Heretic appraisal pricing: Better real estate valuation


A heretic is someone who has a different belief or opinion. I believe that the appraisal theory that most of you have learned in school is so outdated that it has very little relevance to 2021. Basic appraisal theory is now over 100-years-old and I think there must be a better way for Realtors to price a new listing accurately.

Watch this video for a crash course in 2021 real estate valuation.

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Barry Lebow, FRI, Master-ASA, ABR, SRES, is one of Canada’s most recognized real estate authorities. Now in his 53rd year of professional real estate, Barry has been honoured by many real estate associations for his work in the profession. He has testified in more than 500 trials across North America. He is the founder of the Accredited Senior Agent designation program. A teacher, trainer and educator, he is an active broker at Re/Max Ultimate Realty in Toronto. Contact Barry by email.


  1. Hi Barry: I liked your video. Frank, to the point and brutally honest. I have tried to catch up to your experience of 53 years. I have 52 of them. There are probably not many Realtors with as many miles as us. I too, appeal to the senior sellers. They have definitely reduced their mobility during COVID time. A few have have moved from the Toronto area all the way to Sarnia.

  2. I just watched Barry’s video. Everyone should watch it. Loved his line: “I love estate sales, because I don’t like doing open houses, and dead people don’t do open houses.” Hilarious.

    Barry backs up what I have been saying herein for years: The real estate appraisal business— practiced as taught in a traditional manner—is a bullshit profession. I’m speaking as a former appraiser…as an insider. The dollar adjustments on an appraisal grid entered for differentials between sold comparables is a bullshit exercise used by subjectively driven (read dollar driven) appraisers. “What number do you want? Here’s what I charge. Thank you for hiring me. Here’s your number. Thank you very much!”

    Do many appraisers ‘wing it’? Yup, especially if they are in it to make big bucks (who isn’t?). My boss wanted me to turn six appraisals a day, that is, inspected, written up and, delivered to the cheque-writers…I mean, clients.

    This is one of the best seminars/videos REM has ever put forth…in my less-than-humble opinion…and it is my ‘opinion’, not an estimation, or a so-called educated guess.

    Bravo Barry!

    • Thank you Brian. I really appreciate your words and support. I am through expecting flak from traditionalists, those who think that all answers lie in stats the myth that perfect comps actually exist (they do, but are rare). I took lectures over 30 years ago by American professors on linear and multiple regression analysis and here we are, decades later and still doing an 19th century method to times that were unforeseeable. As a former employer of many appraisers, I have met few in the residential field who were truly good at their craft. In commercial appraisal there are some brilliant people who do exceptional work because they actually get paid to perform exceptional work. Thank you again. Now, for the flak attacks!

      • Hi Barry:

        Relish the flaksters. It gives you the opportunity to put them in their place on a public forum. I love the attack dogs herein when they go after me. Makes me think a little harder. They’re actually a good thing in life. We all learn something from debates, whether they be cordial, or war-like.

        You can borrow my suit of chain-mail armour if you like. It’s full of holes, but it sure looks good on an old body:-)


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