Practical Tips for Working With AMCs

Appraisers Share Their Best Tips for Working with AMCs

By McKissock

Excerpts: In a nutshell, our survey respondents recommended that you should:

1) do your research and get to know the AMCs,

2) build a relationship with them,

3) treat the relationship as a partnership, and

4) prioritize communication.

Build a relationship

“Be personable so they remember you.”

“Make yourself known by being efficient as well as timely with your reports. Be friendly—even when you feel like the UW’s question may be redundant or was already answered in the report. I promise you that this will make you known in your area.”

“Have a very responsive credo. Keep them up to date in every step of the report so that they can keep the Lender (and the Buyer/Seller/Realtor/Closing Attorneys when applicable) all in the loop on the progress of the report. Remember when they look good and trust you—you look good

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

“Update the orders quickly.”

“Keep them informed.”

“Over communicate!”

“Always communicate—even if it feels like too much. Our office updates AMCs on every scheduling attempt with details, every inspection appointment set and completion, and any materials needed ASAP in the assignment. They really appreciate it, and it ensures you can complete assignments on time as you had planned (no one likes waiting for a legal description only to have it show up on your day of 4 inspections!). It’s truly a win-win.”

“Stay in communication. Appraisers tend to get annoyed with constant emails from the AMC about inspection date, completion, report submission, etc. I make it a point to update them and answer their emails ASAP. In my opinion, that’s good business. And if you do need more time, more info, they are more willing to oblige.”

To read more, click here

My comments: Read this blog post with practical tips from practicing appraisers. It can help you get more business from AMCs (and other lender clients). Savvy appraisers I know who mostly do non-lender work also have a limited number of carefully vetted AMCs they work for, plus a few local lenders and “private” lenders.

Advertising Disclaimer: McKissock is one of my regular email advertisers. I keep my advertising clients and this newsletter’s content separate. But, McKissock’s blog posts are short, well written, and popular with readers, so I include them regularly.

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Practical real estate appraisal writing tips for AMC questions

Reconsideration of value and Appraisers

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on AMCs, non-lender appraisals, liability, ROVs,unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Appraisers: What should you have in your car?

Appraisers: What should you have in your car?

Excerpt: Here are a few items:

  • Screwdriver: A screwdriver has many uses. You can use it to take the cover off a crawl space entry panel, check wooden structural members for rot or insect damage, remove an electrical outlet cover to check for insulation in the walls, etc.
  • Voltage detector: To determine whether wires are live.
  • Ice pick: To check for termites or wood rot.
  • Magnet: To determine whether old pipes are made of iron or lead.
  • Mace or pepper spray: To defend yourself, especially if you’re appraising REO and foreclosure properties.
  • Bug spray: To protect yourself from mosquito bites, ticks, etc.
  • Spare clothes and footwear: Including an extra coat or jacket, hat, and boots—especially if you work in rural areas.

To read more, click here

My comments: Good tips! I definitely need to add some of the items to my car, especially dog repellent, which is not on the list. I have been bitten by dogs. I left the homes and contacted the lender. Don’t know if they got their loan and did not care. Once two large Dobermann dogs broke down a trailer door. I barely got into my car in time.

This was originally posted on McKissock’s Appraisal Blog, but that link was not working.

Appraisers – The Past and The Future

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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Appraiser Pressure – What To Do?

How to Handle Appraisal Pressure and Stay Ethical?

Excerpts: There’s no simple and easy way to deal with appraisal pressure. A major source of frustration for appraisers is the realization that clients do not have to follow USPAP. The ethical and performance requirements of USPAP apply only to appraisers, not to clients. In other words, USPAP doesn’t prohibit a mortgage broker from calling and asking you to develop an appraisal based on a predetermined value, but USPAP does prohibit you from accepting that assignment.

When you are faced with appraisal pressure, here are some strategies to manage the situation and still maintain your reputation as an ethical, unbiased appraiser.

1. Educate your appraisal clients

A lot of what appraisers consider pressure from clients is merely a result of the client’s lack of knowledge about appraisal standards and ethics. A lender might ask an appraiser to guarantee values beforehand simply because he or she is unaware that it is unethical for an appraiser to do so.

Avoid this by explaining why you cannot guarantee a value or remove that deferred maintenance photo from your report. You might be surprised at your client’s response if you take the time to educate him or her.

For 8 more reasons, click here

My comments: Appraiser Pressure – What To Do? Can you learn to be an ethical appraiser (or person)? Do you try to be ethical in whatever you are doing? Does it depend on who trained you? Or, do you learn from your parents when growing up? A Very controversial topic!

The Good Appraiser (for anyone who wants their number) Always gives us what we need: – Unethical Appraiser. The Bad Appraiser: A deal killer – Ethical Appraiser.

