Appraisal News and Business Tips

Texas AMC fee survey – disconnect between AMCs and appraisers

dollars floatingThe Texas AMC fee survey was taken in August, 2012. In the results, 10% of the appraisers said they received under $250 for 1004s and the AMCs said they paid no fees under $250.

No one really knows why there is such a disconnect. Survey requests were sent to all licensed AMCs and licensed appraisers. Not all responded or could be contacted. Only AMCs licensed in Texas were surveyed. The Texas licensing started in March, 2012.

In this month’s issue of the paid Appraisal Today newsletter I wrote an article “What are AMCs paying now? Fees a

re going up, but some appraisers are still working for low fees” and used various fee surveys.

The Texas Appraisers and Appraisal Management Company Survey is by far the most rigorous and was done by three universities, and was requested by a committee of the Texas State Senate. The survey was done in 8/12 and the report was available in 11/12.
Link to survey: www.talcb.state.tx.us/pdf/Texas_Appraiser_AMC_Survey_Report_2012.pdf

This is the first in a series of articles about AMCs that I am working on.

Here are the other AMC articles I have written rece

 

ntly:
– November, 2012: Who’s on your “approved AMC” list and why? Dump your bad AMCs! AMC rating grid
– October, 2012: AMC and appraiser liability -claims, blacklisting, lawsuits, etc.
– September 2012: this issue focused on AMC collection – how to collect from deadbeats and get all your billings paid!
– August 2012: AMC fees are going up! Many appraisers are swamped with work! You CAN get higher fees!!Win-win AMC fee negotiation for appraisers
– April 2012: 8 reasons why AMCs ask dumb questions – written by an industry insider

FYI, my first article on AMCs was written in 1994.

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  4. One thing missing in the Texas A&M survey is to see what the banks started paying the AMC’s when the AMC’s came along. I’m not a lawyer, but it would seem if the bank had been paying the appraiser say $350.00 for a plain vanila 1004 appraisal, and Federal Law dictated they have to run the appraisals through an AMC, the fee for an appraisal should have increased to cover the AMC’s cut. If the banks did not increaase the fee, then they tacitly agreed to pay the appraiser less than the customary and ordinary fee. Ultimately, the lender is responsible to see the appraiser is paid. Perhaps the lenders should be engaged in meaningfull dialog for compliance.

  5. My business is located in Texas, and I participated in the survey. Personally, I wouldn’t get out of bed for a fee of $250, much less anything below that. As to the disconnect between the respondants and the AMCs – Texas has made accepting assignments from AMC’s not registered with Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board a violation of the Act (Texas’ version of appraiser regulation, via Texas Occupational Code). As of the date of the survey, the violation wasn’t necessarily going to get anyone in trouble; that changed since the survey was conducted. To date, I have ‘advised’ 2 AMCs regarding Texas law, and the requirement that the appraiser link/accept an invitation to join the AMCs panel prior to accepting an engagement. I know for a fact that there are some AMCs, one of which operated out of the Houston area, that don’t approach the $250 level – I’ve turned them down multiple times, to the point of having to remove myself from their panel of approved appraisers. They also took the survey, and simply lied. Shocking, right? Other AMCs charge fees to upload the reports, and when I took the survey I deducted that upload fee from the total fee paid to get a net fee. The AMCs don’t look at it that way, so the net fee paid after the uploading charges may result in a fee of at or below $250 for the appraiser, but reported as a higher fee by the AMC. AMC work is about 15% of my total annual volume; however, I will only accept assignments from those I semi-trust – I dont’ fully trust any of them. The vast majority are fee-based only, with a small minority who are interested in quality reporting. All of them, though, are high pressure with respect to their ‘turn times’…but will wait up to a month after submission before sending “requested revisions/clarfications”. Any lender with 3/4 of a brain should bypass the whole AMC system. How hard is it to hire someone and keep his/her job outside of the lending decision/commission pipeline?!

  6. Mark

    I have so much work from small private banks and relo companies I rarely do any AMC
    work, however when slow I will bid my normal fees to them and approximately 25% of those are accepted. I work in the Bay Area near San Francisco which is very busy
    right now with refinance work and increasing purchase transactions. Just recently bid
    $850 for a Hillsborough property [purchase] which was accepted and only took me
    a day and half to complete. I have learned that if the market becomes very busy the
    AMCS have no choice but to accept your normal fees. In a slow market we all suffer if
    we rely totally on bank transactions for work; as stated by Brent its the law of supply and demand.

  7. I sit on the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board and recently wrote an article about the drastic decline in the number of appraisers in Georgia (http://www.greab.state.ga.us/about/newsmeetings.html – Oct 2012). Taking it a step further and analyzing just residential appraisals we are down 49% since 2007. Wintotal had done a good survey on fees. I agree, we will not touch a 1004form appraisal for less than $350. I suggest we complete our own fee survey.

  8. Dan in AZ. About Texas AMC and all AMC. What is fair? WE Appraisers are the Professionals doing the work, AMC are the order takers and “The buffer Zone” for appraisers. The Question should be what are they collecting? They deserve to make a profit! But What is Fair? Lets Make Them Disclose! Fair should be 20-25% of the fee paid by the client. My opinion! ” I work to Live, Not Live to Work!”

  9. I would be out of business if I did Form 1004 appraisals anywhere near $250. In fact, I haven’t done a Form 1004 appraisal for under $300, other than due to a special circumstance, in my 15-year career. Yes, fees are going up and I am one of those leading the way. It is ridiculous for any appraiser to lower fees these days. It is simply the law of supply and demand and, according to the AMC’s I talk to, good appraisers are in short supply. I tell everyone who will listen that with my education and experience, coupled with the valuable information I provide, I am as important as other professionals including attorneys and accountants. If we appraisers treat ourselves like the professionals we are, so will the marketplace. Remember, they need us more than we need them.

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