Appraisal News and Business Tips

What are Customary & Reasonable fees when residential fees are changing?

I don’t think that residential fees have ever gone up this quickly, both for non-AMCs and some AMCs. Keeping up on residential fees in my local market is tough. Of course, the “flip side” is that fees will go down when the boom is over, especially AMC fees.

Some consider VA fees as C&R, but they are increasing also in some areas.

Although some AMCs keep looking for appraisers who will do a quick turn time for a low fee, it is becoming more and more difficult as fewer appraisers are willing to do this.

I recently attended a CE class nearby that focused on AMCs, who said that there were big issues with turn times and fees from their lender clients. The September issue of the paid Appraisal Today will have an article on what was discussed at the class, “AMCs tell All to residential appraisers”.

Why were fees relatively stable for decades? Prior to HVCC, in my market, fees would gradually go up over time, increasing $25 to $50 when demand was very strong. Most fees were in a fairly narrow price range. We made money on the easy tract homes and lost money on the “tough ones”.

Why have fees gone up so dramatically? Appraisers are reporting turning down (or not responding to) 20-30 or more requests a day from AMCs. Residential appraisers had never competed much on lender fees prior to HVCC. I do commercial appraisals, where bidding has always been done. Fee ranges of $1,500 to $3,000 for the same property have never been unusual. The time and cost of bidding is included in the fee. Most AMCs have been using bidding as there was an oversupply of appraisers. When business is slow, they offer lower fees. Now that business is strong, they pay higher fees. Of course, there are still some appraisers doing them for low fees.

Appraisal Today Paid Newsletter

In some areas, AMCs are desperate for any appraisers at any fees to accept appraisals, especially for purchases. Particularly tough are markets where an AMC has one, or a few appraisers. NAR warned real estate agents not to try for 30 day closes.

How do AMCs handle the high fees? This depends on their lender agreements. TRID is a factor as loan officers usually set the fees, which are very difficult to change. Some lenders will allow AMCs to charge more for a specific appraisal. If not, the AMC has to pay the additional cost.

What about turn time? If a loan needs to close quickly, such as a purchase loan, some lenders are offering very high fees. Be careful taking them – be sure to see how difficult the appraisal will be before accepting as turn time is very critical. Also, you will doing less work for a regular “A list” clients.

Leave a Reply