he had open.
I told him we could not do it that soon as credit approval had not been complete.

I have the messages from my Secretary at the office that he left trying to push me
into this earlier date. ***** is trying to justify the expensive price of $****** for
an appraisal by saying that I missed an appointment, I did not miss an appointment.
I did not make one until *****************.

Also I was home waiting for them when he and ******* arrived during the lunch
hour on *****************.

I can see that this is truly a disreputable company and a disreputable person
I was dealing with.

Also, ***** did not address the main concern with his service that I filed with
the Better Business Bureau, was " that fact that the appraisal was not in line with
the real value of the home, as verified by the selling price of neighbors homes."

The appraisal value , whoever did it, is at least $***** a sq ft lower than
the other homes sold in my area in the last 6 months.

Why isn't ******** ******, the one that did the actual appraisal not involved
in the response. ***** ****** was never in my home.

I am not satisfied with the response and I believe that other people
In this market need to know how this company does business.


******** ** *********





Final Business Response
*****,
I am in receipt of your letter and the rebuttal by the customer. I am trying to remain professional, but with the accusations and mis truths being told by the customer, it is very difficult. On every appointment we schedule, we start a file and the first thing we do when an appointment is scheduled is to write the appointment day and time on the file. All of the information given to you regarding me pressuring the client to do it right away is untrue. The only statement that I made to the customer about time was the fact that our clients require us to schedule an appointment time within 48 hours of the receipt of the order in our office. The appointment time can be a month in the future if necessary, but we need to get that appointment time back to the client within 48 hours and the customer was informed of this. The customer comment about me not being able to do the appraisal until sometime in ************ is obviously untrue due to the fact that we completed the appointment on ***************** which was the second appointment scheduled. We schedule appointments Monday thru Friday starting from 8:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm daily. ******** is typically a slow month and I had at least 50% of my appointment times available to the customer. Now the issue of me charging the customer $*** for their appraisal. I have no knowledge of what a customer paid their lender or what the customer paid for, but I do know that I did not charge the customer and was not paid $*** for the appraisal. The customer then states that they had an appointment with us on ***************** which is also untrue. The rest of the letter borders on the case of slander of my name and the name of my company. We complete between 800-1200 appraisals every year and have never been accused of doing the things the customer has put in writing. I defend the excellent reputation that I and my company have had for the past 43 years. We have strived for perfection and continually upgrade our credentials to remain professional. We serve the public in a professional manner and I resent the accusations made the the customer because they feel they received a low appraisal.
****** ** ******

This is ******** ******, the Certified Residential appraiser who completed the appraisal on the property of the customer questioning our business. I would like to address the concerns brought forth by the customer to the best of my ability without breaching the client confidentiality regulations I am bound to with our client. The client of Better Living Appraisal Services of ******* in this case is an appraisal management company who in turn is the client of the lender of the customer who had applied for the loan. Our appraisal office is hired by the appraisal management company to provide appraisal services in the local market who was in turn hired by the actual lender of the property owner who is applying for financing for either purchase or refinance transactions. Our appraisal office does not have direct communication with any lender of a financing transaction as well as all communication must go through an appraisal management company due to past issues with influence, pressure, and or cooercion placed on appraisers to provide inaccurate market values in order to secure financing and "close" deals put together by mortgage companies/brokers. Due to the involvement and layer of the appraisal management company, we have no knowledge and are not provided with any knowledge of the cost to a homeowner for any lending services throughout the financing trasaction, our fee is negotiated with the appraisal management company, and was most certainly far less than what the customer stated was paid.
In regards to the appraised value of the subject property, I researched sales through the ***** Area Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service within the subject neighborhood based on age, location, style, and condition. The exterior of the property was measured by ****** ****** and myself which calculated out to **************** of above grade gross living area. The most recent comparable sales available in the subject neighborhood were considered and included in the appraisal including the sale referenced by the customer which is comparable one in the original appraisal report. The final appraised value of the customer's home is higher than the $***** per square foot the customer stated based on dividing the appraised value by the gross living area of the home. The customer called our office to speak with me regarding the appraised value of their home after receiving a copy of the appraisal. At the time of my conversation with the customer, I stated that if they know of any other comparable sales in the area such as "for sale by owner" transactions, I would be more than happy and willing to look at the information, however the customer would have to provide the data to their lender who then in turn could provide the data to me for review to see if any adjustments should or could be made to the final opinion of value. I was never contacted by either the lender or appraisal management company to take a look at any additional information for a possible value adjustment based on additional data provided.
I strive to provide the best product and most accurate appraised value possible based on the market data available as of the effective date of the appraisal. The information used in my appraisal report was obtained through ************** Assessor records as well as the ***** Area Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, with final values based on current local market conditions. If there is data that any homeowner feels should be reviewed, I believe it is my duty to review such data, however due to the appraiser-appraisal management company-lender/broker chain of client relation, I must communicate directly through the appraisal management company and can only address such data when I am provided this material through the appraisal management company.

******** ******

Industry Comparison| Chart

Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Consultants, Appraisers

Additional Information

top
BBB file opened: 05/30/2002Business started: 01/01/1970
Type of Entity

Sole Proprietor

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Roger Reelfs (Owner)
Business Category

Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Consultants, Appraisers

Products & Services

This company provides residential real estate appraisal services including new construction, new purchases, refinancing, foreclosures, FHA and conventional appraisals.

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Better Living Appraisal Services

300 W Broadway

Council Bluffs, IA 51503-9019

To | From

LocationsX

1 Locations

  • 300 W Broadway
    Omni Center 

    Council Bluffs, IA 51503-9019(712) 322-4023

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Better Living Appraisal Services is in this range.

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Industry Tips for Real Estate Appraisers

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


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BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
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2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

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