Appraisal News and Appraisal Tips For Real Estate Appraisers - Your source for appraisal industry news, appraisers' opinions, and discussions of appraisal issues

Appraiser-Client Relationship - Imagecredit Flickr - Dennis Hill 15

Don’t You Value our Relationship?

Relationships, we all have them.  And despite the efforts of Dodd Frank to destroy them, we have somehow managed to keep them. A big bank that I had a great relationship dropped me because their portal system decided there were too many appraisers last year and left me hanging. No orders for a year. Now they’re busy and want me to do appraisals. Great! But between the portal fees, underwriting charges, title surpluses, software charges, destination charges, taxes, etc. the fee works out to be substantially lower than most work I have. They asked me “don’t you value our relationship?”. I replied where...

What is Gross Living Area and What Does it Include 3

What is Gross Living Area and What Does it Include?

Appraisers, There are certain properties where aspects of Gross Living Area (GLA) might not be obvious. It’s more confusing when the selling real estate agents lump all “living space” together, because that’s what they are selling, or when the county assessor includes basements with upper level areas. These include homes with a detached ADU, additional rec room or sleeping space above a garage, additional living space with roof attached to the primary dwelling via covered breezeway, basement living spaces with separate entry, etc. Fannie Mae has a giant book called the Seller’s Guide, a portion of which describes how they...

AMC Regulation Rule Finally Published in the Federal Register - Imagecredit Flickr - Steven Lilley 1

AMC Regulation Rule Finally Published in the Federal Register

Appraisers and others, On June 9, 2015, the Federal Register published the new AMC Registration and Regulation Final Rule: The OCC, Board, FDIC, NCUA, Bureau, and FHFA (collectively, the Agencies) are adopting a final rule to implement the minimum requirements in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) to be applied by participating States in the registration and supervision of appraisal management companies (AMCs). Thanks to Bill Garber, Appraisal Institute Director of Governmental Affairs, for sending me this info today. I first wrote & sent info about this topic on April 22, so it’s taken...

1st Enforcement of C&R Fee Provision Louisiana Makes History - Imagecredit Flickr - Roland Tanglao 5

First Enforcement of C&R Fee Provision: Louisiana Makes History

Nearly five years after Dodd-Frank set forth rules regarding Customary & Reasonable fees (C&R) for appraisers, an agreement last week between a state board and an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) is the first evidence of enforcement. The bottom line for appraisers is that they may be finally on their way back to customary and reasonable fees. On June 4, 2015, the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) issued a Stipulations and Order Memorandum (SOM) wherein Coester Appraisal Management Group, also known as Coester VMS, offers no admission of guilt but agrees to follow the current Louisiana fee schedule for a...

Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) Resolves AMC Complaint - Revised Press Release - Imagecredit Flickr - Nic McPhee 0

LREAB Resolves AMC Complaint – Revised Press Release

Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) Resolves AMC Complaint Baton Rouge, LA – – On June 4, 2015, the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB) approved entering into a “Stipulations and Order” with Coester VMS Appraisal Management Group. The Order will resolve a pending complaint that alleged that Coester violated Louisiana law that requires AMCs operating in the state to “compensate appraisers at a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisals being performed in the market area of the property being appraised, consistent with the presumptions of compliance under federal law” (La.R.S. § 3415.15, La. Admin Code. tit. 46,...

The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Holds the First Hearing for AMC’s Not Following the Laws and Rules for Determining Minimum Reasonable and Customary Fees - Imagecredit Flickr - GotCredit 11

AMC Fined for Reasonable and Customary Fees Violation

The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board Holds the First Hearing for AMC’s Not Following the Laws and Rules for Determining Minimum Reasonable and Customary Fees As a result of a thorough investigation conducted by The Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (LREAB), an adjudication hearing for an appraisal management company was held to determine if that firm is following the laws and rules pursuant to minimum reasonable and customary fees, as required by the Dodd/Frank Act and Louisiana laws and Appraisers Board rules. The case alleges the appraisal management company Coester VMS was not compliant with the state’s AMC laws and...

The Appraisal Foundation Chocking The Appraisal Industry and Resisting Change - Imagecredit Flickr - Rafa Garces 10

The Appraisal Foundation Chocking The Appraisal Industry

The Appraisal Foundation Resisting Change The Appraisal Foundation sent out a correspondence stating the Appraisal Institute is undermining their authority. This was very one sided and off the mark. Everything changes. The appraisal business is changing. AI is staying on the fore front of this change. The Appraisal Foundation is resisting change. The Appraisal Foundation policies are chocking the appraisal industry. It is next to impossible to bring on new people. As a result the number of appraisers across the country in 2007 were 120,000 +/-. Today its about 70,000. The industry is changing and so must the policies. AI does not want to go back...

