Appraisal News and Business Tips

appraiser shortage

How to fix the appraiser shortage now!!

CLARIFICATION:
Until I wrote this post, I had been saying that AMC low fees and hassles were the main cause of the current appraiser shortage. Many appraisers won’t work for AMCs. Others left the profession because they would not work for AMCs.

I was wrong. The major factor is that trainees cannot sign on their own until certified. There is no other way to manage the huge ups and downs in volume of lender appraising. Prior to HVCC, this had been done for decades.

If this cannot be fixed, lenders will try to get their regulators to require fewer appraisals by using AVMs, BPOs, etc. They have always wanted this.  Their reason now: too few appraisers causing purchases to be delayed. 

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The residential lender appraisal system is broken.

The problem is NOT primarily low fees, licensing requirements, college degree, aging appraiser population, reluctance to hire “competitors”, etc.

The Problem: for the first time, there is no way to bring in trainees during boom times to sign on their own.

Since the 1970s, when Freddie and Fannie started and refis accelerated, lender volume had huge ups and downs, depending on interest rates. Lenders hired armies of trainees and laid them off when business slowed down. During the last big boom prior to the mortgage meltdown, fee appraisers hired the trainees and let them go. Now, very few appraisers are hiring trainees, except friends and relatives.

Lots of complaints now about the appraiser shortage. The Appraisal Foundation is considering lowering licensing requirements for certified appraisers. But, this will take years to change.

If lenders accept licensed appraisers, who do not need a college degree but need 150 hours of college classes, this will really help. A minimum of 12 months and 2000 hours of experience is required. The certified appraiser requirements will not have to be reduced. Certified res is 2.5 years of experience.

The AQB experience requirements are the minimum. I am in California, which has the AQB requirement: “Personally inspect the property with the Trainee until the supervisor determines the Trainee is competent to make unsupervised inspections, in accordance with the Competency Rule of USPAP for the type of property being appraised.” Some states have gone way beyond this, requiring the supervisor to inspect the subject with the trainee for the two years of experience. e supervision.

Lenders who want to switch from conventional and FHA will not be able to use licensed or trainees, of course. But, this is much, much better than weeks of delays getting appraisals, especially for purchases.

AQB requirements

Residential (AL) 150 hours, covering specific modules including the 15-hour National USPAP Course (or its equivalent as determined by the AQB); and 30 semester units of college-level education, OR an Associate’s degree or higher (in any field). 2,000 hours and encompassing no less than 12 months of acceptable appraisal experience. Any non-complex 1-4 family property with a transaction value up to $1 million; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000


Certified Residential (AR) 200 hours, covering specific modules, including the 15-hour National USPAP Course; and a Bachelor’s degree or higher. 2,500 hours and encompassing no less than 2.5 years (30 months) of acceptable appraisal experience. Any 1-4 family property without regard to transaction value or complexity; and non-residential property with a transaction value up to $250,000.


Of course, for existing appraisers, this is a boom time with no new competitors entering the business. Fees are increasing dramatically and have increased this much in the past.

6-30-16 Newz // Most dangerous roads-Fees going up-Brexit and mortgages

The most dangerous places to drive in the world

Take a break and check out these places…

Excerpt:

Driving can be dangerous, and every one of us who attempt to control those speeding steel boxes of ours will, at some time or another, experience a dangerous or life-threatening situation. But the truth is, despite the occasional error of judgement or climate, driving in the US is largely safe, and you will most likely get to your destination calm and in one piece (or just in one piece, because traffic, right?). The world, however, is not the US, or even western Europe. And as you will see, driving styles, laws, and road conditions vary so much, that what might be an everyday commute for a native of Afghanistan would be a death-defying (or outright death-inviting) thrill ride for a driver in the Land of the Free.

http://www.grunge.com/15503/dangerous-places-drive-world/

My comment: Guess I won’t complain (as much) about getting stuck between 2 giant big rigs on the freeway ;>

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Complaints about high appraisal fees and long turn times

RAISE YOUR FEES!!!

Appraisers Remain Under Siege – Jonathan Miller

(Scroll down the page past the second graph)

Excerpt:

Here is a series of feedback from Rob Chrisman in his must read newsletter on the mortgage industry. It is a heavily read source of in-the-trenches mortgage insights that I subscribe to. He gave me permission to share his recent content on the appraisal industry and will share more of it in the coming weeks. I inserted my thoughts following each quote:

“And appraisals are always a hot topic. I received this note from an originator. “Our appraisal environment is out of control. Appraisals we used to get in 1-2 weeks have quickly gone to 3-4 weeks. Appraisals that were just $400 are now $550 and sometimes up to $1,100 for FHA and conventional appraisals. With the rules regulating appraisers on how to become an appraiser and how appraisers have to monitor everything an apprentice appraiser does, it is causing our homebuyers hardship. With the appraiser’s current workloads and the amount of appraisers we have lost in recent years, there is no motivation to bring apprentices on (due to those regulations), leaving the current appraisers working night and day to keep up with their workloads. That is also causing them to keep moving up the appraisal fees (basically rush fees to keep pushing who can pay the most up the line).”

