Readers Respond


WRE Issues

Readers Respond

Editor’s Note: The HVCC and FHA comments here are representative of many hundreds of similar sentiments expressed at the OREP/Working RE HVCC Appraiser Talkback Blog and Survey. To find a report from a “happy” AMC appraiser, see page Diary of a Happy (AMC) Appraiser.

We watched revenue drop from $12,000 per month to around $300 per month between May 1 (when HVCC was implemented) and August. We lost every bank client and mortgage company except for one. We’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years but closed the appraisal department after giving HVCC a test run. Past experiences told us that even if you receive a great deal of work today by cutting fees you will be quickly dropped from their roster if someone newer and cheaper comes along.

My plan is to get out of the business. I have been appraising for 12 years. I had built up a large client base. All gone. Twelve years of work has been obliterated by a rule without any legislative process. AMCs are squeezing the fees, demanding ridiculous turn times, and expect me to work seven days a week. Since I have another profession I can go into, that’s what I’m going to do. The bottom line is that good people will quit the business because of pay. You get what you pay for. What bothers me is that there are appraisers who work for these fees. Eventually they will realize the error of their ways. But it won’t be until the economy turns around. Right now any employment is good. But when the economy turns around there is going to be a major bailing out of this business.

I have been appraising for 22 years and have been very successful with numerous clients. I have never worked with AMCs because I did not have to. Now, after 22 years, I have no work. All the AMCs I applied with have not given me a single job as of yet.

I have now read virtually every comment at this (HVCC Talkback) blog.  I want to say that I appreciate the suggestions and comments, particularly by several obviously experienced and well-read professionals. I am from a family of appraisers, mostly on the commercial side.  My father thought I was crazy to want to be a residential appraiser- his comment to me was: “They (lenders and government) step all over you. You have no lobby, no voice.”  Sadly, he has been proven right. I love our line of work and have watched our profession be hounded, beat up and railroaded in the past two years. We have to find a way, state by state, nationally or both to unite as one. If we, as a profession, would take some initiative and stop viewing each other as competition and instead begin acting on each other’s behalf, I think we could all work at a higher fee, make a better living and be our own advocates instead of taking whatever is shoved down our throats. I think standardizing fees and/or forming a union is an excellent start.

Any appraiser who knows this business understands that licensed residential appraisers got the shaft. I have been a Licensed Residential appraiser for 18 years and doing FHA work for 12 years. Not only have I never had an infraction on my license, I have a very solid reputation for being ethical and accurate. Seventy-five percent of my work is FHA and this legislation has destroyed my livelihood. I am now 58 years old and out of a job. I guess this is our government’s way of saying, ‘thanks for a job well done.’

So 81% of appraisers are in agreement with licensed-level appraisers not being allowed to do FHA appraisals (as reported by the HVCC Appraiser Talkback Survey)?  It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why. It’s more work for them. I have been a licensed appraiser for six years. I do not have a two-year degree and cannot put my life on hold for two years to go back and get one. I would put my work up against any Certified Appraiser in my area. Tell me how this law makes sense? A new guy fresh out of appraiser school tomorrow can now do FHA appraisals but my six years of experience makes my work of ‘less quality’ than theirs?

Appraising for Non-Lenders
I want you to know that I found your article on appraising for non-lenders very helpful. I’m a State Licensed appraiser in Michigan and I haven’t been able to find any appraisal work within the past four months. I’ve filled out applications for numerous AMCs but haven’t received any orders.  After reading your article, I’m finding that maybe I need to put more focus on non-lender clients. Your article was also helpful in letting me know what I need to include in my report when doing this kind of appraisal. Thanks again for the article. – Robert J. Magee

Setting Fees: How Much are you Worth?
Awesome article.  I’m sending it to every appraiser I know. – Rita Bradley

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