AI Ignored the Residential Appraiser

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Residential Appraiser Abandoned & Neglected by the Appraisal Institute

AI all but abandoned the residential appraiser…

I have been a member of the Appraisal Institute (AI) for many years and the organization has always been tilted toward the Certified General Appraiser. I am Certified General and recognized this long ago. I think the education of the AI is the best with no comparison for both residential and commercial and their publications are second to none.

The AI has long neglected the residential appraisers as they sent in their $300 per year. The AI completely dropped the ball starting in 2007 when the crash began. The Appraisal Management Company (AMC) model took over the residential industry and the AI sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing. They completely missed the boat in being an advocate for the residential appraiser.

The AI had the perfect opportunity to increase the ranks of the residential appraisers in the organization. Maybe they thought that 2008 would not last and missed an opportunity. But by 2009 they should have done SOMETHING. From 2008-2013 the residential appraiser was absolutely abused by the AMC model and the AI did absolutely nothing.

I have always been an AI “cheerleader” but in the back of mind I have said for years, “Why are they not doing anything?” Anyone who thinks the residential appraiser abandoned the AI or thinks bad of them has no basis for that opinion as the AI all but abandoned the residential appraiser.

The AI could have partnered with the state organizations that started to form and could have put their name right on those state coalitions if they had any sort of foresight or concern for the residential appraiser.

There should have been no need for state coalitions if the AI had stepped up and made it a national push. There are many people in leadership positions who used to be AI members who have abandoned the AI and for good reason. The AI refused to represent the membership.

In the last year I have been shaking my head at most AI actions from Chicago. The “taking policy” was ludicrous and the push for valuations was just as bad. I think there are great advantages in the AI but at the same time I have to keep asking why they ignored the residential appraiser for a DECADE while the AMCs pushed people out of business, forced them to adhere to unrealistic requirements and created this new world of blast e-mail orders to the fastest and cheapest.

Where was the AI when AMCs started e-mail blasts to 50 appraisers at a time and the one with the “unapproved catch software” got the order? Where was the AI when AMCs encouraged the residential appraiser to cover very large geographic areas? Where was the AI when AMCs started issuing “report cards” to appraisers? Where was the AI when fees were being driven down? Where was the AI when appraisers weren’t being paid? 20/20 hindsight tells us that the AI could have been the organization to take a leadership role and think outside of the commercial world.

Could the AI have warned appraisers about the ES Appraisal debacle or the Appraisal Loft debacle with a mass e-mail campaign back in 2010 or 2011 warning appraisers? Where was the AI when AMCs started requiring appraisers to get over-priced background checks? When did the AI come out and tell appraisers that Joan Trice was selling snake oil?

Where was the AI when Title Appraisal Vendor Management Association (TAVMA) was lobbying for the demise of the residential appraiser? Where does the AI stand with Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association (REVVA) (the new TAVMA)? Why have they not come out against the “technology fees” charged to appraisers?

The AI dropped the ball, not once, not twice but about 100 times because they did nothing for the residential appraiser in the last decade or two. Is the new “committee” an answer? I sincerely hope it is as I see an opportunity to unite and better educate appraisers. I will continue to support the AI but with reservations. They won’t lose the Certified General appraisers in the next few years but they will continue to lose residential appraisers if they don’t jump in feet first and focus for a couple of years on the residential appraiser.

The AI needs to stop the garbage they have supported and the actions they have taken in the last year and needs to focus on the residential appraiser. They need to keep up the high quality education they provide as well as the high quality publications.

This new committee has a large job ahead of them and if Chicago is not serious about this push then it will fail and the membership of residential appraisers will continue to fall as the residential appraiser spends their money on the state coalitions that are actually doing something.

Sincerely,

Timothy S. Evans
Certified General Appraiser
Michigan and Iowa

By Timothy S. Evans, Certified General Appraiser, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural and Residential Appraisal Services, Monroe Valuation, Inc. – Michigan and Iowa

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97 Responses

  1. Honest Appraiser says:

    Booyah and well said Mr. Tim  –  our sentiments EXACTLY!!  If anyone in this country deserves reparations it is the Independent Residential Real Estate Appraiser for the last 10+ years.  We have been used and abused due to our “independence”.

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  2. Diana N. says:

    BRAVO. You just said what I’ve been saying for years. AI is an “old boys network” even if they now have female members.

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  3. Long Time Residential Appraiser says:

    Well said, I was an associate member before the merge and way back then I had a feeling that the Residential Appraiser was going to have little to no say in the new AI. I have attended meetings over the years, which were mostly attended by commercial appraisers and they would have nothing to do with a residential appraiser. I dropped my membership in 2014, was not see any change in the support AI was going to give to the residential appraiser and how the state chapters were also not going to help.

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    • DianaN says:

      I also dropped out for the same reason, but much earlier than you did. Looks like it’s every man and woman for themselves.

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  4. Sdmike says:

    This Article is right on the mark!  When I go to my local AI chapter meetings about 10% of the attendees are residential. The rest are commercial.  A pretty good indicator if you ask me!  I’m an SRA and paying my inflated dues for the “honor” really takes some hard consideration. I’m not really sure what it has done for me. Maybe a change of affiliations is in order.

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  5. Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

    many, many years ago, appraisers in our area would gather at least once a year around the holidays under the AI umbrella. the money we all put into our account would go towards the dinner, drinks, etc.. it was nice, and it was good to see and talk to other local appraisers occasionally. as an independent business owner, the gathering was always something to look forward to.

    then one year we got word that our local chapter was being dissolved. i think we are all a bit sad to see that happen, and the good times we had were gone. also gone, was all the money in our account. it was all “returned” to the AI. no, it wasnt returned to those who put it in there, and there was no farewell bash, nothing. i was not in charge of the account, nor do i know all the details surrounding the surrender of our chapters money. i just know it was suddenly all gone, the account was closed, and the little fun we had was over.

    from what i can see, the AI is only about over-priced classes, forcing appraisers to take a USCRAP class every two years, forcing appraisers to buy an over-priced USCRAP book every two years, appraisers getting forced to take ONLY AI’s over-priced classes and time-consuming classes for the most ridiculous infractions, charging over-priced worthless memberships, etc..

    starting to see a pattern? lets face it – its about the MONEY. nothing else.

    the only thing i ever saw the AI do for appraisers was plan a golf outing, and if i recall correctly, that was to raise money too.

    by continuing to do nothing but financially suck its members dry, the AI blew a huge opportunity to grow, or at least stabilize the profession, and to be a hero. although the AI isnt the only member of that club though is it?

