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Editor’s Note: Take the NEW 2021 Appraiser Fee Survey online now at WorkingRE.com/2021survey.
2021 Fee Survey Results
by Isaac Peck, Editor
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, there has been an unprecedented demand for appraisal and valuation services. Despite the substantial increase in the use of appraisal waivers by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs), the number of appraisal orders continues to set new records. 2020 was a record year for residential appraisals submitted through the GSEs’ Uniform Collateral Data Portal® (UCDP®), with March–December being the 10 highest-volume months since this data began being tracked in 2012.
What does this mean for appraisal fees? In January 2021, the OREP/Working RE 2021 Appraiser Fee Survey was launched to help uncover the answer. With over 3,500 appraisers responding so far, the results are a current and ongoing source for fee and turn time data by market and nationwide.
This is the third national fee survey conducted by OREP, a leading provider of E&O insurance for appraisers and other real estate professionals. You can find the results of all three surveys at WorkingRE.com (2011, 2017, and 2021).
OREP/Working RE’s first nationwide fee survey in 2011 was in the wake of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and the Dodd-Frank Act. More than 17,000 appraisers responded. The second fee survey was conducted in 2017, with over 7,000 appraisers responding.
To view the current survey results for your market, visit WorkingRE.com/surveys and click “2021 Appraiser Fee Survey,” then select your state. The number in the right-hand side in parentheses is the total number of appraisers in that specific MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area—as per the Census Bureau) who responded at the time of this writing. The survey remains open if you have not participated yet. The data is provided free to appraisers and all industry stakeholders.
History in Context
The 2011 survey measured non-AMC appraisal fees only—where appraisers and clients negotiated fees directly without a middleman. The 2017 and 2021 surveys make no distinction. So today, more than 10 years after Dodd-Frank and the HVCC, the comparison of fees and turn times between then and now— before AMCs and after—offers Working RE readers a unique perspective.
While the previous surveys provide us with perspective and context, the 2021 survey gives us the help we need to succeed today, says David Brauner, Senior Broker at OREP E&O insurance (www.OREP.org). “Collecting and distributing current fee data nationwide for free is one way we can use our national platform (Working RE Magazine) to help our OREP insureds, and all appraisers, succeed in their businesses. Knowledge is power and nowhere is that truer than when it comes to setting fees.”
Format-Expanded Survey Questions
Like its predecessors, the 2021 Appraiser Fee Survey includes 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), as defined by the U. S. Census Bureau, with rural areas included by state. The survey includes eight different appraisal products, including reviews and FHA appraisals, and addresses turn times, to offer insight into that controversial topic by area.
For the 2021 survey, a number of new questions were added, including:
• Current fees for 1004D Appraisal Update Assignment.
• Current fees for 1004 Certification of Completion.
• Estimated reasonable fees for Fannie Mae’s new 1004 “Desktop” form (not yet active).
• Estimated reasonable fees Fannie Mae’s new 1004 “Hybrid” form (not yet active).
• What is the average number of appraisals you complete per month?
• Do you have any trainee appraisers?
• Do you have any administrative assistants on staff?
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“We’ve updated the questions to fit the current environment,” said Brauner. “Bringing on administrative assistants as a way of maximizing efficiencies is gaining traction among appraisers and we want to measure it. We also want to measure volume and see how the industry is doing when it comes to trainees and bringing along the next generation,” says Brauner.
Increasing Fees and Turn Times
The new survey results show that appraisal fees continue to rise, if only modestly, in many markets compared to 2017. As you compare the fees in your area, note that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which is tied to inflation and on which Social Security benefits are paid, has increased 16.5 percent since 2010. The Consumer Price Index has gone up 20.72 percent over the last 10 years as well.
Modest Good News
That appraisal fees continue to rise modestly in many markets is good news for appraisers. But as you can see, appraisers in certain locations are faring much better than in others.
The data should be a strong nudge to those appraisers in competitive markets who have not yet raised their fees and/or expanded and enhanced their products. If you want to expand your skills and services to raise rates, there are many resources available to you, including quality online CE offered through OREPEducation.org. Economical bundle pricing is available on a variety of coursework. OREP members enjoy 14 hours of appraiser CE (approved in all states except GA, FL, and MN), and all appraisers save even more on larger bundles of approved online education.
Thanks to the many thousands of appraisers who helped make the survey possible. If you are an appraiser and have not yet taken the survey, please weigh in today! If you’re looking for E&O insurance, you can get quoted in under five minutes at OREP.org. Call 888-347-5273 to speak to an agent; we’re now open 12 hours per day (M–F) from 8 a.m. EST–8 p.m. EST to serve you better. Thanks for reading!
About the Author
Isaac Peck is the Editor of Working RE magazine and the Vice President of Marketing and Operations at OREP.org, a leading provider of E&O insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 50 states. He received his master’s degree in accounting at San Diego State University. Reach Isaac at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-347-5273. CA License #4116465.
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