A Shortage of Appraisers?

There has been considerable discussion and debate about the current number of real estate appraisers in the United States.  Is there currently a shortage in some areas?  Will there be enough appraisers in 3-5 years?  Let’s take a look at some of the facts influencing the subject.

Strictly by the Numbers

It is common to hear that the number of appraisers has declined by 20 percent since 2008.  While that is true, what is not generally stated is the fact that the number of appraisers increased by 20 percent from 2005-2008, a result of the “real estate bubble.”  Therefore, that period was an anomaly and not reflective of the past two decades.  The chart below—developed by the staff of the Appraisal Subcommittee—illustrates the rise and fall of appraiser credentials as well as the correlation between appraiser credentials and mortgage originations:


In addition, the number of state certified appraisers has actually increased over the past eleven years:

     2004                           2015

Certified General                    33,725                         39,257
Certified Residential              40,726                         50,472
Licensed                                  25,095                         8,622
Total                                         99,546                         98,351

Let me first point out that the migration from the Licensed Residential to Certified Residential classification was largely a result of the 2008 Federal Housing Authority (FHA) decision to stop utilizing Licensed Residential appraisers.  Having said that, the number of state certified appraiser credentials has actually increased 20 percent from 74,451 in 2004 to 89,729 as of December 31, 2015.

While the total number of appraisers hasn’t changed much in the past twelve years, there are other factors impacting the perceived availability of appraisers.  In large part, these factors apply almost exclusively to the residential mortgage lending sector of the profession.

The Economic Factor    

Even with the “customary and reasonable fees” provision contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) enacted in 2010, there is little debate that residential appraisal fees have stagnated in recent years.  Whether it is due to the advent of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) or because some users of appraisal services view appraisals as a “commodity,” there has been an impact on the number of appraisers who want to perform appraisals for residential mortgage lending.   Many have opted out of residential appraising altogether or have diversified their practice to include such specialties as right of way, insurance, assessment appeal, and litigation support.  While the number of residential appraisers remains strong, there may be a shortage of appraisers willing to accept assignments below a certain fee threshold.

In addition, the working conditions for many assignments in this sector are viewed as untenable.  Many of the pricing and turnaround time models used by AMCs were developed for urban and suburban markets.  In rural areas many appraisers refuse to take on assignments due to: (1) the level of compensation; and (2) a short turnaround time requirement when the property is a considerable distance away.

Many clients and users of appraisal services have also asked for more in residential mortgage appraisal assignments.  Performing an enhanced scope of work and providing more detail in a report should create an expectation of greater fees, not lower.  Lower fees, quick turnaround time expectations, and increased client requirements result in an unsavory cocktail for many appraisers; from a strictly economic point of view, it is simply not worth their time.

The Dispersion Factor             

While we can easily identify the number of appraisers in each state through the Appraisal Subcommittee’s National Registry, how those appraisers are dispersed in their respective states is much more difficult to assess.  There is little doubt that there are counties and towns around the United States that are underserved by appraisers.  But how prevalent of a problem is it?  To date, we have only received anecdotal evidence to process.  The Appraisal Foundation’s (Foundation) Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) is looking into the possibility of conducting a national appraiser dispersion study so that we can obtain empirical evidence on the issue.

The User Education Issue      

Another significant change that has occurred since 2004 is the fact that many lenders today do not want Licensed Residential appraisers or Trainee appraisers involved in the performance of residential appraisals.  This decision occurred in large part because of the abundance of caution that lenders exercised following the economic crisis of 2008.  It was surprising for us to learn that many lenders believe that Dodd-Frank prohibits them from using these individuals, which is simply not the case.  Lenders allowing the use of trainees in performing residential appraisals would provide a great avenue for trainees to gain the experience they need for their state credential.  The Foundation is working with the professional associations representing lenders to raise the awareness level that the use of trainees is permissible and should be encouraged.

A Look Ahead

The Foundation has some concerns about the number of appraisers 3-5 years from now and wants to ensure there are no unnecessary barriers to entry for qualified individuals seeking to enter the appraisal profession.  It is for this reason the AQB is looking into alternative ways that individuals may meet certain requirements of the qualification criteria.