    Chicago.  hmf.  nuff said . .

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    • DW says:

      The requirement to take USPAP courses every two years, as well as the requirement to have a USPAP book for the USPAP course have nothing to do with AI.  The requirements are set by the AQB.  The AI isn’t even a Foundation sponsor anymore, and hasn’t been for several years.  Just sayin’

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  6. Steven Sidler says:

    That’s exactly why I stopped my membership. I even started taking my CE at McKissock. AI is not getting one more dime of my money until they change their ways.

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  7. Jack Of All Trades says:

    Amen to that Timothy …..Clint Eastwood said it best when he said “Dying ain’t much of a living boy”.

     

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  8. Timothy Evans says:

    I find it disturbing that what I wrote was “edited” with bold text or underlined text that I did not initially write. The emphasis added was not mine but rather the web site and it makes my “entry” look childish. A professional would never write like that. The emphasis (bold and underlines) added to what I wrote were not mine.

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    • Sorry about that Timothy. Our site automatically emphasizes words and phrases used in other published articles. We manually removed the underlined words. Please email us if you have any other concerns/suggestions.

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      • Baggins - Disclosure; I'm really a bot. Baggins - Disclosure; I'm really a bot. says:

        Technology advancements strike again! The robowriter is indeed, hard at work. Half of what a person reads in major publications, especially tech focused ones, is not even written by a human anymore. It’s a good lesson on how to identify augmented and originated robotext. My suggestion, don’t trust the tech and learn to identify that automatic robotext behavior, you’re bound to see it with increased frequency as the most illogical love of technology advances. Especially apparent in other more popular sites with disguss blog open posting. You can spot a bot a mile away, they capitalize words instead of using proper exclamation and language context. Now you UNDERSTAND?

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  9. BigAl says:

    Amen! I agree 1000%

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  10. Steven Gray says:

    And if you’re an SRA it’s a lot more than $300/yr!  I’m starting to wonder why I keep my designation because I too feel they ignore the residential appraiser.

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  11. Bryan says:

    I would say 1993.

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  12. Rachel Massey says:

    The AI is involved in advocacy for the residential appraiser. I would encourage everyone to look through the different activities that are underway within the AI, including coalition building with some of the states. http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/advocacy/

    While not perfect, nothing is, and the best way to affect change is to be involved.

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    • DianaN says:

      Not sure if you are an appraiser or not, if you are, wait a few more years, and see what benefits you get from AI membership, damn few, if any. If you aren’t then you shouldn’t be advocating an association you know nothing about.

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      • Rachel S Massey says:

        Actually I am an appraiser and am familiar with the AI. I simply posted the link to what advocacy is being done for residential appraisers. We need to get involved in our future. Whether you like the AI or not, the organization is working towards advocacy as posted.

        Instead of fighting, what do you want to see the AI do to help the residential appraiser? How do you think they can fix things?

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        • Rebel Appraiser says:

          How can anyone answer this when they haven’t shown anything to the residential appraiser at all.  Now they are getting in the game? Advocacy? Where were they years ago? 5 yrs ago? 2 yrs ago? Yesterday? Now they are working towards advocacy? A little to late in my opinion. They should have been on board a long time ago fighting the fight and helping residential appraisers instead of spending money over seas in foreign countries all while taking money away from local chapters. They allowed this to happen all while taking care of their own and leaving the rest to hang on for dear life. Advocating is one thing. Saving face is another and that’s what they appear to be doing. Trying to Save themselves from their own inexcusable actions.

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          • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

            It sounds to me like they are losing members. Why else would they give a flip about residential appraisers after ignoring them for decades? The old golf course CG club must be dying off at long last.

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      • Ms Massey is an SRA designated and highly respected Member of the Appraisal Institute. She writes many informative articles and educational offerings intended to help other appraisers be better appraisers or to be aware of other perspectives; pitfalls, and or solutions.

        I may not always agree with her, but I have always had reason to respect her. She’s one of the ‘good guys’ out there Diana…even as she’s still a loyal AI member.

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    • Steven Sidler says:

      Unfortunately, their actions (or lack, thereof) say otherwise.

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    • I challenge you to present any meaningful examples of their so called advocacy. I’m in their backyard in the state of Maryland and have seen no such advocacy in the mid Atlantic region from AI.

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      • Rachel Massey says:

        Here is something from the latest newsletter found

        AI to Congress: Appraiser Independence Critical to VA Home Loans
        Appraisal Institute Vice President Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, testified at an April 4 Congressional subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, urging Congress to protect the independence of real estate appraisers in the federal program that provides housing loans to military veterans.

        AI specifically addressed a central ordering feature of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Appraiser Fee Panel during its testimony before the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The hearing was called to address the topic “Assessing VA Approved Appraisers and How to Improve the Program for the 21st Century.”

        “The Appraisal Institute supports the basic framework of the VA Fee Panel in contrast to what is currently found in the Federal Housing Administration or the private sector,” Wagner told the subcommittee. “By comparison, the structure of the Fee Panel facilitates a greater degree of appraisal independence and represents a much more positive environment for real estate appraisers.”

        Veterans Affairs maintains a Fee Panel of approved real estate appraisers who work on behalf of the agency in providing collateral risk assessment in support of the VA Home Loan program. The Fee Panel is directly managed by the VA and consists of a pool of several thousand appraisers who accept VA appraisal assignments on a rotating basis.

        Wagner, a former member of the Fee Panel, praised the Veterans Affairs appraisal staff as “some of the most accessible and responsive within the federal government relating to real estate appraisal issues.”

