Industry News

Florida officials investigate report of inflated home appraisals

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The Florida attorney general has opened a criminal investigation into the sale of three dozen homes by a Tampa real estate agent after the Tampa Tribune published a story suggesting the properties were sold at inflated prices. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation opened its own investigation Monday, asking appraisers and at least one real estate broker for records connected to 36 sales by real estate agent Dawn L. Molen, the Tribune reported Tuesday. The Tribune on Sunday published the results of its own five-week investigation, which alleged that the homes sold at an average of $60,000 above their original list price. Although sellers typically received their original asking price or less, buyers obtained larger mortgages based on inflated appraisals, the Tribune reported. The recorded sales prices exceeded the amount paid to the sellers by $2 million, with the extra proceeds paid to companies associated with Molen, the newspaper said. The difference betw...