The AQB’s examination of this issue commenced with a Concept Paper issued last July, followed by a public hearing in Washington, DC last October.  In February, the AQB issued a Discussion Draft paper, soliciting input on such topics as:

  • Development of an alternative track for upgrading from Licensed Residential to Certified Residential
  • Development of an enhanced practicum curriculum to assist in meeting the experience requirement
  • Allowing and documenting alternative experience from similar real estate related fields
  • Should the “Trainee” nomenclature be changed?
  • Is the three year residency requirement for supervisory appraisers necessary?

The AQB will hold another public meeting on this issue on Friday, April 8, in Phoenix, Arizona and I strongly encourage you to attend.  For more information, please go to https://www.appraisalfoundation.org/TAFCore/Events/Event_Display.aspx?EventKey=AQB201604. .

Following the meeting in Arizona, the AQB intends to propose potential revisions to the appraiser qualifications by issuing the first in what will likely be a series of exposure drafts soliciting public comment.  The quality of the AQB’s work, as well as all boards of the Foundation, is a direct result of the level of public comment that we receive.  I encourage you to get involved so that together we can continue to improve the valuation profession.

Have any comments or would you like to submit content of your own? Email comments@appraisalbuzz.com


About David Bunton

David Bunton
Mr. Bunton has served as the senior staff member of The Appraisal Foundation since May of 1990. As President, he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. Prior to joining The Appraisal Foundation, he served as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for the Federal Asset Disposition Association. He also previously served as a legislative assistant in the United States Senate for eight years and was a Congressional Chief of Staff in the House of Representatives for four years. Mr. Bunton holds a BA degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. Mr. Bunton recently received a certificate in the Leadership Series for Non-Profit CEOs from the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education.

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  1. Thank you for that well written article Mr. Bunton. You hit on a lot of good points. One side note is, that yes the requirements have increased which makes more work for the same or lower fees unattractive, but it also takes so much longer to do an appraisal that even if an appraiser wanted to take on more assignments they are unable to because there are only so many hours in a day. So on top of working for what amounts to an overall lower hourly fee, we are effectively being asked to work over time as well (nights and weekends) when things get busy, for the same lower pay.

    • I regularly receive calls from young people thinking of entering the appraisal profession. I tell them to become home inspectors.

  2. Appraiser shortage? And, did you hear that Jeffrey Dahmer was really a vegan?

  3. I get tired of reading these bogus articles where the authors seem anonymous and almost never respond to the commenters. Just because you say “Lets take a look at facts” does not make them facts. How many APPRAISERS are there? You state 98,351 but how many hold licenses in multiple states? If Appraisal Buzz states there are 81,176 unique appraisers, is this the correct amount. When you can’t seem to define the problem from the start (how many appraises are there), then the results will be tainted.

  4. The numbers include appraiser who are getting up there (over 60), who are doing half as much work as they were doing in their prime. I know a bunch of them. They are financially OK, so they appraise to keep busy and to keep some spending money rolling in, not to make the mortgage or the car payment.

  5. “Lenders allowing the use of trainees in performing residential appraisals would provide a great avenue for trainees to gain the experience they need for their state credential.” That’s very nice, but who is going to train them, give the current work requirement/fee situation? When fees for a basic 1004 are $500, the field will open up to trainees. And that’s not happening.

  6. The push continues for a new crop of “trainees” to abuse with low fees while further destroying any chance of credibility in real estate valuation and economy.

  7. Thanks David for your willingness to write an article on such a prickly subject as this. The primary factor far and away is the economic one. I’ve been a certified residential appraiser since 2001. In 2008 I was cut off from working directly for my best residential appraisal clients. The AMCs were allowed to help themselves to as much of my fee as they could figure out how to take. They are still doing that in 2016. In my estimation the predatory AMCs do about 10% of the work and skim about 40% of the fee. Any incentive I had to take on trainees now sits in the coffers of the AMCs. I’m also unwilling to do rural appraisals for the inadequate fees offered by AMCs (rural appraisals require lots of extra hours and driving). Solve this problem of AMCs skimming an unreasonable portion of the appraisal fee and the other problems would disappear overnight.

    • It is my opinion wingfinger that you and the author may be misinformed as it relates to big city suburban / urban appraisers. From a business perspective the distance to is less of an issue as compared to the time to get there and back. If I’m in daily traffic jams for hours a day, just because the distance may be 50 miles, the time commitment I face may be similar to your rural assignments. I’m not picking a fight, but if the author is attempting to state facts (rural versus suburban) then he is wrong. My above scenario also does not take into account area specifics (my area / very expensive gas prices), and $20 to park when I finally get downtown.