        While opposing wholesale changes to overhaul the Fee Panel, the Appraisal Institute offered recommendations to improve the consistency of the VA loan program and to maintain its competitiveness with the private sector:

        • Maintain an independent Fee Panel of VA appraisers;
        • Develop a “stand-by” list of approved VA appraisers;
        • Enhance appraiser recruitment efforts;
        • Encourage lenders to provide better property information at the time of the appraisal assignment; and
        • Address appraiser concerns about unpaid appraisal fees.

        One issue that was repeatedly mentioned during the hearing is the use of “desktop appraisals” to help the VA with its backlog. AI cautioned against the use of desktop appraisals because they are performed without a physical inspection of the property and instead rely on tax records and information from the MLS. AI also stated that AVMs are not the best way to protect veterans — or taxpayers — during their home purchase.

        Read the Appraisal Institute’s written testimony to the subcommittee.

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        • DianaN says:

          That is aimed at VA appraisers, how about the rest of the appraisers or did you forget them.

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          • Rachel Massey says:

            Here is one for folks doing mortgage work from 
            AI Expresses ‘Serious Concern’ About Freddie Mac Appraisal Waiver
            The Appraisal Institute on Oct. 31 sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency expressing “serious concern” about a policy change made to Freddie Mac’s Loan Advisor Suite in which appraisals would be waived in lieu of an “appraisal alternative” in multiple situations, including first purchase loans.

            Unlike the Property Inspection Waiver policies announced by Fannie Mae Oct. 24 — which are limited to lower-risk refinance transactions — the policy change by Freddie Mac appears to target purchase mortgage transactions, which carry higher risk from a property information standpoint. It has become standard practice to obtain a complete interior inspection appraisal for mortgage transactions in order to better understand such things as property conditions, which are more likely to change between purchase transactions than between refinance transactions. That likelihood is why appraisal data, including an inspection, is so important to managing risk.

            AI noted in its letter, “The decision by Freddie Mac to veer from fundamental risk-management practices appears reckless and imprudent, and harkens back to the loan-production-driven years leading up to the financial crisis. Similar actions were taken by government-sponsored enterprises in the early to mid-2000s, and the resulting decline in risk management by mortgage lenders was disastrous for the economy. In fact, the Government Accountability Office confirmed that such appraisal waivers were in widespread use leading up to when the government-sponsored enterprises were taken into conservatorship, with as many as 30 percent of loans receiving such waivers.”

            AI further noted, “It has taken many years for the mortgage finance sector to recover, but progress has been made, in large part, because fundamental risk-management activities like appraisal have been reinforced by mortgage lenders. Reducing appraisal requirements sends the wrong signal to mortgage loan sellers about the importance of fundamental risk-management practices.”

            The Appraisal Institute met with Freddie Mac leadership in December to discuss the letter and their concerns. Freddie Mac confirmed that use of appraisal alternatives would include purchase mortgages, but that they are targeting loan risk transactions, and claimed that a supermajority of loans will still require appraisals. The Appraisal Institute reiterated its concerns about unintended consequences resulting from reduced appraisal requirements, particularly those that rely on automated analytical systems that attempt to analyze collateral risk, known as “black boxes.” The Freddie Mac officials agreed to continue to discuss the concerns with the Appraisal Institute and address education and awareness issues.

            Read AI’s letter to the FHA.

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            • Baggins - My license just became worthless Baggins - My license just became worthless says:

              Did the AI issue any such similar warning letter about this egregious and ultimate risky policy change to let unlicensed individuals inspect homes on ‘behalf of the actual appraiser’. Worst rule re re re change ever. Eliminating that unlicensed inspector allowance, although it had been technically illegal was a game changer and life saver about 10 years ago when I first launched solo. Now right back to square one and what used to be considered highly unethical behavior is now legal. “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” This industry is run and managed by crooks, no doubt about it. They reject free markets, reject independence, reject ethics, reject professional approaches, and promote incompetence. Now as a direct result, clients are telling me I need to flip them in 48 hours all over again. What a joke, this industry is attracting all the wrong types of people. We are the last professionals in this industry, the future of licensed appraisers will certainly be pro tech pro speed pro advocacy people. People whom have never built, repaired, or know anything about real property, but rather people whom are better at gaming meaningless performance tools for greater ‘appraisal income’, and better yet meaningless ‘performance stats’..

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            • Rachel, the AI is straddling the fence with two contradictory positions. One that has repeatedly promoted a reduction in appraisal standards to enable the use of ‘alternative valuation products’; and the other are the cases you cite above.

              The AI has also publicly claimed to be “representing the interests of all appraisers, even to the detriment of their own interests” (TAF public hearing, Redondo Beach, CA and again in Law Vegas, NV 2016; though I’m pleased that in Torrance CA 2017 they avoided making that specific false claim.). They made this claim while they were advocating for passage of special carve out legislation (AB624) in California that TAF and virtually all other appraiser groups present, opposed.

              I really want to believe the AI is now sensitive to the needs and requirements of residential real estate  appraisal, but I remain highly skeptical. I can fully understand why after trying for decades to get respect and friendly policy promotion for residential appraisal concerns that many have simply said “No more, I’m done” with the AI.

              At some point one realizes that beating our head against a brick wall doesn’t work and alternative solutions are sought.

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              • Rachel Massey says:

                I am certainly against any watering down of the appraisal process through alternate valuation methods. Personally I think that appraisers need to consistently upping their game in terms of the quality of the work that we do. Only through proving our worth with solid and thorough analysis (and very importantly, reporting it) will we remain relevant.

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  13. KrystalS says:

    Hats off to you Timothy. Great insight and article. As a residential appraiser, it’s disheartening to pay any organizations, directly or indirectly, for providing the appraiser absolutely nothing.

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  14. Tina Mindemann says:

    How many that complain are working to make a change? If you’re a member of the AI what are you doing, at least, on a local level to make it better?  Pick up the phone and ask what YOU can do to get involved. I know my chapter would welcome it. If you’re not a member how can you expect an organization of members to advocate for everyone? It’s the local chapters that make or break the AI brand. No one is going to come a long and save us, period.