I was trained at an assessor’s office with no pressure to appraise high or low, fail to disclose defects, etc. I was very lucky. Fee appraisers are under lots of pressure. You learn that people are always looking for a value. for example, when doing an appraisal for a divorce, I always say, “If neither spouse likes my value, it must be okay.” For new clients, I make it very clear that I will not be unethical by giving them what they want upfront. I have lost many clients over the years because I was ethical.

Working with difficult appraisal clients

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on Real estate market changes, ADUs, AMC interview, unusual homes, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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AMC Mergers and Acquisition for Appraisers

AMC Mergers and Acquisition – Someone has a positive view of residential lender appraising!

Nationwide Property & Appraisal Services purchased by investment firm Arcapita Group Holdings

Excerpts: The deal gives Arcapita an AMC that serves mortgage lenders in all 50 states, has a network of over 15,000 licensed appraisers, and grossed $144 million in revenue in 2021.

“We were attracted by Nationwide’s highly cash generative business, experienced management team, and strong base of clients across the country,” Arcapita CEO Atif Abdulmalik said in a statement. “Close to 50% of Nationwide’s customers have maintained their relationship with the company for over six years, highlighting the longevity of its customer relationships, and the company benefits from a free cash flow conversion rate of over 99%.”

The AMC has acquired five other companies since Corridor bought a stake in Nationwide in 2016. In June, Nationwide acquired Portland, Oregon-based First Choice Appraisal Management, expanding its reach into the Pacific Northwest.

Other large financial firms are also putting money into the appraisal management space, which is highly fractured.

In October, private holding group StoicLane acquired control of the appraisal management company Lender’s Valuation Services (LVS).

To read more, click here

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Class Valuation purchases Metro-West 

Excerpt: In a press statement, Class Valuation said Metro-West, founded in 1987, is the largest independent residential appraisal firm in the country, with staff appraisers in over 80 U.S. metros.

Class Valuation, which itself is owned by private equity firm Gridiron Capital, said the acquisition of Metro-West would fit into its larger strategy of fusing tech tools such as automation and 3D measurements to help clear the well-documented capacity issues in appraisal.

“One area of focus for us has been the growth of a staff appraiser network and building out a nation-wide trainee program,” John Fraas, CEO of Class Valuation, said in a statement.

This is the fifth acquisition Class Valuation has made in the last 12 months, and the seventh in recent years. In September, Class Valuation acquired Kansas City, Missouri-based Pendo Management for an undisclosed sum.

There’s been a surge in private equity investment in the U.S. appraisal space over the last two years.

To read more, click here

My comments: The investors see money to be made in appraisals. What will they think when it inevitably crashes again, like it always does. I wish I had an AMC I could sell to investors ;>

If you work for any of these AMCs, keep close track of your billings, so they don’t get lost in any accounting mergers. No one knows, of course, if their appraisal management will change.

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Appraisal Obsolete? Now or in the Future?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, ANSI, Waivers, Cell phone full, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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What should appraisers look for in a sales contract?

What should appraisers look for in a sales contract?

By Steven W. Vehmeier

Excerpt: When should we analyze the contract?

Looking at the sales contract early on allows the appraiser to identify any “subject to” items or other conditions that could influence the value conclusion.

However, reviewing the contract early might also put the sales price in the back of the appraiser’s mind. And although it shouldn’t, it may unintentionally influence the appraiser’s comparable selection and eventually impact a direction in value.

Maybe looking at the sales contract only after developing the appraiser’s opinion of value would help avoid the above concern?

To read more, click here

My comment: Some interesting, and maybe controversial, ideas. Short and worth reading.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on unusual homes, AMCs, appraiser survey on the future, real estate market, waivers, turn times,mortgage origination stats, etc.

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What AMCs Say to Appraisers and How to Respond

What AMCs say to appraisers and How to Respond

By Steven W. Vehmeier

Excerpts: A student contacted me with the following dilemma concerning an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) request: “I told the Management Company that I cannot mark the Zoning Compliance as ‘Legal’ if the report is marked “as-is,” because this would not be true for the current “as-is” condition of the subject on the effective date of the appraisal. The AMC insists that as long as I disclose in the addendum that the zoning is currently ‘illegal,’ then I can mark on the first page as ‘Legal.’”

Taking the matter to the source can be accomplished by: 1) personal research of the appropriate documents, which is sometimes faster, or 2) emailing the controlling entity for their official answer. Notice I didn’t say to phone them. I want the answer in writing to pass on to the client/AMC.

To read more, click here

My comment: Some Most Excellent and practical tips!! My bottom-line advice: Fire the AMC! We all know there is always another AMC that is desperate for appraisers today. Now is a good time to shop for one that is easy to work for. You could check in appraisal online groups to see what they say. If they are not competitors, hopefully, you can get some good ideas. Be sure to post your location.

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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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 unusual homes, FHA, Fannie, E&O, liability, time adjustments, price per sq.ft. mortgage origination stats, etc.

