What Should Appraisers Wear?


Professional Dress

When we are observing properties, it is important that we dress professionally. If we are doing an appraisal for lending, we are a representative of our client. Although we are not an employee of the client, we do represent them. Often, we are the only person actually seen by participants in the transaction.

Photo above by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

Also, we represent ourselves, our business, so we want to dress professionally. We are professional licensed appraisers performing our work and should look as such. That said, what works for walking around properties, in between bushes, in the mud, etc.?

To read more and add your comments click here

My comments: Very interesting. From a female appraiser perspective, but applies to guys also.

Over my 45 years of appraising, I had differences in what I wear, from very professional (commercial) to casual for protection from bushes, dogs, etc. For residential appraisals, I prefer to keep my clothes from being damaged (heavy pants, strong jacket, collared polo shirts, and very sturdy shoes) from gravel, unknown stuff under weeds in the back yard, etc.). I live in a mild Mediterranean climate, so I don’t do much else except raincoats and a heavier jacket.  I don’t even want to think about snow, slush, and mud!!

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Wearing shoes in a house for appraisal(Opens in a new browser tab)

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To read more of this long blog post with many topics, click Read More Below!!

NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on Fannie videos, crazy sales market, market conditions, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.


The Similarities Between 2007 and Today

By Rachel Massey, SRA

Excerpt: As appraisers, we faced tremendous pressure from buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and loan officers during the previous run-up. We are seeing that as a profession again. Almost daily, there is some story on social media about being “turned in” to the state by a disgruntled agent, buyer, or seller for appraising a property below the contract price.

The amount of disparaging on Facebook related to appraisers in real estate circles is truly astonishing. If the deal is sullied at all by an appraisal that does not live up to a buyer and seller’s wildest hopes and dreams, then the appraiser is fair game for a state board complaint. Is this any different than last time?

How do we combat this? As enticing as it is to take on more work than reasonable, because of the fear of much of it being gone tomorrow (and this has happened, and will again), if the needs of the client come first related to having solid analysis and reporting of the factual data, then appraisers remain valuable.

To read more, click here

My comment: Rachel Massey is a regular contributor to the monthly Appraisal Today. She often has a different perspective on topics. I learn a lot from her.


When selling way above anything else (Q&A)

By Ryan Lundquist

Excerpt: 5 Quick takeaways from an appraiser’s perspective:

1) Your opinion vs. the market: It doesn’t matter what any of us think about a property. As Ted said above, quite a few people looked at Clear Circle and thought the remodel destroyed the character of the home, but the resale market blatantly favored this property despite what purists thought. There were four offers when priced at $749,000. This is a good reminder in the valuation space to divorce ourselves from personal opinions and focus on one question. What does the market think?

Very well written. Over 30 comments as of early yesterday. To read more, click here

My comments: an interview with a local real estate agent plus a list of ideas. I have been through many markets like this in the past. I am so glad I only do estate appraisals, which are not current value!

The June issue of the monthly Appraisal Today will have a long article by Denis Desaix, MAI, SRA: Rising Markets: When my Subject is the New High Sale.Getting too many ad-only emails?


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Managing Multiple Appraisal Deadlines

Excerpt: How to say no?

The simplest way is to prepare the listener for the turndown and say so early in the conversation. “I would really like to help you with this assignment, but I can’t. Some appraisers leave the door open by stating when they have an opening in the future. However, in today’s market, for the residential appraiser, saying you don’t have an opening in two weeks dodges the issue.

It is better to say no upfront and invite a subsequent order than to state an impossible completion time. In client communication, there are two words commonly misused. These words are “can” and “how.” The question “can I help you?” implies a yes or no answer. “How may I help you?” seeks information. In your discussion with clients, concentrate on how you may help.


In the same way, when an appraiser says no, explain why and offer alternative solutions. Communicating no requires preparation. When the request comes in, appraisers must know where they are in report production to accept or decline an order effectively.

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No Diversity: 96.5% Of U.S. Appraisers Are White

by Jonathan Miller


These BLS numbers for 400 occupations show an incredible lack of diversity within the appraisal profession. In fact, U.S. appraisers were ranked dead last for diversity in the list of 400 occupations tracked by BLS with white appraisers comprising 96.5% of the industry. Here are some appraiser ratios from BLS.

An African-American had never held a board seat on the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) until 2021. In other words, for more than thirty years, the organization has existed in a racial bubble.

There have only been three women who have served on the AQB in the past 30 years.

The head of the just-formed “diversity commission” is white and male.

To read more, click here

My comments: Lots of discussion about alleged bias in appraising. Maybe it’s finally time to look in the mirror and see who is appraising.

In my 45 years of appraising, I have personally known only two local Black appraisers. One lives in my city. I have seen a few others in classes. I have known many local Asian and Hispanic appraisers over the years.


New Fannie video: Noble Appraiser Series #4 – Adjustment Myths of Anguish

Watch the Noble Appraiser, and friends vanquish myths about Fannie Mae’s policy on appraisal adjustments using scenarios appraisers face daily.

Link to video 3 min. 45 seconds click here

Link to appraiser page: click here

My comments: Some appraisers like this video, and some don’t. Maybe you can forward the video to some AMC human “reviewers.”


Another “Flintstone House” in Tulsa, OK











Excerpt: A well-designed home that locals refer to as “the Flintstones house” didn’t take long to find a buyer in Tulsa, OK.

The midcentury marvel hit the market in late April for $695,000, and went under contract almost instantly.

Of its three bedrooms and three bathrooms, all boast unique elements—even in the walls.

“It’s stucco, but it just has a shape to it. Then there are stones that are integrated within the stucco, and aqua glass cutlets both inside and outside,” the agent explains. “You can see them from the outside. But inside it is so cool, because the light will come through them almost like a little jewel box.”

To read more, watch short fun video and see lots of photos,  click here

My comments: Very interesting!! Only able to download the image above from another website. The photos are great in the link above. I was born in Tulsa. I guess T-Town has changed ;>


HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to www.mbaa.org Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to https://www.appraisaltoday.com/products.htm or send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 7AM to noon, Pacific time.

Mortgage applications increased 1.2 percent from one week earlier,

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 19, 2021) – Mortgage applications increased 1.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 14, 2021.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 2 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates increased last week, with all loan types hitting their highest levels in two weeks. Rates were still lower than levels reported in late March and early April, providing additional opportunity for borrowers to refinance. Despite the 30-year fixed rate rising to 3.15 percent, applications for conventional and VA refinances increased. Ongoing volatility in refinance applications is likely if rates continue to oscillate around current levels,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “A decline in purchase applications was seen for both conventional and government loans. There continues to be strong demand for buying a home, but persistent supply shortages are constraining purchase activity, and building material shortages and higher costs are making it more difficult to increase supply. As a result, home prices and average purchase loan balances continue to rise, with the average purchase application reaching $411,400 – the highest since February.”   

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.3 percent of total applications from 61.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.2 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.0 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.15 percent from 3.11 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $548,250) increased to 3.31 percent from 3.27 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.13 percent from 3.07 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.54 percent from 2.49 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.58 percent from 2.57 percent, with points increasing to 0.25 from 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041

Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com 


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