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    • Rebel Appraiser says:

      They are the APPRAISAL INSTITUTE! With a name like that and appraisers from all designations and licensing spending money to take their classes they should represent EVERYONE. They aren’t the IOWA institute. They claim to be the largest appraisal organization in the world. The biggest in the US. Just because people don’t pay them for a designation doesn’t mean they can’t support the profession. Advocate for it and make things better. Sorry. If I’m the president of the AI I want to make everyone join and show them we have your back. We support every appraiser. That’s how you make organizations grow. Not by just supporting your own AND ONLY MEMBERS WHO HAVE DESIGNATIONS and taking money for classes and shunning the rest when you claim to be the APPRAISAL INSTITUTE.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Rebel, you’re writing like a bot, knock it off with improper use of caps and return to earth.

        I’ve objected to the AI by never giving them a dollar. The poster above you stated a states rights argument about a national institution. Just does not jive, since the local state chapters, unless unified on a national level, are typically unable to effect national policy. It’s all about branding, and the AI’s brand is tarnished by prolonged advocacy of tech advancements which restrict the free market.

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  15. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    No friends the Appraisal Institute didn’t ignore you; THEY SOLD YOU OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

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  16. Timothy Evans says:

    For clarification and disclosure, as the writer of the “blog”, I am a long time dues-paying member of the Appraisal Institute. The “blog” was taken from a discussion about the Appraisal Institute’s new effort to reach out to the residential appraiser. I fully support the AI and the group in charge of this project. I know multiple people on this team and if anyone can bring about change I am fully confident this group can.

    Timothy S. Evans
    Certified General Appraiser
    Michigan and Iowa

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    • Baggins - Show me; the appraisal clearinghouse! Baggins - Show me; the appraisal clearinghouse! says:

      Mr Evans, it’s the same as it ever was;

      We need; rotational distribution, properly separated fees, consistent fees, elimination of appraisal terms shopping, and long term tracking of performance through portfolios, a complete disregard for meaningless performance matrix stats like average turn time and this nonsense. Basically the VA model is the only model which held up and is still revered by appraisers.  The entire rest of the industry is certainly doing it wrong.

      The gameplan is like already laid out for all to see. Will anyone listen?  Probably not because this solution plan does not create a monetization of the appraisal distribution process. The problem is monetization of appraisal distribution, the solution is to eliminate this biased point of influence which has wrecked this entire industry.

      IVPI Proposal

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      • Honest Appraiser says:

        YES!! The VA panel is the ONLY system where the appraiser has been given at least a smidgen of respect and the ability to say NO without getting basically fired or blackballed.

        I support a Federal mandate to establish state maintained rotation panels based upon the VA model for all GSE work. It would make AMCs obsolete on day 1 and allow appraisers to actually work together to establish consistency in reporting – which is criminally lacking at this time. Imagine!!!

        Simplify the appraisal and hold people ACCOUNTABLE for any manipulation of data and let all lenders know they will be held ACCOUNTABLE also.

        We can lower costs to the borrower by 50% by eliminating the parasitic middleman first, simplifying the appraisal and stop the chronic waste of TIME to the appraiser 2nd while bringing back some balance of professionalism to this Wild West Show.

        But that’s just my opinion.. I could be wrong.

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      • WOW…IVPI Proposal…. Blast from the past! I agree with everything you and honest appraiser wrote. Well said!

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Thanks Nick. Is it too much to ask for professional respect? I’ve never seen anything equivalent to this industry with consistently illogical backwards rewards. Appraisers are never good enough, never fast enough, never cheap enough and always held to the standard of the lowest denominator. The demand for quicker cheaper continues to destroy the credibility of this industry.

          Here is a fun exercise; Ask the amc and direct assignment staff persons whom call you; how many of their co workers have aspirations to be appraisers? To date, I’ve never once met a middle manager or distribution person whom continues to have aspirations to be an appraiser. I’ve met a former secretary from a firm where the boss lost his license, now running her own amc. I’ve worked with many appraisers whom had licenses yanked, now in charge of distribution. I’ve spoken to a thousand tech telecom workers whom think they’re providing excellent service, despite not even understanding basic regulatory framework. If amc employees had to carry licensing with equivalent testing of appraisers and mortgage brokers alike (what responsibility the amc distribution position honestly does entail; a dual specialty knowledge), the amc industry would be wiped out overnight. Nobody is appropriately qualified. The beat skips on.

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  17. Ralph says:

    I’m really not sure why any residential appraiser would want to be a member. A friend of mine is CR, same as myself and went to a few classes, he found them very interesting and said there were people in the class who appraised boat marinas in Australia and people who had appraised all over Europe and that he was one of the only people not CG. I said that is great you got to mingle with those smart folks, but how does that help me run my day to day grind of mortgage origination work, REO work and private. I asked him if there was any discussion of getting AMC fees higher, he laughed and said, it’s all commercial guys in there, they don’t even know what an AMC is. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be paying any dues to join AI.

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    • marion says:

      And isn’t that part of the problem? If you look around your house and don’t see any pets, do you worry about pets and try to save them from the rest of the world?

      The AI messed up. We all know it. They know it. The question now becomes, are appraisers willing to come together to make the AI better for residential appraisers, or is this just another dog and pony show? I don’t know if it is a dog and pony show, but I do know that if residential appraisers aren’t involved, nobody is going to care about them. Hiding under the desk while complaining to each other does nothing to fix the problem. Fixing the problem means action, commitment and a dedication to seeing your goals come to fruition.

      I have not read from any poster on this site that I disagree with. I still question the AI code of ethics that lets the MAI still pay dues after the JVI incident. But because I have never agreed with the AI’s politics in the past, does not mean I don’t believe they can’t be rehabilitated from the inside out. And I can say there are some fine members within the organization that are working towards betterment for residential appraisers. You could join them, and help them make it better, or not. But if you’re not willing to work to make it better, the complaining should be done in front of a mirror.