      • Actually I completely agree with your point Bill – an hour in traffic adds to workload the same as an hour on dirt roads. Either way I don’t like how the AMCs skim our fees. If we were adequately compensated for our time and efforts we’d happily sit in traffic or drive across the countryside (I might even think about bringing a trainee).

  8. This isn’t tough. Mandate that an appraisal that will enter into interstate commerce must be assigned from a panel maintained by the federal government. Bingo … you don’t need AMCs anymore. Also, it would stop lenders from AMC shopping instead of the old appraiser shopping. But of course, many of our people are convinced government is the problem. Actually, free enterprise grinding down the profits of everyone below them is the problem. If you want to know what the free enterprise system most resembles, picture a pirate ship.

    • Many of us know that government is the problem. The Department of HUD and the VA are ran so well, nothing could ever go wrong with some similar new alphabet agency created to maintain appraiser panels. Sure, the AMC model is incredibly flawed, but what we don’t need is more oversight and regulation from the federal government. Do you like your $400 to $500 appraisal fees right now? How much were you making three years ago? Five years ago? That’s free enterprise and free market system working. Think about it…

  9. I think we have a bigger problem than total number of appraisers. The tip of the iceberg is qualified appraisers. It is the bottom of the iceberg than sinks ships. This financial ship is sinking because of gross incompetence – purposeful or ignorance – it has the same affect.

    In my state, less than 5 million people, there are less than 10 individuals who are truly qualified (commercial, I can’t speak to residential) to complete an appraisal of most property types. Other are marginally qualified (maybe another 10) while most are solely in pursuit of money. If standards were known, acted on, and enforced then we’d have a profession. National firms, sweat shops, and an assortment of clowns make this an non-profession. I’d say put out the red light, but Roxanne already did.

    Banks want to “Walmart” the industry. Cheap fees and fast turn-times. The borrower – customer is always right. News flash, they rarely are. Lenders are back in control of who they want to complete the appraisal. Blind bids – that’s a joke and a system easily gamed.

    Most review appraisers (about 99%) come from the same pit that hangs out the red light.

    When the correction happens, the losses will be enormous. Bad appraisals and bad appraisers will be exposed. The loan officers who caused the mess will have their performance bonuses and then become ‘work out’ bankers. No claw back, no prison. Just wash, rinse and repeat.

  10. Retired Appraiser

    Your numbers don’t agree with ANY numbers that we’ve seen over the past seven years and certainly not recent numbers. You appear to be off target by a plus margin of over 30,000 appraisers.

    • author’s graph shows that there are still 50% to many appraisers………..go back to ’92 when origination loan numbers (not loan amounts) were fairly similar and the appl biz was far more in balance………….. after the fallout

  11. I have an issue with the graph that indicates that the origination of
    mortgages in “millions of dollars” To provide a better perspective
    “number of mortgages originated” would be a better graph line than
    “millions of dollars” In my market area $10,000,000 in mortgages has
    resulted in double the amount of appraisals as when the bubble burst,
    property values dropped and now $10,000,000 can finance a lot more
    mortgages. Property values have increased recently in my market area and
    there are less appraisals per $10,000,000 in financing. A better graph
    would be between number of appraisers and number of mortgages per year
    to determine if the number of mortgages per appraiser has increased.

  12. Steelhorsecowboy

    I consider myself “semi retired”, and that is not due to age. I am ready willing and able to increase my workload dramatically whenever fees get more realistic relative to what is required. At this point I accept the ones that are at C & R and ignore the other assignments. I have better things to do and I am sure others are in the same situation.

  13. looks like author PROVES there are still 50% to many appraisers……course that’s based on the light “facts” he presents……….

  14. I wish The Appraisal Foundation would help the situation of existing Appraisers as opposed to trying to pave the way for more. I’d love to see a chart of the average take home per appraiser over the past 15 years. Bet it wouldn’t look so rosy.

    • I bet you would be surprised. Business skills are as important as appraisal skills. A decent appraiser with good business skills generally makes more $$$ than a great appraiser with poor business skills. The cheese has been moved, time to move with it!

