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Appraiser income and expenses

APPRAISER INCOME AND EXPENSE POLLS

Appraisalport poll, 11-15, www.appraisalport.com
Considering all aspects of completing an appraisal (research, driving, inspection, writeup, etc.) what response do you think best represents your hourly wage?
My comment: Of course, this is gross, before any expenses, auto, insurance, MLS, software, etc. etc. I wonder about those making less than $25 per hour.
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In the past year, have your operating expenses:
My comment: Expenses going up, nothing new. See above poll for hourly income. What is happening with your expenses?

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6 Comments
  1. Usually, you are right. Hourly fee quotes tend to be from commercial appraisers. When we do SFRs we have to remain reasonably competitive with whatever the going rate is out there. AT $300 and $350 I stopped doing sfrs all together. When I can get $450, I do them again. I plan 8 hours for each-though sometimes it takes more like ten hours, so at $450 my gross is only $45 to $50 per hour. A fee I contend is MUCH too low but which I’ll work for when I have bills to pay & the bank balance is looking anemic. A more reasonable level for ANYONE would be $515. For those with over 15 years experience; $585. For assignments REQUIRING certification level appraisers then $685+- and I am assuming they are still under a million. I think all FHA sfrs should be at $750 with all the new requirements. DO NOT DO $million+ properties for the same rates you do FNMA conforming loan limit properties for! Its not the $ values, its the complexity and exposure to liability that warrants higher fees. Go over $3 million and your E&O goes up. So far my ‘over a million’ range of fees is from $1,500 to $4,000. I’ve bid several higher but start hitting ‘real’ resistance at around $3,000; sometimes much less. Haven’t found any takers for fees quoted at $10K and above yet. I suspect they are ‘talkers’ more than doers when it gets up in that $-atmosphere. I don’t mind being underbid at all. Sometimes I’ve even helped out the appraiser with the low “winning” bid just so they never bid that low again once they know how much work is entailed!

  2. The fee per hour is not realistic, appraisers do not get paid per hour. You can not tell your client that you want $ 75/hour because you do not know how many hours it is going to take to complete the appraisal. One appraiser make take 5 hours, other 7 hour and another 10 hours for the same assignment. There should be a fee of each type of appraisal with additional fees for complexity, travel time & distance, additional requirements from the lender/AMC that are typical. The base fee should for a typical “cookie cutter”, tract home in a development within a reasonable distance from your office. Charge additional fees for rural locations, on acreage, multiple outbuildings, rental comps, Operation income statements, custom or large homes, waterfront properties and other item which add to the appraisers time and work. Most of my report are about 35 pages and my minimum charge is $ 450 for a “cookie cutter”, FHA is $ 475 and up and it should be $ 550 or more.
    The appraiser is the lowest paid person in the Mortgage loan process. Loan officers make over a thousand dollars for each loan, Real Estate agent the same, Mortgage broker the same
    If I had my way appraisal fees would start at $ 750 and go up from there.

    • Billing per hour is the easiest way to compare appraisals. For example, a $400 fee for 4 hours is $100 per hour. For 6 hours is $67 per hour. If you can cut your time, from taking the order, driving in the field, writing up report, you make more money. Cutting driving time is the easiest. Work closer to your office.

  3. I think the above comment must be from a commercial appraiser. I am averaging about $50-60 per hour and have raised my fees in the past year at least twice with established clients, even higher with new clients. My average fee per report is now $400 with some AMC’s paying $350 per report. I am finding that they are willing to pay higher fees and are more concerned with ETA than the fee. For custom home appraisals, I am quoting about 25-40% more than in the past and in most cases, the fees are approved. Costs have gone up for many years now and this is the first time I feel like I am getting paid a reasonable fee for the service I provide, my knowledge and expertise. Of course, when you think about all the education, CE, experience, and accumulated knowledge that goes into each report, $400 -$500 for an average 1004 is really a bargain.

    • the polls above are for residential appraisers who do lender work through appraisalport. Appraisers sell their time. Everyone’s expenses are different, but the hours per report is a good unit of comparison.

  4. MY service providers costs are going up. I’m trying VERY hard not to accept fees lower than $85 an hour. Not always successfully, but that is the target. Today I received $100 an hour in advance for what will be about 30 to 40 hours work; quoted at the 40 hour estimate.

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