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      • Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

        so to recap – the AI messed up, we all know it, they know it. the AI failed/ignored residential appraisers, continues to over-charge for value-less memberships and books/classes, have done little to nothing to support ALL appraisers, and basically turned their backs on residential appraisers/their membership. oh yeah, and their failed leadership helped aid in the demise of the profession.

        now you think those same appraisers, (you know – those same people who got run over numerous times by the AI bus over all these years), should now just be happy to get involved with the AI, fix all their problems and save the AI’s hiney.

        gee, i dont know why appraisers couldnt get excited about doing that!

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        • I disagree… By your logic then, for example, if someone murders my brother I should NOT help them get out of prison early and get a stable job? What a minute….your right! When will appraisers wake-up!?!?

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          • Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II says:

            you know, you might be right.

            just today, there were two stories in the news about someone who murdered some guy, and the family of the guy who got killed, helped the murderer get out of prison early and get a stable job.

            i had no idea how common a story like this really is.

            i stand corrected.

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        • marion says:

          Just so I’m clear.

          I’m not a member of the AI, nor do I have any intention of joining them.  I do/have though continued to work toward the betterment of the industry for all appraisers.  And no, I am not a residential appraiser.  And no, I don’t complain about the system.  I complain about the spineless who won’t do anything, or will just sign a couple of petitions and call themselves, dedicated to preserving their profession.

          But don’t worry.  Corelogic will eat you all up long before me.

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          • Baggins - free markets mean no middle men Baggins - free markets mean no middle men says:

            Unlike all the thousands of posts and hours appraisers spent wasting time on the appraisersforum, your voices will be readily searchable on google for researchers here. Nice to see you and Tim participating in this blog, hopefully more to come. For the record, I don’t hide under the desk, I continue to write daily letters. I blog only here because this is the site which allows bots to crawl the data and uplists content on google. No login required to participate and that’s a big deal. Nobody listens though, the power of monetized appraisal distribution is literally a half billion if not more dollar industry by now. Have any hard data on how many dollars have been siphoned away from appraisers to amc’s yet, 10 years later? They’ve built whole buildings from the ground up on our dollars. The last days of this industry are upon us, at only 40 years old I’m sure this industry will not have a future as a truly free market area unless something changes with the monetization of appraisal distribution and pronto. Tell me of portfolio review companies whom are litigating against appraisers, yanking licenses left and right. I’m ready to participate in that because the average appraiser whom claims the lions share of amc work does not deserve it. Professionalism is punished, incompetency is rewarded, and that is not how free markets are supposed to work. At the very least, every single amc worker should be individually licensed so we can finally hold them accountable for their actions. Trout.

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  18. Timothy, excellent letter and all valid points. Apologists will continue to tout the rapidly disappearing benefits of AI membership and turn a blind eye to what’s going on, but like you their private thoughts will be hard pressed to keep up the pretense.

    Part of the problem (if not the major part) is that so many MAI’s have transitioned from being the world premiere C&I appraisers to being AMC owners and managers. Their business model is not necessarily one shared by the Institute’s SRA Members and Associates. I too hope the AI will once again find it’s bearings, but until (if) that happens, I’m throwing my support and efforts to the AGA and the ASA… both of whom have repeatedly and tangibly demonstrated their concern for our profession and the issues we face.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Mike, show me;
      1. Demonitization of appraisal distribution, except for fixed technology fees.
      2. Removal of turn time emphasis.
      3. Rotational fair distribution of appraisal orders.
      4. Individual amc employee licensing.
      5. Consistent fees direct consumer to appraiser.

      I’ll show you an industry which is not restrained by external forces. aka; anti trust.

      The great appraisers of this country don’t need a group or the government to save them. All they need do is convince lenders to drop the middle men, go rotational, and have direct and current consumer to appraiser fee schedules.

      Is it irony that the appraisers tasked with protecting free markets and consumer trust, are the very people whom do not participate in free markets for their own services? How could a person like that be trusted? Appraisers have discredited and devalued their own position by being unable to withstand external forces themselves. It’s not a coincidence that every wash out in the industry turns to amc employment, that or some sort of non licensed requirement in the origination field? This one ‘manager’ I’m dealing with lost his appraisal license years ago. He’s the one who recently cut off my work supply for not flipping 48 hour reports.

      Lenders have made god awful management decisions and I vote for anyone distributing appraisal orders to be mandated to hold valid active appraiser licenses themselves.

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      • Honest Appraiser says:

        Lenders have been pressured into AMC’s due to path of least resistance and being able to pass the buck of liability.

        I once read an interview of an AMC talking head promoting how they send back 99% of reports for revisions.. those stupid appraisers could not exist without us he says. And that is what they sell to the lenders and also why we get so many stoopid stip requests – it’s their job security the way they see it.

        What a waste of 10 years – thanks Dudd-Fwank for being an ambiguous load of crap

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Self asking regulatory structure is effective. The paralegals whom wrote those rules, were employees or contracted by the very same major lenders whom were eventually regulated. More regulation means more restrictions, and less competition, it’s that simple. Eliminate all the regulations and let the free market decide. Consumers might actually have to do their homework and fortunes will be won and lost during market correction periods. People would have to sue lenders directly and no taxpayer subsidy would make it easy for lenders to pass the buck and for litigants to seek expedited relief. Probably better that we blame appraisers, and not deal with the real problems.

          Here is another fun excercize; Quiz amc people what their function is. If their function is to advocate for the lender or not. They answer yes with certainty, almost every time.

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      • Baggs: I don’t think you CAN eliminate money motive from the process. Forget HVCC. Elimination of entire appraisal departments and payroll/benefits overhead was a windfall to all lenders. They will only revert to old style system if they cannot con feds into thinking they are complying with law and exercising safe practices.

        While a rotation system sounds fair, it also runs counter to most people’s perception of free enterprise. IF you are faster and better than I am, why shouldn’t you get more work? It’s worth considering but I think it would be a non starter for most in our profession. Remember the flap when I proposed specific minimum C&R fees?

        Compliance with FIRREA has become a charade. Feds passed the law so their job is done. States adopted procedures that Feds blessed, so THEIR jobs are done. Lenders try to promote insured mortgages where no due diligence or sound lending needs to exist… so their job is done. Mortgage insurers and re-insurers like AIG and others are collecting huge premiums and they know if they fail the taxpayers will bail them out… so THEIR jobs are done.