      • What a ridiculous thing to say. Anyone still in business today has adjusted to the new reality of AMCs and lower fees for standard products. Appraisers in many markets (i.e. Chicago, South Florida) are unable to raise prices because of a known oversupply of appraisers. This has nothing to do with a person’s business acumen. Sure there is private market work and specialization of appraisal expertise, but the market is the market, and to lower the bar of training and qualifications in order to add more appraisers is ludicrous. So to say “the cheese has been moved, deal with it” — because we’ve adjusted once, we should be willing to let the market erode further — seems crazy as well.

        • That’s a narrow perspective, that unfortunately, is shared by many. In a market of oversupply those with the most business savvy will thrive while the masses will struggle to survive. I’m in a saturated market (Los Angeles). A business degree and three different careers spanning decades (i.e.: the school of practical experience) have given me a solid set of business skills that allows me to make a very good living as an appraiser. Think outside of the box that you perceive yourself (and the industry) to be in. Try listening to an learning from other appraisers that have developed superior business models (Dustin Harris, Roy Meyers… others). These folks are putting themselves out there and sharing what they have learned, all you have to do is pull your head out of the sand and pay attention.

          • It’s interesting that you feel you need to give me personal advice on how to run my business as you assume I am struggling. I have an SRA, a CFA and a background in investment banking. I make a very nice living. No need to pat me on the head and give me a lecture.

  15. I can easily take on twice the amount of work I currently have; however, with fees as low as they are its not worth it. I receive solicitations all day long from the likes of iMortgage Services and Clear Capital for 1004 reports for no more than $225. I will not leave my office for a penny less than $400, and that;s for a cookie cutter. People seem to forget that we must also be paid for the liability for each report. What will making it easier to become a certified appraiser do? Are there people lining up to complete appraisals for low fees? A claims adjuster trainee makes more than a residential appraiser in many cases. Its just not worth it anymore.

  16. Fact one. Appraisal fees are too high !
    Creating a market value for a simple residential property is not a high skilled project. Unskilled people do it every day when they purchase a house.
    Fact two. The objective for regulators during the past 25 years has been to reduce the number of appraisers in order to raise fees.
    Fact 3 .. Increased regulation and education has not significantly improved the quality of appraisals during the past 25 years.
    Fact 4 . Downturns in RE values gives regulators a false excise to increase regulations and scapegoat someone (appraisers).
    Fact 5. Bad or overvalue appraisers do not cause foreclosures except in the case of fraud.
    A similar model for the current appraisal industry would be the taxi industry. High fees for the consumers, low wages for the actual workers, and a whole host of hanger on’s or leeches, taking an excessive percentage of an appraiser workers wage.

    • If my net appraisal fee is $200 after completion, then why in my area can brokers work for the owner/buyer at the same time and collect 5% commission. My primary area is around $900,000 so that little payday for them is $45,000. HOW ARE OUR FEES TOO HIGH!
      If you don’t think our work is skilled Pete, by all means come sign this 40 page 4 unit property I’m working on, and handle all of the corrections they will ask for. Or better yet let me clear out all of the data and have you start from scratch.
      How can you state that over the past 25 years there has been a reduction in appraisers? That’s lender math (false).
      Let me guess Pete, you are having the borrower, owner, real estate agents, underwriter, AMC staff, loan officer, or processor determine the quality of appraisals. This is false.

      • Your work can be hard but not skilled. Picking cotton all day is hard but it requires little skill.
        You may do a 40 page report but that report doesn’t determine the value of the property. Your knowledge of the market determines the property’s value or rather your appraised value.
        If you are asked to determine an appraised value, do you conform to what the regulators ask you to do or do you create a report based upon what you feel is relevant and important ?
        Are you the professional that delivers a report, or an order taker that merely fills out an order according to specifications of the lender, the AMC, FNMA, and the appraisal institute.
        Which organization to you defer to ?

        • When its required to have a 4 year degree, 2.5 years of apprenticeship hours, and often an additional 5+ years of real world experience just to be added to a panel (11.5 years), our clients ARE demanding skill. This may come as a shock to you Peter, but the final value part of the appraisal, is often of little concern as its the individual puzzle pieces that need to be solved that are our focus. The appraisal is so much more than a final value. Are you suggesting Peter that no guidelines should be in place to share our findings? Should we simply start with a blank piece of paper and type a 20 page letter to support our findings? As is, our reports are full of graphs, photos, addendums and explanations that expand and often exceed what is required. As it relates to who we should defer to, the answer does not involve the loan officer who wants to provide comps, the owner who thinks they no more, the AMC, the lender, etc. but rather we have set standards to follow (USPAP). The above mentioned have no power to pull my license, but rather my work will go in front of the state license board to determine if I’ve followed USPAP procedures.

