AppraisalPort Weekly Poll Analysis – client requests for clarification
By Steve Costello, AppraisalPort Product Manager

I receive a lot of e-mail from appraisers commenting about the time they spend working onstress - hitting head on keyboard requests for clarification on appraisals they have submitted to their clients. That prompted me to post two polls related to these client requests.

“What percent of your assignments result in a request for clarification from the client?
The results were a little different than expected with nearly half (45%) of the 4,691 respondents stating that they only get a clarification request 0%-10% of the time. That is actually lower than expected based on what I hear from appraisers directly.
The second most popular answer was 11%-20% of the time with about 19% of the vote. The number of votes continued to get smaller as the percentages increased (13% chose 21%-30% while another 8% answered 31%-40%).
After that, things take a bump up. Nearly 15% of the appraisers responded that they get a request for clarification on more than 40% of their appraisals. I can see where that level of requests could make it difficult to get the new work completed on time.

“How often does your client requests information that is already in the original submitted report?”
In other words, we are asking how many of the above requests for clarification were un-necessary because the client already had the needed information.
This was a popular poll with 5,632 responses and the overwhelming answer was “often” with 60% of the vote.
About 27% responded that they “rarely” run into this situation while only 1% said it “never” happens to them.
Another 12% answered that this “almost always” happens.
So it looks as if we have a fairly large number of appraisers being asked for additional information that is already contained in the report.

My comment: nothing new here but I do like the analysis of the data. I love working for my estate clients. The dead people never request any clarifications (except maybe their executor contacts me when I have the wrong subject property address) ;>

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  2. Yup a nightmare it is Ann, and one of our making. It just keeps happening and we can’t seem to master the cure for it. I surmise our profession was never prepared for what has happened in mortgage lending. Nor were we prepared for the new levels of accountability. Back in the day we were the go-to-guys for data and now anybody with a computer can find what we once said was ours. And they can check us out too.

    The cure? Just say no and find another client. The process is akin to what I hear starvation is, but even so it’s better than having nothing genuine to be proud of.

    There seems to be an effort to get appraisers recruited these days. At least they are calling me, which means they are desperate or masochistic. I’ve been telling them that working for an AMC is a negative on an appraiser’s resume.

    But, did you see over on OREP? DataQuick is offering a $1,000.00 bonus to sign up with them! Now where do you suppose they got that $1,000.00?

  3. Actually, I am not retired. Darn!! Still doing appraisals almost every day. Have not done any residential lender work since 2005. I had great clients but did not like the huge boom and bust cycles. I did not update my forms software in 2005 so I would not be tempted to do them.

    I used to do some lender commercial appraisals but do very few now as the fees are down almost 50% for the past 5 years. I do both commercial and residential appraisals for non-lenders, mostly for estates and trusts. No reviews, no hassles!! I also turn down work almost every day. I have turned down work since I started my appraisal business in 1986. I also don’t bid high if I don’t want to do an assignment. I just don’t bid at all.

    I started appraising in an assessor’s office in 1977 and started doing lender work in 1986. I never liked lenders telling me how to do my appraisals. This has turned into a nightmare for many appraisers, with AMCs/lenders and their incredible scope creep.

  4. Coaster Appraisals, who are we kidding. As a former appraiser, you should have an inclination of what expenses are occured within this business to do a simple and competant appraisal report in TODAYS’S Economy. Other than that, we also need to understand the lack of benefits that come with this business, no paid vacation, no paid time off, no paid health, no retirement funds, no pay for slow months, no workmans comp, no disability, etc……with this in mind, 450 fee and 475 fee for FHA is a reasonable, feasable and survivable fee for single family (1004) non complex work only. Now blend into your package 2 – 4 family units with additonal comps to shoot, analysis, and overall workload for the same fee, and as an appraiser, your back at a loss looking for a new job. Stop manipulating the system and do the right thing, include a flat fee of 550 and 575 for multi family and we have a fair shake. In addition, take your cut for services from the lender and homeowner, not our salary…this is the only industry where the professional has been legally shaken down for a cut of the appraisers salary mafia syle.

  5. I mainly experience requests for additional information from the more shady lenders trying to beef up an appraisal for predatory lending practices. Quality lenders seem to be satisfied with quality work.

  6. To the extent the responding appraisers work with AMCs, I believe post delivery requests are generated by two characteristics of that market.

    First and foremost those making the requests have minimal training and do not understand appraisal. They are pretty much robots. And, two AMCs are competing for business and they need to impress their client (the lender) that they are very busy and worth hiring. In other words you do busy work to make them look good.

    Post delivery requests froim AMCs are never about anything we appraisers think of as quality, never. Remember also that we as a profession haven’t actually defined what quality is, Fannie doesn’t know what it is and so to the credit of AMCs how could they possibly be expected to improve appraisal quality by requesting clarifications?

    At any rate, it ain’t about quality. It’s posturing.

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