        FNMA and GSEs have created a chimera of apparent compliance in order to make more, bad loans that can be bundled into bad securities for lazy or ignorant investors knowing if the insurance claims bury the insurers (again), Uncle Sugar will again come to  the rescue…so their job is done.

        As for the American Taxpayer? They are so over extended with potential liabilities that THEIR jobs will never be done!

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          It’s just so simple and logical though, rotational assignment.  You get back in line quicker if you are a quicker appraiser, you do get more work, you do earn more money.  The industry is absurd to position that only the fastest appraisers should be prioritized for the vast majority of all available orders.  These guys are faster because they’re not as good, they cut corners, because they sometimes cheat, not because they’re better at what they do.  But in rotational when there is not undue emphasis on turn times, there is still room for the old man or woman, mother or father, even a disabled person appraiser.  Nobody considers the disabled person, and elderly.  I became somewhat disabled with this tumor thing I luckily beat, but I’m still slow because of it.  I’m discriminated against because I can not move as fast, and I know of many other older appraisers whom are treated the same way.  The emphasis this industry has on turn times is a direct reflection of the lack of respect for consumers.  If you can’t help us slam dunk them, we don’t need you, that’s sort of the typical originators approach.  Good ones are out there, and they’re the ones whom don’t prioritize time above all else.  Seriously, consumers need better advocacy, someone should write a series of articles;  why as a consumer you do not want; faster, cheaper, easier, one button, or middle man managed mortgages.  The primary problem with assignment based on turn times is it incentivizes the worst appraisers to cherry pick, not take fair shares of work, and subsequently diminishes the operational capacity of appraisers whom are willing to accept difficult work assignments.  It’s institutionalized disrespect for fairness and ethics, rewarding devious behavior and penalizing hard work and specialty skills.  I keep saying this, how can an amc middle manager with no understanding of ethics, be tasked with structuring a better system?  Their emphasis on turn times is a direct reflection of their poor understanding of ethics and what valuation analysis is all about.  How to get the lions shares of orders from amc’s; provide a larger thing of value than the next guy.  How to slow yourself down with amcs; be willing to accept everything regardless of difficulty, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot.  The model has never and will never work properly.  The preference for fast is akin to institutional pressure on appraisers which promotes incompetence.

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          • Honest Appraiser says:

            Nailed it.. the best marketing appraiser usually does NOT make the best “appraiser” for the assignment…

            The rotation panel works and has incentives for professionalism and service standards. Trick is we need a Federal mandate to actually make it work. I believe it is possible mostly due the FACT that it is the best option for the borrower and lender protection while also affording the appraiser some much needed and due respect. Just copy the VA panel and let’s get on with it. We should absolutely lobby for access to state benefits for giving up some of our ability to be the best “marketing appraiser”..

            With at least 2 options

            We need a set “minimum” fee with options for upgrading for complexity and TIME

            Turn time standards with options for the inevital complexities that arise.

            This can ALL be accomplished with a simple portal and negate the parasite that is eating like a Piranha from BOTH sides of the trough.

            But that’s just my opinion..  I could be wrong.

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            • Timothy Evans says:

              For those advocating for a rotational panel so everything is “fair”, I completely disagree with you for many reasons. First of all, nothing personal, but I do not wish to compete with some of you. I do not “market” my work product is my marketing. I write very thorough reports with a lot of narrative. I have clients that only use me for certain assignments and I am on approved lists that some appraisers would never get on.

              A “fair” rotational system only brings down the good appraiser to the lowest level of acceptability. If the lowest quality appraisal is acceptable to the portal then all appraisers will bring their work product down to that level. There would be no need or incentive to do a better job than the competition because there is no competing.

              I do little AMC work because I don’t have to and I don’t want to. I am not interested in being on a panel with a guy who only knows how to check a box and put in canned statements.

              The free market works just fine.

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              • Honest Appraiser says:

                The “free” market is not free as long as AMC’s are controlling 80% of the GSE work.

                This would NOT subject credit unions etc and I would have no problem with lenders being able to select on criteria other than fee – but that opens up the Pandoras Box of picking the guy that makes the deals work….. If they have a reason to feel it’s complex and they need Tim they should have an option on picking you.

                However… whatever it takes to get rid of the parasitic beast for now and we can claw our way back to “professionals” on a more balanced playing field.

                I’ve worked for all of them over the years and the while the VA panel is not perfect – it is the most pleasant and functional.

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              • Baggins Baggins says:

                Certainly Tim, great points.  I just followed up below while you posted that.  I’m for direct and rotational, but not so much for clearinghouse for the reasons you stated.  In the real world, in the actual free market world, you’d get access to the jumbo focused mb’s, and I would not.  You’d get better fees with associated responsibility, but most would not.  The most experienced appraisers whom are the best fit for a specific lender would get priority despite turn time comparisons.  It is necessary to have the ability for lenders to choose rotational panel appraisers based on merit primarily, all other considerations second.  It should be up to either the mb or the underwriter.  By handing responsibility of appraiser selection to amc’s, the best appraisers get the least recognition with a wide variety of requests.  In a true free market I could market my quality reporting to people whom actually understood what that meant.  I’d beat out most form fillers in a heartbeat.  As it stands in this restrained setting, I’m simply never fast enough and constantly de listed by middle managers.  That’s a direct result of my more thoroughly developed reporting approaches.  I’ve learned the hard way that most appraisers lack the ethical backbone to say no, and they’ve simply capitulated to this unethical system.  It defies logic that people whom accept and promote restrained markets are tasked with providing valuation surety services based on free market settings.  Every rule in the book is about free markets, arms length, no undue influence, equally motivated.  Except the rules for amc’s.  Their rules are most definition and simple process based, as regulators struggled to even define their contributory value and thusly regulate that.

