Editor’s Note: We’ve received hundreds of comments since last issue including those posted on the OREP/Working RE Talkback Blog. We reprint only a representative few here. To find more, visit WorkingRE.com and click Appraiser Talkback Blog under the Blogs tab. In addition, over 500 appraisers left comments after taking our survey, a few are reprinted here. Contribute to our survey at: WorkingRE.com, click HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey. (Survey Now Closed)
I have been an appraiser for 12 years. When I first began I did do work for E-Appraiseit, it was the only work I could get. I worked endless hours and countless nights trying to build a small office and a good business to provide for my family and leave something behind for my kids. Over the past 10 of those years I have trained seven other appraisers and they have been able to provide for their families just as I have. On Friday, May 1 (HVCC implantation date), I lost the last of my good clients to a national management company. To this point (May 21st) I have lost 80 percent of my business. My only option may be the unemployment line and a new line of business. I still keep in touch with my clients and I have seen a large number of bad reports that have come from these management companies and the appraisers who work for them. I am not saying that management companies are all bad; I think they are a good thing for the large national banks that don’t have time to go looking for local appraisers. Hell, I worked for one. But to give them all the work and take away what I have spent so many hours and nights building is wrong. Now I will be told how much I have to work, how much I’ll get paid and if I don’t comply- no work. What I want to know is how our government can let this happen. See you in the unemployment line. – Mark
If this was any other profession, the HVCC would not have gotten this far. Can you imagine a lawyer being forced to go through a third party who controls the number of clients they get, their fees and has their ability to get new clients taken away? They wouldn’t put up with it for a minute. (survey comment)
If the turn time is too short and/or the fee too low, then don’t accept the assignment. (survey comment)
It is interesting to see the lack of understanding by those who question why a businessperson would be upset at having their workload increased and fees cut at the same time. We should be united and our fees standardized at a reasonable figure that would allow us to succeed rather than eking out a meager existence. If you look beyond the initial rants, each of us has contributed something here- union, standard fee, rotating selection pool and so on. If you put these all together it really might work. The real question is how do we do it? How do we successfully organize to be a unified force and retain some semblance of our independence? – Chuck Miller
After 24 years in the business, through the good times and the lean, I’ve had it. My last clients have all gone to using AMCs- even the banks and credit unions. I really liked working with mortgage brokers and companies. If one pressured me in any way, I simply moved on. It has been reported that 90 percent of appraisers have been pressured. That doesn’t mean that 90 percent of us gave in to that pressure- only that we had a choice to compromise our ethics or simply walk away and find a company with integrity. That’s what I have done over and over. My current clients have never asked me to stretch or “create” a value, nor look the other way on an issue. That is why I think the old way worked. We truly were “independent” fee appraisers and until we are that again, I think the lending institutions are in for an even bigger fall. Like it’s been said before, when all else fails, blame the appraiser. Letters to politicians and commissions go unheard. A pat on the head and be off. That is what it feels like. (survey comment)
The AMC experience has gone down hill in the past few months. They now want even faster turn times, pay lower fees and expect a response in four hours or less. They dictate how soon the appraisal inspection needs to be done, influence comparable selection (sales must be within 90 days or less), require listings be inputted on a listing grid and seem to hire sixth grade reviewers. And they issue requests for professional reconsideration. Isn’t that the same as asking for a higher value? – Richard M. Burris, IFA
I would very much like to see an area in Working RE where appraisers can go to post their experiences with particular AMCs. (survey comment)
Editor’s Note: We added the “Appraiser Rater: AMC Ratings by Appraisers” section at the Talkback Blog for this purpose.
HVCC/Change Equals Opportunity
The scenarios presented by the author are distorted and do not tell the true workings of AMCs. The typical AMC does not assign work based on who is most capable of doing the appraisal but mostly on who will do it for the lowest fee and the quickest turnaround time. – Robert Dixon
At some point the appraisers are going to realize that even though AMCs provide wonderful services for their clients, as you so glowingly point out, they’re doing it all on the backs of the appraisers. And suddenly, where appraisers used to give a rip about what their long-term client had to say about the quality of work and attention to detail, now, they’re only going to be worried about quantity, not quality. – Carl Thurber
Altered Appraisal Reports
This is just one more nail in the coffin for appraisers. To hear that our work is tampered with by others unbeknownst to us, while we remain liable for its content and conclusions, is just too much. Is it any wonder that the housing and mortgage lending industries are in the toilet? – Terry Shannon, Indianapolis
Editor’s Note: See Appraisal Security Solution for more.
Increasing Residential Income
Your article was very informative. I have been marketing to agents but your article gave me the great idea to offer a free class as a marketing tool. I was wondering if you could share some information as to what your classes entail? – Rene Seabourne
Find Working RE Online
I have been a real estate appraiser for 18 years and have always looked forward to receiving Working RE magazine. For some unknown reason, I am no longer receiving the magazine. Everyone is talking about your latest issue and I would appreciate if you could forward a copy to me. I waited for the latest issue, hoping every day that it would arrive in the mail. I don’t know what occurred that might have removed my name from the mailing list but I would appreciate being put back on the list and especially, so that I might receive the latest issue. – Robert E Scott
Editor’s Note: We mailed Mr. Scott a copy as requested. If you miss it, you can always find the current edition posted free in an interactive PDF format at WorkingRE.com.