Miller’s comments

It’s called “market forces” and because the AMC movement has gutted the industry, there are much fewer competent appraisers left. And please lay off the “hardship” angle. It’s tired and worn out. Mortgage rates are at historic lows and with the Brexit they will likely stay that way for a while. As I have said before, there is not a shortage of appraisers, there is a shortage of appraisers willing to work for half the market rate.

Worth reading, especially for Jonathon’s comments. http://www.millersamuel.com/note/june-24-2016/?goal=0_69c077008e-ca10724b99-116855313

Link to Chrisman article – scroll down the page to “And appraisals are always a hot topic”

http://www.robchrisman.com/2016/06/11/june-11-letters-notes-on-password-protection-mechanics-liens-and-the-current-state-of-the-appraisal-business/

My comments

Why are complaints about appraiser fees and turn times increasing so much? Supply and Demand. AMCs and lenders not allowing trainees to sign on their own – no new appraisers. AMCs trained their appraisers to bid against each other. Now, they are getting payback.

The Appraisal Foundation is frantically trying to reduce requirements for appraiser licensing in response to the current appraiser shortage. But, the problem is that lenders will not allow trainees to sign on their own. There was no shortage in the last boom prior to 2008.

In all the previous boom periods, since lenders started using appraisers in the 1930s, the increase in volume was handled by hiring armies of trainees who left the profession when business slowed down. Prior to licensing, lenders did this. After licensing, fee appraisers did it. But, soon after 2008 lenders would not allow trainees to sign on their own, so there was no one to handle the increase in business.

When AMCs took over appraisal ordering, many experienced appraisers left the profession due to low fees, increasing lender requirements, hassles, etc. Some stayed, who had direct lender clients or were willing to work for AMCs.

The AMC fee model is a bidding system, with AMCs often looking for the lowest bid. Now, sometimes they spend days looking for an appraiser who will work for low fees. Some of us have finally adapted by significantly increasing our fees.

AMCs have trained us to bid against each other. Even when business is very strong, AMCs continue to try to get low fees. Finally, after 8 years of this, appraisers have realized that when there is a shortage of appraisers we can increase our fees. We finally learned about Supply and Demand. This never occurred before.

Many appraisers (and other business owners) have great difficulty turning down work, even with low fees. After years of telling appraisers to raise their fees, finally some appraisers are listening.

Read more!!

3-24-16 NEWZ .What is a bedroom .GSE reform .Property taxes

 Shushtar (Iran) Historical Hydraulic System

This beautiful system of tunnels built into natural rock serves as a centuries old plumbing system.

Excerpt: The water streaming from the caves and tunnels of Iran’s Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System looks like it is flowing through ancient tunnels created by massive worms, but really, the elaborate system of waterworks was built by different civilizations over centuries of development.

Beautiful fotos. Very interesting!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/shushtar-historical-hydraulic-system

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Most popular links from the past two weekly email newsletters:

3/17/16:

Philadelphia’s original tiny houses

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/philadelphias-trinity-houses-are-the-original-tiny-houses

Repurchase Demands and Unacceptable Appraisal Practices by Rachel Massey

http://www.workingre.com/repurchasedemands/

Read more!!

3-17-16 Newz .Pulling permits .Fannie FAQs .Refi revival

Appraisal and Property Related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

February 12, 2016

This FAQ document provides responses to common questions related to Fannie Mae’s property eligibility and appraisal policies. Following the FAQs, the Attachment on page 10 provides Guidelines for Using Market Conditions Addendum to the Appraisal Report (Form 1004MC).

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/faq/appraisal-property-report-faqs.pdf   

My comments: This document does not have a lot of new material, but it is always good to read this so you can cut and paste some of Fannie’s comments into your reports as an explanation. In this month’s paid Appraisal Today I had two articles on the 1004mc form:

1004MC – the good, the bad, and what Fannie says

Statistical errors in the 1004MC by George Dell, MAI, SRA – He has been fighting with Fannie since the form was first required in April 2009

 More articles are coming soon in the paid Appraisal Today on how to handle the issues.

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Tiny ‘Harry Potter-looking’ homes under construction in North Texas

Excerpt:

Builder Rudy Rivas’ newest house would fit inside the master bedroom of the custom homes he constructs in North Texas.

The average new home being built in America is more than 2,700 square feet – the biggest ever.

So why’s a Dallas custom builder starting a 180-square-foot house?

Read more!!

3-10-15 Newz – Pulling permits, Fannie FAQs, Refi revival etc.

Appraisal and Property Related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

February 12, 2016

This FAQ document provides responses to common questions related to Fannie Mae’s property eligibility and appraisal policies. Following the FAQs, the Attachment on page 10 provides Guidelines for Using Market Conditions Addendum to the Appraisal Report (Form 1004MC).

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/faq/appraisal-property-report-faqs.pdf

My comments: This document does not have a lot of new material, but it is always good to read this so you can cut and paste some of Fannie’s comments into your reports as an explanation. In this month’s paid Appraisal Today I had two articles on the 1004mc form:

1004MC – the good, the bad, and what Fannie says

Statistical errors in the 1004MC by George Dell, MAI, SRA – He has been fighting with Fannie since the form was first required in April 2009

More articles are coming soon in the paid Appraisal Today on how to handle the issues.

Read more!!