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            • Baggins Baggins says:

              Yeah dude, a national clearinghouse is not looking so bad right now. Especially considering that the CU system is now in place, and was not when the IVPI proposal was originally fielded. Bigger government is never better government though.  Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them. Back in the day it was 10 appraisers and 1 active producing group of or single mortgage banker(s). Assignments were handed down the list of approved appraisers in order. Everyone got their fair share, if there was too many orders the mb would add an appraiser, if there was too little, the appraisers whom could not handle the tasks as well, and completely, were simply scratched off the list. If you dared to cherry pick and dump the tougher work on the other appraisers, you were off the list. These days with amc’s when an appraiser operates that way, they’re actually promoted because they shy away from difficult work and therefore post better tat stats. Emphasis on turn times remains to this day, as the simplest indicator of assignment personels actual ethic and actual understanding of basic fair business practices. These guys hire entire phone squads for placing individual complex assignments, as a direct consequence of assigning the bread and butter work to a very limited set of appraisers. The efficiency of ‘management’ is a pure illusion. When it was one appraiser and one mortgage banker, both professionally licensed, there was far more accountability, and mutual respect for the challenges of each others professional positions. Pick your poison for system modeling correction;  Force true rotational (if you’re good enough to be an approved appraiser, you should expect a fair share of assignments). Force a clearinghouse (eliminating counter productive assignment and what should be illegal fee skimming). Allow direct mb to appraiser assignments again (comp searching was nowhere near as bad as amc assignment debacles, and with avm’s, comp searching will never again be as prolific or risky as it used to be. Also the consumer ultimately gets better and more reliable service on average when these two professionals can legally conversate about the primary responsibility, which is reliable valuation service. As much as amc’s will say otherwise, their contribution has nominal if not negative effect on the consumers). Or perhaps license amc employees individually as well as requiring an active appraisers license to assign orders. (since that is a logical requirement better aligned with the tasks at hand. This will also recreate the need for professional engagement between amc’s and appraisers, bringing long absent accountability back to the process.) 

              I’m most in favor of return to direct mb, since that brings more rotational opportunity with it. As a second vote I’d say forced rotational, since that eliminates the negative influences of amc’s. Third would be individual amc licensing. Last would be government clearinghouse, just perhaps too much room for abuse there, given the obvious shortcomings with the power of lobbyists to create legal systems which take accountability away from lenders, and place additional tax burdens on consumers. One thing is for certain, appraisers are not participating in a free market setting. Although we provide the service, the abuse of prolific shopping and meaningless statistical performance based assignment trends has resulted in obvious and tangible restrictions in free market forces by appraisers, as well as dramatic attrition of appraiser populace.

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    • Mike, not to be a troll, but what actions has the AGA and/or ASA done recently (12-24 months) in support of the national cause. I am familiar with their actions on the state level and do not dispute their meaningful contributions on that front. Finally, they have been instrumental in VA but what about Maryland. Our office is a stones throw from the Maryland/Virginia Line and it seems like there is no spill over into Maryland regarding AGA and ASA actions or intended actions to effectuate meaningful change.

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      • Honest Appraiser says:

        It would appear to me the AGA mirrors the Indpendent Appraiser… NO resources or time to battle forces with $Millions and hired guns.

        Back to why we are forced to accept the state maintained rotation panel backed by a Federal mandate. It’s our only option for sanity at this point I’m afraid and the only way we will get these cats herded

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Well, what makes it complicated is the big picture. These people buying these loans need to be devalued to junk stock I guess before anything changes. Hear the one about Deutsche bank admitting to spoofing silver gold for the past decade? Financial crimes go under the radar, because all the risky behavior is backed by taxpayers, it’s the too big to fail argument. As soon as the first ‘too big to fail’ lender is allowed to fail, things will change and quickly. Sadly, the derivatives market is so pumped up, the focus will be on that and not valuation security of real property. Something big is certainly in our future though, it’s not a question of if, but of when. The necessary correction of balancing the federal rate alongside pumping up loan to value requirements substantially simply ain’t ever gonna happen. Free market principals apply to major players, but not to us, the little guys.

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        • WIZZARD says:

          HONEST APPRAISER. Are you a member of the AGA? I can tell you they do more for the independent appraiser than any other group to date. You might want to talk to them. They have the union power. The problem is that so many OTHER coalitions and groups CLAIM they can do things but they never do. Am I a member YES. Have they helped me. yes. maybe if appraisers get off the couch and see that an organization with union power will help them and work for them and make a difference they will join up and give us MORE power. Power in numbers. So please join up. Be a member and START DOING AND STOP WATCHING. WATCHING AND COMMENTING IS WEAK. DOING IS WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

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          • Honest Appraiser says:

            Yes.. I am a member and yes I support their efforts as well as 2 state coalitions.  However, they are undermanned and outgunned when it comes to challenging 1 average sized AMC with a decent Litigator.

            IF we would ALL join then maybe they would be more potent or at least have an attorney on retainer…. – however we need a LOT of help in having ANY cohesiveness or direction.  I am a member – yet I haven’t even seen a newsletter since when??  My state coalition is much more informative and reactionary.

            There are only so many letters Mike can write and in the end WE are the only ones reading them I’m afraid.

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            • H.A. & Wizzard-AGA is happy to have you both as members.

              As for news letters; you may have noticed we kept dues much lower than our parent unions would prefer. 99.9% of our ‘staff’ are unpaid volunteers in order to keep dues low. That includes our ‘executives like our President; Exec VP and yours truly.

              We have always used appraisersblogs to keep our members informed in the past but as I read VaCAPs newsletters I’m reminded many folks prefer a news summary to keep up to date rather than following every single post in AB. The criticism is fully warranted. Lets fix it now.

              Volunteers now being accepted to publish a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter! The pay will be non existent but the issues we are involved with will be real eye openers; and yes, you DO have to be a member of AGA!

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              • WIZZARD says:

                Mike, You know I’m always up for doing something. Whether it be writing or just talking. I do think we at the AGA need to be proactive and update the website more, get people involved in comments and testimonials and more. I think we have a real opportunity to set ourselves apart showing what we are doing and more if we take to social media and blogs. Appraisal blogs has been key in our success and I think we need to keep that partnership active however if we are to move forward we need to do some things and get us going further than others. I’d be happy to discuss my thoughts more with you.

