What’s Bad is Good?
Echoing the story Bad News is Good News, current market troubles may have a silver lining for appraisers.
Bad News talks about the flood of REO/foreclosure business appraisers are enjoying in certain markets as a result of the current real estate troubles. It explains REOs and how to find the work.
We direct your attention to the cover story and the surge of state and federal legislation to end predatory lending and buttress appraiser independence (Turning Tide?). Along with all this legislation is a shift in lender thinking: as one long-time industry insider put it- the current market psychology has changed from “speed and greed” to “slow and know.” New regulations and changing perceptions may result in a market where being a competent and ethical appraiser is once again good for business.
Another source- a longtime appraiser now in his third “crash,” says nothing will change. Times like this mean “cover your rear end,” but once the smoke clears, it’s back to business as usual.
He might be right. It is easy to be cynical about this business but it’s undeniable that something is changing. Consider the backlash (i.e. criminal charges) against unethical lending practices/lender pressure, as reported in Appraisers: I Told you So- WAMU, eAppraiseIT Blow Up. And the developing movement by appraisers to claim their data (Who Owns the Data?). There may be a silver lining to this very tough market, which at the moment, is challenging the livelihoods of many.
Also consider the new appraisal standards, effective January 1, 2008, which raise the bar for the profession-Turn and Face the 2008 Changes: Appraiser Qualifications/USPAP. The advice I hear from the most successful among you remains the same: stay professional, stay ethical, work hard, pay attention to marketing, use the slow times to sharpen your skills and expand your competencies- learn and diversify (see Moving out of Residential Lending Work). Nurture your best clients and wean yourself off those who make it difficult to make an ethical living. Do all this and prepare to come roaring back when the market turns.
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