Freddie Mac Proprietary Messages in the UCDP Scheduled for June - Imagecredit Flickr - Patrick McFall 2

Freddie Mac Takes a Bite of the Apple

Freddie Mac Proprietary Messages in the UCDP Not wanting to be left home from the party, Freddie Mac has announced that on June 30, 2015 it will begin providing new feedback on appraisals submitted to it via the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP). Like Fannie Mae’s system, the messages will be delivered to those lenders seeking to sell residential loans to Freddie Mac. Most of the feedback will be in the form of warnings which essentially alert a lender there are some inconsistencies between the submitted appraisal report and data that Freddie Mac already possesses (like public records). For example,...

Appraisers - The Reason You Have No Business Functional Obsolescence - Imagecredit Flickr - Howard Lake 16

Appraisers – The Reason You Have No Business: Functional Obsolescence

Functional obsolescence is the reason many appraisers are going out of business. On a daily basis, appraisers moan: “It’s because of the HVCC that my business is down” or “that AMC or X or Y or Z caused my income to decline.” Really? Are you sure? So, why is my company buried in business and you’re not? We’ve all heard about blacksmiths being out of work; Seems the use of horses has declined. And the need for typewriter repairmen, the demand just isn’t what it was 20 years ago. The people in these jobs failed to adapt; Maybe appraiser are having the same problem....

Truth-in-Lending Act - RESPA Ingetraged Disclosure - TRID Coming Soon Imagecredit Flickr - Dennis Skley 1

TRID Coming Soon Your Way

Appraisers and others, TRID is coming to mortgage lending on Aug. 1, 2015. In case you have not been paying attention to new aspects surrounding your typical measuring buildings and writing reports on a daily basis, TRID is set to become a major change in the mortgage lending process. TRID is the acronym for the ‘Truth-in-Lending Act/RESPA Integrated Disclosure’ process that applies to every mortgage loan as of 8/01/15.  It was part of the Dodd-Frank Law, with power given to the CFPB agency to devise the rules, forms and process. The intent is to consolidate and simplify processes that have...

Residential Appraisers Dos and Don'ts - Imagecredit Flickr - Quinn Dombrowski 7

Residential Appraisers Dos and Don’ts

Residential appraisers are a critical piece in the puzzle that is determining a property’s “true” value. But in today’s market, the role they play is more pivotal than ever. When every dollar counts (as the players of the game may still be licking their wounds from the oh too recent housing crisis) sellers want to be able to get the highest value possible for their property and buyers certainly do not want to overpay for a home, so working with an appraiser who is trained to perform services in an ethical and professional manner with rich knowledge of the market...

Laxer Restrictions - Residential Real Estate Industry & its lobbying groups pushing for looser restrictions on real estate lending - Imagecredit Flickr - Shawn Rossi 8

Laxer Restrictions? Not Again!

Skinning appraisers alive and blaming them for everything except the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and now pushing for looser restrictions! With the overall economy improving and with unemployment dropping back to more manageable levels, it was only a matter of time before the residential real estate industry (builders, bankers, mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wall Street) and its lobbying groups and trade associations popped up and asked for Congress and federal regulators to reduce or end many of the restrictions placed on the industry after it gorged itself on the U.S. economy and left the table with only...

An appraisal is not THE opinion of value - Imagecredit Flickr - takomabibelot 0

An Appraisal is not THE Opinion of Value

Some of you are going to need to hang up your ego hats for this one. You know who you are. I see you hanging out on the online appraisal forums. You are the ones who do not just have an opinion, but THE opinion. Don’t worry, I will let you put it back on before I am done. As appraisers, we are often asked a question similar to this, “Why can two professionals appraise the same property, yet come up with two different values?” It is an excellent question, and one that has many variables, but I want to...

FHA Appraisers Increased Liability & Responsibilty with New FHA Requirements 25

FHA Appraisers Increased Liability with New Requirements

New FHA Requirements Put More Responsibility and More Liability on FHA Appraisers After reviewing the new HUD handbook, my overall conclusion is that there were not many changes to the overall requirements other than the word MUST. The prior handbook was a list of items that should be completed and verified whereas the updated HUD handbook clearly states that the properties MUST meet these items and the appraiser MUST verify the items in question. The following is a list of FHA requirements that MUST be completed and verified by the appraiser. It is my opinion that these items will make the appraiser...