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Homes with Major Structural Problems for Appraisers

Homes with structural problems for appraisers

Take a break and see some very strange things that can happen!!

Excerpt: For nearly 30 years, Alpha Structural, Inc. has developed a powerful reputation as the number one foundation engineering and repair, landslide repair, earthquake, and structural rehabilitation contractor in the Los Angeles area.

In this post, they share photos from its engineers’ day-to-day work, including all the funniest, most bizarre, and downright dangerous things they discover.

To check out the text, photos, very humorous comments, and leave your own comments, Click Here !!

My comments: I have appraised a lot of hillside homes and seen a lot of foundation damage, including strange ways people try to keep the damage from getting worse. One house was slowly moving down the hill. I appraised it as land value plus interim use as a rental (a very slow market at that time). Many thanks to long-time appraiser and friend (30+ years), John Regan, for this Most Excellent Link,!!Getting too many ad-only emails?

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

 

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on subpoenas, pets, Zillow, mortgage origination stats, etc.

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AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

AMC Fined for Appraisal Order Blast Violation

Excerpt: Consolidated Analytics, an AMC based in Anaheim California, was fined $3,000 for violating the Utah AMC Administrative Rules R162-2e-306 “Offering An Appraisal Assignment and Communicating with Two or More Appraisers About a Potential Assignment.

The specific part of this rule that pertains to broadcasting has been relatively effective in reducing the broadcasting of assignments. Clear Capital recently was fined $5,000 for failing to comply and there are additional complaints working their way through the system.

To read more, click here

My comment: Broadcast orders are bad for many reasons for both the AMC and the appraiser: goes to everyone on their list, no considerations about appraiser qualifications for the assignment including geographic. Hundreds of appraisers competing on fees when business is slow make it hard for appraisers to stay in business. There is always someone with a lower fee, in appraising, and any type of business.

When business is strong, such as today, AMCs have to take whatever warm body they can get. Many appraisers are way too booked up and not taking any more work.

Maybe you can get your state appraisal regulator to get a similar regulation!!

Working with difficult appraisal clients(Opens in a new browser tab)

Which Appraisal Clients are used the most?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Marketing and Management Tips for Appraisers

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Reconsideration of Appraised Value

Reconsiderations of Value and What to Do About Them

By Danielle Lopez

Excerpt: It is Tuesday morning and I have my day planned and timed between reports that are due and morning inspections. I’m just about out the door when I receive an email notification for an appraisal I submitted last week. The notes indicate “Reconsideration of Value.” You know the drill, I’m sure.

Since I just completed this appraisal it was fresh in my mind. I recall the steps, time and attention to detail to locate the appropriate sales. I review my appraisal, and the unadjusted range of sales is $740,000 to $761,000, with adjusted prices of $740,000 to $756,000. I utilized three closed sales and two active listings/pending sales to support my opinion of value. The sales comparison approach is tight, bracketed and the report has an additional forty-eight pages of supporting documentation and explanation for the reader.

I open the notes from the AMC that say: “Please review the attached sales and indicate why they were not utilized in the appraisal.”…

To read more about this, click here

What Is An Appraiser?(Opens in a new browser tab) Humor

What to Do When Your Appraisal Is Under Review(Opens in a new browser tab)

51 Ways to Cut Appraisal Costs and Increase Cash Flow(Opens in a new browser tab)

To read about lots more appraisal topics, click read more below!

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Coronavirus and Appraisals March 13 2020

Appraiser’s (Changing) Role

Q&A with Mark Verrett, Chief Innovation Officer at Accurity Valuation

Excerpts: WRE: How can appraisers adapt to meet the profession demands?

Verrett: I think there are several ways to adapt to these challenges. The first is to work toward diversifying your practice away from 100 percent mortgage business niches. Our firm is a leader in green valuation, rural valuation, valuation consulting and litigation support and we help our offices diversify into those spaces. However, this solution isn’t for everyone….

To directly take on the challenges facing appraiser relevancy in the mortgage space, significant change is required. Appraisers need to unite to create a like-minded national voice that is not rejecting proposed changes for the profession, but rather working with stakeholders (regulators, lenders, clients, etc.) in conceptualizing, testing, tweaking, and ultimately modernizing the appraisal process on the mortgage side.

The appraisal community has a tough assignment in their role in this modernization. To be useful in the discussion, we need to challenge ourselves to be creative and open-minded, yet diligent in maintaining or, even better, improving the quality of the valuation being produced. I think it is extremely important for appraisers to listen and understand the needs of their clients and to creatively develop solutions that meet those needs.

Worth reading with some good ideas. To read more, click here

My comment: Accurity has franchisees and some very savvy appraiser officers and directors.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

Covid-19 Residential Appraisers Tips on Staying Safe

For Covid Updates, go to my Covid Science blog at covidscienceblog.com

Appraiser Covid Survey Results April 2020

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