          • USPAP ? Who is USPAP ? Do you work for them ? Are they elected officials ?
            Tell me who you work for ?

          • As are some 60% of all appraisers Peter I have my OWN business and work for no one but myself. I chose to work with who, for what fees, and what scope of work. If you don’t think it takes SKILL to own your own business, then go do it yourself.

          • I’ve been an appraiser since 1989 and I have always worked for myself.

        • If you don’t think it requires skill, you are not a very good appraiser. You are the cookie cutter, fast-as-I-can guy that takes the professionalism out of the profession.

          • Skill ? They have computer programs doing appraisals now. Every day thousands of consumers appraise the house they want to buy and thousands of Realtors do appraisals as a side job to getting a listing.

          • Peter, ONLY A LICENSED APPRAISER CAN PERFORM AN APPRAISAL. Just because someone can click a mouse and get a computer value or just because that realtor can give you an opinion, DOES NOT MAKE THEM APPRAISALS. By all means Peter, with a national average to become a realtor only being 70 hours, please consult with them and use there opinions to obtain your loan.

    • Methinks old pete is baiting appraisers with inflammatory comments. In the past I have seen this is done by a review appraiser or chief appraiser at an AMC. I bet his boss loves him for kissing the corporate brown hole of propaganda.

      • Here is one for you..Eat chit and die. You are a nim-com-poop. The reason the business sucks now is because stupid fools like you have offered their no nothing opinion.
        Here is a hint… before you say something…have a point. Babbling on about your illusions is boring.

        • Let me guess Peter, a bad appraiser did a bad appraisal on the former property you bought while using a dozen model match sales on the same street for support. Eight years later the market tanks and its the appraiser from years earlier that is to blame for you bad misfortunes. I wish you luck Peter but we are not to blame.

          • You guess about as well as you do appraisals.
            I guess that’s how you value houses. I was a Real Estate Broker for 15 years and an appraiser for 25 years. I’ve also bought and sold numerous investment properties. My father was an appraiser back in 1954 and I helped him at that time.
            Misfortune ? Last year a purchased an investment house for $280k and this year a similar house 1 block away is up for sale at $450k.
            I guess to you that’s a bad investment.
            How much do you want to appraise my investment house ?

          • In reading your posts and I mean no offense, but you seem to not understand what you are talking about. You refer to appraisers as not needing skill, computer valuations as appraisals, etc. Perhaps we should applaud that you WERE an appraiser. I didn’t think it was possible there bunny tail (Happy Easter), but you my friend are have more anger than me.

          • Just like a homeless bum on the street trying to convince me that he is deserving of my spare change, you are wasting my time. I’ve heard it all before and I know the end results.
            Keep talking about scope of work and USPAP and AMC’s. I’ll keep my change in my pocket.

          • I understand Peter, take your ball and go home. Good luck sir.

  17. We appraisers simply need to go after higher fees, no lender or AMC is going to just come out and say “here you go”. I continually ask for max fees and I push every chance I have for greater fees for my time. Rush fees, older house FHA fees verses new or newer construction fees, etc. It is up to us, no one is going to do it for us. I was charging $400 for an appraisal in 1993, that appraisal now with greater scope I’m getting $500. We have been our own enemy period. Just say no to AMCs with low fees but bend over backwards for the higher fee clients. The higher fee clients will be closing loans quicker and with higher quality appraisers will be working for them. Word will spread through real estate agent offices and appraisers alike on just who is paying fees commensurate with our education and experience requirements.

  18. All of the appraiser complaints and whining about low fees and ridiculous assignment conditions is not going to change things by one iota. The fact is that the residential appraisal business is fragmented and dominated by individuals working for themselves. We do not have a voice and cannot afford to fight a mortgage industry with teams of lobbyists getting what they want by influencing (there is another name for that) lawmakers.. What they want with regard to appraisals is cheap, fast, and values that target what they need to make their loans. The cheap and fast model facilitates their plan. Appraisers that pump out two or three reports a day do not have the time to work though the appraisal process, investigate, analyze, and fully develop a reasonable value conclusion. The cheap and fast model rewards cutting corners and moving on to the next assignment. It’s a losing battle. Move on away from mortgage work. The mortgage industry is not sympathetic to the plight of appraisers and never will be.

