Customary and Reasonable: Measuring the New Normal



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Customary and Reasonable: Measuring the New Normal
by David Brauner, Senior Broker OREP

Is there a new normal when it comes to appraiser fees? Are the higher fees (in some cases much higher fees) being enjoyed by many appraisers today “Customary & Reasonable” or “price gouging” as some AMC folks contend? Are the new higher fees simply “what the market can bear,” which is how many of those same AMC folks used to characterize the much lower fees of the recent past? I’m not sure. But let’s find out.

You may remember our 2010 OREP/WRE Customary and Reasonable Fee Survey. It was in response to the Home Valuation Code of Conduct agreement (HVCC), the subsequent rise of AMCs and corresponding drop in appraisal fees. Over 17,000 appraisers participated in that survey in 2010.

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But times have changed. Today there are about 20 percent fewer active appraisers. Fees are rising, turn times are growing longer and there is a new normal. We examine many of these issues in the upcoming print edition of Working RE, mailing in mid-January (subscribe here). To support our reporting, OREP/Working RE is conducting a Fee Survey to update and measure the current state of fees and turn times. The results will show you and all interested parties what is customary and reasonable across the country and where you live and work in today’s marketplace. The survey is anonymous.

Like the previous survey, this one is broken out by 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and takes about five minutes to complete. It surveys eight different appraisal products including reviews and FHA appraisals and addresses appraisal turnaround time, which many insist is the biggest obstacle to quality today. (Take the survey here.)

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The survey results will provide you with a snapshot of today’s appraisal fees nationwide and close to home. Its value will depend on your participation. We encourage you to participate.

First results will be available no later than May 1, 2017 for free and will be updated regularly as the various market areas become more populated.

This survey is designed to help you expand your view of the marketplace beyond your own business and if it’s like the previous survey, will also be referenced by lenders, AMCs and the Feds to help them better understand the current state of fees and turn-times. To weigh in (and please do), click here to take the survey. You will also find the 2010 survey results as a further means of comparison.

Wishing you all peace, love and prosperity this holiday season and in the new year.

Click to take the survey!


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About the Author
David Brauner is Publisher of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at OREP, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 49 states ( He has provided E&O insurance to appraisers for over 20 years. He can be contacted at or (888) 347-5273. Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873. OREP–Organization of Real Estate Professionals Insurance Services, LLC. Calif. Lic. #0K99465.

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Comments (3)

  1. by

    Oh, now we are called “price gougers”. What a lot of hooey. The middleman AMC’s can’t find appraisers to work for peanuts anymore, so now we’re gougers. In my opinion we still have a lot of catching up to do. AMCs auction of every appraiser to the lowest bidder, naturally every auctioneer wants a large audience. That way prices get beaten down to poverty levels.

    - Reply
    • Its time the appraisers were paid a fair and reasonable fee for doing such an important and necessary part of the lending process. The AMC’s were the ones doing the price gouging when they were paying us $130 for a 1004 and now its time for some payback. They get a little taste of their own medicine. Our contribution has always been important but we haven’t had much respect or pay in recent years. In Colorado, fees have doubled in many cases and in most cases, I am getting paid whatever I ask for. Its about time.

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