to Gerald Kifer, Supervisory Appraiser of the VA, his agency is set to
increase its appraiser panel by 25 percent. 'Right
now we have just over 4,100 appraisers on our fee panel. We are looking to
appoint an estimated 1,400 additional appraisers to VA panels nationwide,'
The joke among appraisers over the years is that the only way to get a slot on
the coveted VA Appraiser Panel is for someone to die. Boy, have times
Recruiting Appraisers Nationwide By Isaac Peck, Associate Editor
a coveted appointment to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Appraiser
Panel has long been considered nearly impossible by most appraisers. The
full-fee, no pressure nature of the work makes it attractive for many, and
with the VA rarely opening the panel, the running joke is the best way to land
a spot is to keep an eye on the obituaries.
Now, according to Gerald Kifer, Supervisory Appraiser of the VA, his agency is
set to increase its appraiser panel by 25 percent.“Right now we have just over 4,100 appraisers on our fee panel. We are
looking to appoint an estimated 1,400 additional appraisers to VA panels
nationwide,” says Kifer.
In his nearly 28 years with the VA, Kifer says this is only the second time
the agency has aimed to make such a large addition to its Appraiser Panel.
According to Kifer, 2012 was a historic year for volume of business for VA and
he anticipates the trend to continue into 2013.One reason is the lack of alternative loan products currently available
on the market. “At the height of the real estate market, in the early 2000s,
there were many loan options available to veterans, like no-doc loans, etc.,
and many real estate professionals were steering veterans towards other loan
products. Now that many of these loans have evaporated, VA loans are one of
the few remaining little or no money down options, so we’re seeing an increase
in volume,” says Kifer.
Full Fee Work One
well-known benefit of VA work is that appraisers are paid full fees and
there is no fee splitting like there is with appraisal management companies
VA provides a high level of transparency in regards to fees. “As far as I
know, we are the only governmental agency that has provided a schedule of
what we think are customary and reasonable fees. We have a website where
the statistics are published, and of course, our fees do vary based on where
appraisals are needed,” says Kifer.
Another advantage is that
orders are given on a rotating basis to appraisers, once they have qualified for
the panel, and not based on who is most compliant. VA
appraising is absent of overt or even subtle pressure to make a deal work, as
the goal is protecting the veteran, not consummating deal.
According to Kifer, there are other benefits of being
a VA appraiser. “When an appraiser is appointed to our panel, they receive
training material, training guides, and other information that specifically
tells them what we’re looking for and what we’re trying to accomplish. We have
clear guidelines that explain the minimum property requirements,” he says. The
clarity and training are very important, according to Kifer, who says that most
appraisers want to make their clients happy, but they don’t necessarily know how
to because expectations are often unclear.
“Because we have a closed panel we get to know our
appraisers.We have an ongoing relationship. We are there
to answer questions and for guidance,” says Kifer.
Rural Areas Highlighted The VA is looking
for appraisers nationwide but there is the greatest need for appraisers in rural
areas. “We typically have the greatest need for appraisers in rural areas
because of a lack of appraisers in those areas. We rarely have trouble finding
appraisers in urban areas,” Kifer says.
Qualifications To qualify for
the VA Appraiser Panel, an individual must be a licensed or Certified appraiser
and submit a resume showing a minimum of five years experience appraising
residential property. An applicant must also submit two letters, written by
fellow appraisers, attesting to the character and experience of the applicant as
a residential appraiser.For a full list of requirements/qualifications
to be on the VA Appraiser panel, click here.
Kifer says he is often asked if veterans receive preference concerning selection
for the VA appraiser panel. The answer is yes and no.“In the first round of selection, we look for
the most qualified appraisers we can find and no preference of any kind is
given.However, if we then have a tie between qualified
applicants, veteran status is the first tie breaker and veterans receive first
preference if there are candidates with similar experience,” says Kifer.
Appraisers interested in being appointed to the VA
Appraiser Panel can apply using the online application form here. The
interactive map of the US allows the appraiser to be directed to the appropriate
field office that handles the appraisal process in his/her particular region.
ATTENTION: You are receiving WRE Online News because you opted in at WorkingRE.com or purchased E&O insurance from OREP. WRE Online News Edition provides news-oriented content twice a month. The content for WRE Special Offer Editions is provided by paid sponsors. If you no longer wish to receive these emails from Working RE, please use the link found at the bottom of this newsletter to be removed from our mailing list.