Readers Respond


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Editor’s Note: Find many more comments at the OREP/Working RE HVCC Appraiser Talkback Blog. Note: many of the comments are taken from the survey and blog and are therefore anonymous.

HVCC Survey Results: Appraisers Still Feel Pressure

I just got off the phone with a major AMC. I called them to complain that it doesn’t matter how fast I text them back for an assignment, it has already been accepted by another appraiser. I got five text messages in the last two days and didn’t get one assignment. I complained that every time they text me it costs 15 cents and that I wouldn’t mind paying the money if I got an occasional appraisal. The woman said that the way they assign appraisals is that when an appraisal comes in they put the address in their computer and all the appraisers within a certain radius get a text message. First one to text back gets the assignment. I told the woman on the phone that I didn’t think it could be done any worse than that. I was told that I should get a P.O. Box in a busy area and they could feed me work that way, they are already doing that with a few appraisers. She told me that she thinks that I am nasty and that is why I am not getting any work. She said they want to have a mutually friendly working situation and that being nasty was making it hard for them to assign me work. I said you want to talk about nasty, I did two appraisals for your company and I am waiting over 60 days to get paid a lousy $210 an appraisal. She hung up on me. Anyone who thinks that this AMC is a good thing is out of their minds.

Your Feb. 3, 2010 article (Working RE Online News) written by Mike Read is right on. As a residential Certified Appraiser, I can tell you that given his list of savings from not renewing licenses, etc., (leaving the business) is VERY enticing to a starving appraiser who can no longer cover these expenses.  The HVCC has not corrected a darn thing. The pressure has been switched from “hit the number” to hit “the lowest number” (i.e. how little can we pay you) along with “how soon.”

I want to know why an independent fee appraiser must share their fee with an AMC when an AMC is hired by the bank. The banks should be paying the AMC’s fees rather than placing the burden on the appraiser. Am I missing something here?

Eight Most Common Appraisal Mistakes
Great article! I am certain that some of the items pointed out in your article would also benefit commercial appraisers.  Thanks for sharing your experience. – Emerson Sutton, Jr., CCIM, MAI

Diary of a Happy (AMC) Appraiser
Foolish appraisers become content with the low fees they are offered because (quoting the story): “If they are making more than they used to (at a fee shop), how can they be blamed?” It is this mentality that is ruining this business and helping the AMCs flourish.

For most of us who enjoy having our own company with an income made from our own skill and the sweat from our own brow, this is not good! Most of us did not devote several years of our lives to this business to let someone else be in control of our destiny. I had (an AMC) contact me the other day in the hopes of paying me $75 for a full blown appraisal. $75! Most of us true entrepreneurs/honest appraisers feel cheated. There were better solutions out there other than the HVCC.

This appraiser has it RIGHT.  The lack of independence has helped us down this path of inflated values. The only appraisers against HVCC are the ones whose next assignment depends on pleasing the mortgage brokers/lenders who can NEVER be pleased completely. Good editorial.

Editor’s Note: Many of you wrote in disappointed that several of the “good” AMCs to work for noted in the story are no longer in business or have merged with other companies. True enough. The story was first published in Working RE Online News Edition in spring 2009. By the time the print magazine mailed in late December some of the information was no longer accurate. Our apologies.

HUD Responds: Customary and Reasonable Fees
(Originally published in Working RE Online News Edition)

Just for the sake of the conversation, let’s assume that an appraiser produces consistently “perfect” appraisal reports. On the next occasion that an AMC calls to ask for a fee quote, how much do you think that the quality of that appraiser’s reports will matter if his/her fee is $25 higher than another appraiser’s quote? The HVCC has caused a situation where it doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have or how many hours you devote to producing a quality report.  It is all about the fee and our profession and the entire industry are likely to suffer for this (partial) shift of emphasis.

It is apparent that many lenders are not interested in quality work, judging by the caliber of the appraisers they normally choose. Quality work will never be achieved by hiring the lowest bidder then browbeating him/her into a series of addendums or “corrections” to fit their needs.

Bored with Retirement? (Get Working RE)
I recently received your latest issue of Working RE and thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to more. I have returned to the appraisal business after a short retirement. I actually got bored of lounging around so much. Do you automatically send your magazines to appraisers or do I need to subscribe to the magazine?  Keep up the good work, I know you will. – Delbert L. Parks

Editor’s Note: The quarterly print version of WRE is mailed to about 80,000 appraisers (out of about 125,000 active appraisers nationally). You are guaranteed delivery of a print magazine if your purchase E&O insurance from OREP or subscribe ($50/2 years). If you don’t receive a print version of the magazine, you can find it online (PDF) for free at In addition, Working RE Online News Edition is sent via email every other week to keep you informed in between print issues. You can opt in for free at or email with “subscribe WRE” in the subject line. OREP members and WRE subscribers get unlimited access to premium content stories online

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