    • The common answer by those that live in areas where there is a clear cut difference in fees (Residential versus Civil Use) often just say, don’t work for AMC’s, don’t do lender work, etc. In my area those civil use assignments with lower scope of work requirements are advertised every where for $225 and below. The fact is you may make more money working for residential lenders in my area versus non lender work.

    • We do have a voice. If more appraisers were involved in the Appraisal Institute the profession may be just that, a profession.

      • The appraisal institute stabbed the appraisers in the back by agreeing to work with the Appraisal foundation and regulators such as FNMA. The appraisal institute is a business interested in making money for themselves by selling courses in appraising. They joined the mafia and are now upset that some of their friends were on the hit list.

      • I am a member. The Institute does a lot for the profession. That being said, I don’t see them out there fighting with the mortgage industry for higher standards in mortgage appraisals. And the Institute is no match for the mortgage industry’s teams of lawyers that make deals with law makers which favor the desires of the mortgage originators.

  19. In a hot job market, few people go into appraising, in a slow job market (like the one I am in) you get all sorts of folks into our business because frankly, there are few good jobs around. If most of the appraisal egg heads live in NY or DC, then they do see an appraisal shortage, but go to rust belt or smaller states in the South or West, and you will see many appraisers fighting to take up Clear Capital on that $225 fee.

    • The difference as I see it Taco is that in my area of practice (San Diego) and my primary zip codes ($900,000), you need to have traditional income of around $180,000 to afford housing. For an appraiser before expenses, your income needs to be around $250,000. Living in the rust belt where property values can be below $150,000 or rent can be $600, a fee of $225 can support your family. Those same Clear Capital orders you get for $225 and so no to, in my area people take what ever they can get. My single county of practice has over 1,000 appraisers and if I go out a few hundred miles (Los Angeles, etc.) then I’m competing against 5,000 in total. What the talking heads won’t explain to people is that for every 1,000 appraisals completed in my area on the cheap ($200 to $300) that some areas may have a shortage and the fees will be $700 to $800. The national big box AMC’s are make a killing in my area (they charge more but take more from the appraiser X 1,000) while they may lose a little in other areas (X 1).

  20. Russell Jakubauskas

    Why do we have to listen to appraisal “experts” who aren’t licensed, practicing appraisers? We already have to kneel at the altar of FNMA and kiss the rings of the AMC’s. All the “analysis” by clueless people with no knowledge of the plight of real appraiser’s will not cure our problems. The Appraisal Institute is blind and toothless and the Appraisal Foundation is so single minded about scope of work and the appraiser client relationdhip that they never concern themselves with real day to day issues like plummeting fees and increasing requirements that are meaningless but time consuming. I’m just glad I’m old and only work if I feel like it, but I know that doesn’t help the people with mortgages to pay and kids in college. Wish I had an answer, but I don’t.

    • Thank Andrew Cuomo for the law that says you have to use AMC’s .
      Thank the Democrats for pushing the Financial reform act which makes appraisers a target for anything that goes wrong with a loan.

  21. I will be in Phoenix to speak to this topic. I make one third income of what I did in 1986 through 2005. The simple residential appraisal takes 5-7 hours to write (not including inspection). Fees lower, more work, and Lenders who require me to inspect all properties have necessitated me dispensing with all Trainees. We do not need to “dumb down” the profession. Frankly, a college graduate, if he had no other requirements, could make more as a teacher than being newly certified (with less risk, state benefits and a pension). With these fees, there is absolutely no incentive for anyone to enter the field. We have to say NO to these minimal fees and short turn times. I do not know one residential appraiser who is making a decent living unless there is another source of income (spouse, sales, 2nd job). I also do no know one who does not hate his job as we speak. Forget all the meaningless process of making it easier to become an appraiser. It will not help.


    Cory Gore Board Member of the NC Appraisal Board

    • I agree Cory, but don’t forget from an entrepreneurial and business standpoint the inability to assign appraisal orders via interoffice transfers. With this policy no longer does the independent appraiser have a clear path to build a traditional business model. Gone is the carrot to build a business, become bigger and profit beyond ones self. The current system has placed a cap on one’s income equal to the amount of hours one can stomach in a month.

