Director's Message


WRE Issues

Director’s Message

HVCC Appraiser Talkback Blog and Survey Giving Voice to Appraisers Nationwide

Appraisers called the real estate/lending collapse years before it happened, based on what they were seeing- liars loans, inflated values, excessive pressure, an over reliance and misuse of AMVs, but no one was listening. It’s our belief that those “in the trenches” know better than any expert about the health of the profession and, post HVCC, the ability of appraisers to fulfill their role in the lending process. For this reason, and at this critical time, WRE and OREP are establishing an HVCC Appraiser Talkback Blog and survey to give the profession a voice. (Survey Now Closed)

A few months prior to the implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) we began to hear rumblings about its (adverse) effects. One appraiser told me that a lending officer at a large national bank called him from her cell phone- clandestinely she said, explaining that she really shouldn’t be talking to the appraiser, to provide an alternate phone number for a borrower who wasn’t answering his home phone. The appraiser had been trying to schedule an inspection for two weeks and the AMC in the middle was not responding. The lender “went under cover” to make the call. Because of the delay, the appraiser said that after hours of work he’s not even certain he’ll get the order. From what we’re hearing, this is a small frustration compared to what others face.
There are a lot of “expert” opinions circulating about the possible effects of the HVCC but you are the only ones who will know the net effect on the profession and on your practice. Our hope is that an exchange of first-hand experiences and lessons learned will have a positive effect on the profession and your business. Many regulators, lenders/AMCs and lawmakers also read Working RE, and their thoughts and perspectives are welcome too.

Reality Bites
The changes will be considerable, especially those those brought by the increasing prominence of Appraiser Management Companies (AMC). Here’s what we hear: Many seasoned appraisers are thinking seriously about leaving the profession. Ironically, it’s not the slow market but the downward pressure on fees that has them so discouraged. Business will pick back up they know but fees may not. At $200 or less for a full appraisal, some say they can not make a living and still be proud of the product they deliver. Others question whether it’s worth the effort to provide an “expert” opinion when price and not quality is the main consideration of AMCs in appraiser selection.

Meanwhile, many appraisers are quietly making a very good living working with AMCs, providing quality work and good service, and the AMCs we talk to say that quality and service do matter. What’s your experience?

Other appraisers do a straight forward hourly wage analysis and shake their heads, given the liability, pressure and expenses associated with appraising: gas, education, software, insurance, etc. One veteran of 14 years, a Certified Appraiser, told me that at $200 per (full) appraisal, the person who cleans his house makes more per hour and it’s a cash business. Another said surrendering their license and doing desktop broker price opinions (BPOs) will bring a higher hourly wage and better quality of life.

What do you say? Visit the HVCC Appraiser Talkback Blog. Answer the short survey we have. The results will be published ( Survey Now Closed ). Read more about the HVCC in HVCC/AMCs – Change Equals Opportunity. For more on how to differentiate yourself and your business, see How to Succeed by Setting yourself Apart.

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