Can I sue the appraiser of my house?

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Can I sue the appraiser of my house?

In 2014 I bought a house with an FHA loan. The mortgage company sent an appraiser to verify the sellers asking price and it was verified okay. A few weeks ago I decided to refinance and the new mortgage company had me pay for an appraiser. I did and when he came back with a price it was lower then I expected. The mortgage company said I have to make repairs before they can do the FHA loan. The repairs they are asking for total over 5000. Why wasn’t this caught by the first appraiser? I have pictures from my home inspection and this was never brought up as an issue. They expect me to fix it now. Should I sue the original appraiser? I have put in a complaint with HUD against the new appraiser.

Asked on August 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Delaware

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have no grounds to sue the original appraiser. 
1) The appraiser did not work for you--he worked for the mortgage company. He had no obligation to you and you have not claims against him for how he did his job. This is the key point: if someone has no duty or obligation to you, you can't sue them.
2) Appraisals are subjective--there is a matter of judgment involved. The fact that two appraisers differ does not mean one is liable for anything. Any time judgement is involved, opinions may vary.
3) While an appraiser may point out repairs he thinks are necessary to sustain a given proposed price or value, he does not have to--an appraiser is not an engineer, and it is not a requirement or duty  of him, even to his employer (e.g. the lender) to specify repairs.
4) Four years have passed; it's entirely reasonable that things that did not need repairs then may need them now.


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