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What the Appraisal Foundation Thinks
By David Brauner, Publisher
Editor’s Note: Working RE recently interviewed John Brenan, Director of Appraisal Issues, and David Bunton, President at The Appraisal Foundation regarding the college degree requirement, the shortage of appraisers, the number of experience hours required for licensing and who can complete a property inspection.
The current Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria, made effective January 1, 2015, requires 30 semester hours of college-level education to become a “Licensed” appraiser and a Bachelor’s degree in order to become a Certified Residential or Certified General appraiser. When asked if TAF is considering modifying this requirement, TAF said there was no opposition to the requirement expressed at the recent Appraiser Qualifications Board’s (AQB) public hearing in Washington, D.C. in October; the inference being that the lack of comment means appraisers are not opposed to the requirement.
Shortage of Appraisers
TAF said they see no shortage in the number of appraisers nationwide currently but that there may be a shortage who are willing to work for low fees in some areas. It also said that there may be a shortage in certain rural communities.
College Degree Requirement for Certification
Given that FHA and many AMCs and lenders currently require appraisers to be Certified, at a minimum, in order to work for them, those stuck at the “Licensed” level face a limited future in appraising if they are not a college graduate or don’t have the time or resources to become one. TAF acknowledges the problem and said the AQB is considering some path for those who have contributed to the profession over the years to become “Certified” absent a degree. TAF said, “One of the concerns heard by the AQB was the inability for someone who has practiced ethically and competently as a Licensed Residential appraiser for a number of years not being able to upgrade to the Certified Residential credential because he or she does not have a Bachelor’s Degree. The Board agreed that this is an issue they should examine more closely, and will be performing additional research to try and ascertain whether such a scenario could be facilitated within the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria (Criteria) while maintaining public trust. Nothing has been firmly established at this point, but this will be a major topic on the Board’s 2016 agenda and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think one or more exposure drafts will be published to solicit comments and feedback from the public.”
Trainee Experience Hours
TAF acknowledged that the experience hours piece of the licensing requirement can be onerous, particularly for recent college graduates who may need to begin earning quickly in order to pay off student loans. The AQB is therefore considering some alternative to satisfy some portion of the experience hours- perhaps a combination of coursework and testing.
Many appraisers make the case that allowing a trainee to do a property inspection on behalf of their mentor, when they are qualified, is a valuable incentive for appraisers to take on trainees, given the time and expense involved in bringing someone along. Currently, supervisory appraisers are required to visit the subject property by most lenders. Many appraisers would like to see this changed. TAF said requiring a supervisory appraiser to inspect the property is not an AQB requirement, and a competent trainee working under appropriate supervision should be able to sign an appraisal report, without the supervisor having to personally inspect the property.
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About the Author
David Brauner is Publisher of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at OREP.org, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 49 states. He has covered the appraisal profession for over 20 years. He can be contacted at email@example.com or (888) 347-5273. Calif. Insurance Lic. #0C89873