    • Cory. You espousing the same complaints that I’ve been hearing for the past 15 years. This is a business which provides a product to a customer. If they could get a computer to provide this product they would. Wait….they have.
      Two things.
      1. What does the customer want.
      2. What do the Federal regulators say the customer wants.

  22. It’s good to see someone with your credentials publishing on open forums. I hope lenders and AMCs wake up and smell the coffee soon! I am part of the crowd that switched from 100% lender work to 10% lender work. Private work pays better and your opinion as an expert really matters!

    • In some areas of the country Mike private work may pay better, however its a myth to apply that statement to our profession as a whole. With lower scope of work requirements, collect at the door, etc., my local Craigslist is full of $200 offers to perform civil use assignments. Although I would have 2nd thoughts about using an appraiser advertising there, the general public has no problem in bringing it up when working out fees.

  23. Peter, In NC, to become a certified Appraiser one must have a 4 year college degree, pass the first exam, take 11 more 30 hour courses and accumulate 3000 hours as a trainee, pass all 11 exams and pass the Certified Appraisal exam over a 5 year period. Having been in this business as well as banking, the cycle of appraisal demand ebbs and flows. When times are good, you hear about the AVM’s replacing Appraisers. When things go to hell, we are the Savours. Easy? You do not live where I live. Historic properties that are 200 years old, ocean front, Intracoastal Waterway, golf communities, island properties, all with suttle nuances and multi-million dollar properties. The professor who invented Appraisal Port personally told me there would absolutely be no way an appraisal model could come close to estimating values in Wilmington, NC. With interest rates in the 3 to 4 percent range, a starter home is now in the $300K range. The Builders pay all closing costs and the Borrower has no equity in the homes, one more downturn in the economy and the foreclosures you saw a few years ago will pale in comparison of what you will see this time. I give it about 2 years.

  24. It’s not just the supply of appraisers that is problem it’s a demand for appraisal services. The increased use of evaluations has significantly reduced the demand for appraisals. I’ve repeatedly asked financial regulators who they would hold responsible for faulty evaluations? The banks that hire the evaluators? Not likely given the recent history of regulatory capture.
    There is no licensing for “Evaluators.” How do you compete with an employee at a title company doing evaluations from a desk 500 miles away from the property that has no risk of losing a license? If you’re going to allow evaluations as a risk management technique then license the evaluators
    To exacerbate the problem of evaluations now the banks are lobbying hard to raise the de minimus (see remarks by Lael Brainerd at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 10/19/15). The writing is on the wall. Lenders (and real estate agents) don’t want appraisers involved in “their” transaction. That’s the way it’s always been and the way it always will be. When the number of appraisers has declined so much that you can’t get an appraisal then they will raise the de minimus and use evaluations exclusively. I guess at that point the Appraisal Foundation becomes the Evaluation Foundation.
    Regarding the Appraisal Foundation, they get their money from the Appraisal Subcommittee. The Appraisal Subcommittee is composed of the OCC, HUD, NCUA, FDIC, FRB, FHFA, and now the CFPB. The Appraisal Foundation is not an advocate for appraisers it is an advocate for the financial sector. As Jim Graaskamp observed in his testimony to Congress in 1988 those who pay the piper get to call the tune.

  25. I think the concern isn’t as much for the current number of appraisers, but from every other article I’ve read, it’s the so called “graying of the industry” that is inevitable. We’re not getting any younger, and as those at the end of their working life retire, there aren’t enough trainees to sustain the loss. I for one would retire today (at 50) if I could, because I’m simply tired of being asked to do more for the AMC for the same amount or less money. Scope creep has become the new normal, and when you question the AMC about the additional work and the lack of an additional fee to go with it, they whine about how they have to provide more services for their lender clients or risk losing them to other AMCs. Great, just pay me for the extra time I’m going to spend on the two additional pages of commentary I’m going to be writing for each and every assignment, and we’re fine. No dice, we’re not going to get an increase unless we all stand up to the AMCs and refuse to work for less. Our numbers are shrinking, and will continue to do so, until something is done to entice new people to get into a trade that seems like a career with a future, and not a dying industry.

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