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Editor’s Note: At the “Appraisal Summit” last September, John Brenan of the Appraisal Foundation discussed plans to raise the bar a bit higher for appraisers. 

Your Future: Appraisal Foundation Raising the Bar
by David Brauner, Editor

And you think your plate is full.

According to John Brenan, Director of Appraisal Issues at the Appraisal Foundation (TAF), speaking at the Appraisal Summit in Las Vegas last September, this is what TAF is up to and what to expect.

Education, experience and examination requirements for appraisers will get more rigorous over time, not less: The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) is raising the bar. Brenan said qualification requirements for appraisers across much of the world are tougher than in the United States.
According to the RE HVCC Talkback Survey, with over 6,000 appraisers responding, 69 percent answer “yes” to the question: “Are you in favor of the increased licensing and education requirements imposed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board?” (Thirty-one percent said “no.”)

(story continues below)


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(story continues)


College Credits

In an effort to attract some of the “best and brightest” to the profession, the AQB seeks to permit more college-level credits be transferable toward appraiser credentialing requirements. “It doesn’t make sense that students graduating from an accredited university should not be able to apply any of that coursework toward appraiser licensing,” Brenan said.

TAF recognizes the problems facing trainees wishing to enter the profession and the lack of mentorship opportunities. Brenan said the recently-passed Dodd-Frank bill authorizes the AQB to establish requirements for trainees and supervising appraisers. In the months ahead, the AQB plans to expose requirements for public comment that would establish such requirements.


According to the HVCC Talkback Survey, TAF has its work cut out for it. Seventy-three percent of appraisers answer “no” to the question: “Would you consider taking on trainees in the future?” (Twenty-seven percent said “yes.”) To the question: “Would more favorable state/federal regulations make you more inclined to take on trainees?” – 48 percent answer “yes” and 52 percent say “no.”


(story continues below) 


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(story continues)


Rules Enforcement

TAF recognizes the problem of inconsistent state enforcement of appraiser violations and is creating training and other programs to make enforcement more consistent country wide. “It harms public trust in the profession if an infraction results in a suspension in one state but goes unpunished in another,” said Brenan. “For enforcement to be taken seriously, it has to be consistent.”

You are Heard
Brenan says appraiser feedback to Exposure Drafts are heard and can make a big difference- so keep the comments coming. “Every letter is read and thoroughly considered,” Brenan said. One recent example is appraiser pushback to the proposed Communications Rule in the Third Exposure Draft of 2012-13 USPAP, he said, that resulted in the Appraisal Standards Board shelving the proposed change- at least for now.

(story continues below) 


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(story continues)


Keynote: Fed Disconnect?
In the keynote, Alfred Pollard, General Counsel of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)- the agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Receivership, said that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) was a success and that things shouldn’t change too much at Fannie/Freddie as a result of the Code’s termination under Dodd-Frank. A few weeks later, the Fannie Mae Selling Guide (Oct. 15, 2010) came out to prove his point. You can find the document at; Sidebar: Fannie Mae Oct. 2010 Selling Guide. 

Pollard said appraisal quality has improved since HVCC (because Fannie and Freddie say so) and pressure is down as hoped. He also said that HVCC is not the root of appraiser complaints regarding AMCs and their loss of business: AMCs have been around for years, he said, and the hard times for appraisers are a function of the troubled economy not AMCs. But these views are in stark contrast to what appraisers say. According to the HVCC Talkback Survey, One Year On, with over 3000 responses, 86 percent say their appraisal-related income has declined since the HVCC was implemented in May 2009; 81 percent attribute the decline “mostly to HVCC.”  Thirty-nine percent of survey takers say they “feel pressure from an AMC to make a deal work” (33 percent say they sometimes feel pressure and six percent say they feel it always/often). Only 41 percent agree that they “are experiencing less pressure today to alter appraisal reports, for any reason, than they did before HVCC was implemented.” According to the survey, 61 percent say appraisal quality in general is worse since HVCC, not better. 


Pollard also said the role of appraisers is elevated today due to the financial crisis: lenders “want the data.” Other “hot button” topics in Washington he says are fraud, green lending/appraising, and rental-related issues- the thought being, that perhaps too much emphasis has been placed on home ownership in the past.  


About the Author

David Brauner is Editor of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 49 states ( He has covered the appraisal profession for over 19 years. He can be contacted at or (888) 347-5273. Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873. 







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