Appraisal News and Business Tips

Is the appraisal system broken?

Speakers – John Brenan, Director of Appraisal Issues – Appraisal Foundation and Melissa Cohn, President of The Manhattan Mortgage Company

junkyardNothing new, but at least they have an experienced appraiser (over 30 years) speaking. Of course, the mortgage person says the usual stuff about deal killer appraisers – out of area, QC delays, get rid of HVCC, loosen rules up, etc.

4:42 min long video, after relatively short commercial. Sorry, I was unable to “imbed” the video in this message. Click below to view.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000144447 

1-1 GOOD AT final rev newslet

10 Comments
  1. Not broken…simply extorted by banks into being a worthless profession.

    • Would I rather be in a broken profession or one that is worthless? Let me think on that.

  2. Actually, the AI has the best education, by far. Brenan works for the Appraisal Foundation, not the AI.

    The professional appraisal associations decided not to offer basic education for licensing and lost a whole generation to proprietary schools.

    Many residential appraisers did not learn how to appraise, only how to fill out a form. Too many still don’t know. It is very, very sad.

    I was very lucky. I started appraising long before licensing, in 1977 at an assessor’s office and was taught how to appraise. I got incredible experience as I had to appraise everything in my assigned areas, whether or not the properties were “lendable”.

    When I started my appraisal business in 1986, I accepted all types of appraisals, and learned how to fill out the forms as I had never worked for a lender.

    I am still surprised how many post-licensing appraisers don’t know how to appraise for any other purpose than mortgage lending because they lack the skills and training to try something new. Or, worse, they don’t know what they don’t know and don’t do the appraisals correctly.

  3. Mr. Brennan was from the Appraisal FOUNDATION, not the Appraisal INSTITUTE.

    That aside, AI has the best appraisal education available right now and I don’t understand why it’s their fault that there are bad appraisers out there. And there are bad appraisers; I won’t dispute that. But AI isn’t training every appraiser in the country, far from it. If they were, we’d be better off. Our system of training appraisers is badly broken because it relies on an individual practitioner to teach a trainee basically everything! We can’t expect already overworked appraisers to take on that job too.

    • Woops!! I knew that, of course, as I heard him speak at the ASB meeting in San Francisco, CA last week and I have known him for a long time!!

    • Karen,

      I guess I didn’t explain myself very well.

      While the AI may arguably have, as you say, the best education going, nothing has changed. From my own experience after taking hundreds of hours of basic and advanced education costing thousands of dollars from the AI, I can tell you most of it was irrelevant and definitely expensive and none of it held a candle to college level education.

      The appraisal industry after twenty years + of USPAP required independence is still the tail wagged by the lending industry. Appraiser after appraiser says their financial condition is much worse than it ever was. So I guess I would ask what has all of the excellent education from the organization that calls itself premiere done for respect for the appraisal industry? What has the AI done to distance itself from the lenders?

      The AI is about promoting the AI and only the AI, which is OK except that the AI also boasts of it’s superiority. I’m just not buying into the arrogance any more.

      The condition of the industry and lack of respect for the appraisers in it is as much the fault of the AI as it is the fault of any entity. The education hasn’t been good enough to warrant the AI claim that its designated appraisers know more and do better. Note those complaining about low appraisals don’t exempt the SRAs and MAIs.

      Thank goodness that TAF took over the education and is moving it in a much more objective direction. TAF also treats all appraisers equally rather than giving preference to the members of AI. As TAF’s influence gaines strength you will see less empahsis on complicated and convoluted language and formulas and more emphasis on plain languge explanations.

      • Edd,

        AI’s education has improved greatly from when I first took my principles classes in 1986 (when it was AIREA). I’ve taken several AI classes in the couple years and was very pleasantly surprised. They are much more focused on “real world” situations instead of esoteric theory that no one practices in real life.

        AI’s market share of appraisers is only 26%; that’s not much, considering there are some 90,000 of us nationally. Appraisers are notorious “lone wolves” that don’t like to belong to organizations but that attitude has hurt us as a profession. We have no clout and we like to complain.

        Did AI throw residential appraisers under the bus with HVCC? Absolutely. Are there bad SRAs and MAIs out there? Sure. However, AI is reaching out to residential appraisers and is trying to do something about the bad apples (that might be impossible though).

        • And then there was Zaio and AI-ready and designated appraisers running or reviewing for dumbed-down AMCs. The AI is an enabler of the appraisers’ worst enemy, but I can tell you are convinced. It took me twenty years to get as disappointed in that organization as I am now. At this point I expect nothing more than hubris from the AI.

          For the twenty years I’ve been doing this they have claimed leadership and I see absolutely no positive result and the profession continues to grow worse in its chaos. As you say appraisers like independence that is tatamount to isolation and they like complaining beyond the pale. AI quitting TAF sponsorship when Mr. Sellers had a pout is prime example and was the final straw for me. I told AI how wrong that was and it still hasn’t been corrected as far as I know. Characteristically, no one but a secretary who called to get me to renew my membership even responded. Maybe AI has decided to self-righteously cling to its pique and just intends for TAF to fail. What does it say to the rest of the world when the organization that claims to be the best acts like a baby?

          If AI is going claim leadership the officers are going to act like grownups. Leaders must be wqilling to be led. I’m sure I know only the tip of the iceberg of what is wrong with TAF, but quitting was plumb stupid.

          Glad to hear they may be abandoning examples of perfect hypothetical markets and data and using reality in their courses, but I’m getting my education elsewhere for now.

          I will say that we have absolutely no organization connected with this organization of which to be proud. Thered is a lot of room at the top, but appraisers will sabotage anything that aspires to solve the problems.

  4. There is a lot of blame to go around, but what about the blame that must rest on the lenders and home owners who seem to think their (or their client’s) ‘castles’ are worth in 2013 what they were in 2008? I cannot tell you how many times a week I get a borrower upset with their value. They will often say, “I knew the market had dropped, but not THAT much!” When they go through the dispute process, the ‘comps’ sent back are nearly always a joke. “So, I am supposed to ignore the three sales in your neighborhood that are nearly identical to your house for three sales 9 months ago, in a superior neighborhood so you can get your loan? I don’t think so.” The AI guy is right in that appraisers get the blame coming and going. “My job is to report the market (not to rubber stamp your refi) and the value of your home as dropped. Period.”

    HVCC? And we are supposed to think that everything else this lady said is credible? Hmmmm.

  5. I happen to agree with the view that appraisers need better training, but part of the reason they do is because the AI has dominated education for so long that much of the industry remains mired in the dark ages of appraising via superstition, hunches and feelings. Brennan did acknowledge that appraisers will be thrown under the bus no matter what, but other than that he says appraisers are ignorant. Typical AI arrogance and disdain for the lowly residential appraiser. No support from him. Shame on him.

    The mortgage broker says we need to get rid of HVCC? When was this recorded? Maybe she really doesn’t know anything, but the only thing she implied that is relavant to where we are today is that the lenders (she represents mortgage brokers, but I substituted lenders) have to get out of area appraisers to accept the fees they offer. How is that the fault of appraisers or the appraisal industry she insists is broken?

    Frankly Ann, although I thank you for exposing this nonsence to us, what was said that is of any use? These people are in denial and not very well informed.

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