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              • “99.9 percent”….wow, how did you arrive at that specific percentage and who is the 0.1 percent that is being paid. I think the members of the AGA would like to know how you arrive at that conclusion and who is being paid.

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                • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

                  Nick, you are a Coester troll with no intention of contributing meaningful input. You’re a phony. IF you were a member of AGA then you’d be entitled to know the currently salaried person(s). The rest are volunteers.

                  This is my last response to you. Most here on the blog attempt to resolve real issues. Your only interest is in disruption of a blog that has been very effective in many areas…and smooching Brian Coesters ass. Enjoy yourself.

                  Let us know if you need any chapstrick.

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      • Nick – valid question re past 12-24 months. AGA is first and foremost concerned with national issues. That is where our strength lies. Maryland appraisers should decide what issues are important to them and if they need help with them, should ask. We aren’t mind readers.

        Since 2015 AGA has

        • met in person with TAF Boards and ASC Executive Leadership in Redondo Beach, Ca; Las Vegas, and Torrance, CA. to lobby (against AB624 & SB 70).
        • We have advocated (successfully) for an alternative track for upgrading licenses by existing appraisers without four year college degrees.
        • We have written to numerous federal regulatory agencies on issues of importance to all appraisers (many which are addressed in AB articles on this site)
        • We met via conference call with State Coalitions and stakeholders to try to determine if another form of national advocacy would better serve appraisers needs
        • We worked with other established appraiser peer organizations to identify areas where we can be mutually supportive
        • We successfully assisted members in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Georgia, Texas, and California in defending their licenses, and investigated several other instances in other states that did not result in complaints. In Maryland, we were unsuccessful in helping to defend our member – though it now looks like we can help our member to prove the State erred in their finding based on a deficient field review.
        • We have worked behind the scenes on a number of issues with other coalitions and organizations on major issues either being litigated or where litigation is imminently pending.
        • SHORTLY (estimated within the month) we expect a major push to attempt reform of national enforcement of USPAP; or failing that to reform ASC and TAF; rewrite FIRREA since we have identified and documented
        • Oddly enough we can even envision seeking cooperative effort with the AI in some of their stated national goals where arguments they have presented in public have merit.

        Nick, we’ve been busy. Admittedly we have probably been remiss in keeping our membership properly or ideally informed.

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        • Boiler plate polititions response that does not directly answer the question I presented. It does, however, indirectly imply that you and the AGA have done nothing in Maryland. In all honesty, it sound like the AI’s response to residential appraisers over the past decade.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            That’s a little harsh there Nick. Mike is just one hard working individual.

            Let me post my list of recent achievements; blogged a lot, lucky grabs on a few full fee orders, shut down several additional amc’s, blocked numbers for several amc fee quoters, wasted time on xbox, planted a row of corn, dug clay dirt like such a maniac I broke the shovel, hurt my back, finally pulled off a decent smoked grilled stuffed pepper, finally set up this 7pro like one year before end of life, spent a lot of time wondering what I’ll do in the future as this industry is not turning around and rewarding incompetence got a shove forward, not a slow down. The new game in town is some sort of instant reciprocity deal. Appraisers flooded here from many states around, to grab a piece of the better fee pie. Sadly, what they thought was high fees were discount in this current climate. It’s expensive to live in CO right now, it’s just absurd. Who in this room uses unlicensed inspectors? If you’re going to get upset, get upset about that.

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            • Baggins, it should be noted that he started it and had to call him out. If you read all the sub-posts you will understand.

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              • Actually Nick, that’s incorrect. You posted a question to Mike on the 7th. The next day, less than 24 hours later, you posted another comment “criticizing” him for not replying: “Mike, Really….no responce? Are you and the ASA full of s**t like the AI?”

                Please be respectful to your fellow appraisers. Snide or rude comments are not constructive and certainly not helpful. A little patience would have probably provided a better answer. Thank you for your cooperation!

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    • Mike,

      Really….no responce? Are you and the ASA full of s**t like the AI?

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      • “Nick Gioia | Maryland Real Estate Appraisals – Maryland Appraisal
        marylandappraisal.com/author/nick/ In the real estate industry there is very little talk about home owners getting a pre listing appraisal before attempting to sell their house. Most homeowners know …”

        Nick, your website link seems to be broken. How can you run a business if potential customers cant even look at your site? Just curious.

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        • Never mind Nick! I found it.
          Maryland Certified Real Estate Appraiser Nick Gioia – Maryland Appraisal LLC Catonsville, MD 21228

          Is Maryland now allowing residential certified appraisers to do discounted, substandard fee commercial appraisals?

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          • Mike,

            With all do respect what is the basis for your past 3 statements?

            First, I do not perform discounted commercial or residential appraisals.

            Second, if you look at the websites you mentioned http://www.marylandappraisal.com and http://www.mdappraisers.com are designed to drive appraisal related seo traffic – not that I have to qualify how I conduct my business to you or anyone else.

            Third, my prior question is still unanswered by you. I can only assume this the truth hit a nerve and is the basis of your unfounded attempt to lash out on me like an adolesent child.

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            • Nick whenever someone offers vulgarity as an opening greeting, I look them up. I just assumed you were Brian Coester using one of his infamous phony personas to post anonymously, rather than merely being his friend and stooge.

              Whether you are doing ‘discounted’ $900 commercial appraisals or $200 “comp checks” (USPAP compliant? Really?) is your business. I suppose it’s possible someone that doesn’t have a commercial license could advertise doing commercial appraisal work for what amounts to less than half price without being misleading, though I’m less ‘nuanced’ in my perceptions of honesty.

              Pretending to be concerned about real appraisers issues without having the integrity to identify your real purpose and intent for posting here is dishonest. Fortunately other posters already knew who you were and your background so I wont waste more time taking you seriously.

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              • Well I sure don’t take your position seriously anymore as it appears to be propeganda with little to no substance. Your comments and rebuttal to my question support my new founded opinion that the AGA is no better or worse than the AI!

                Please advise which year of USPAP compliance you are referring too. It should be noted that no one can be 100 percent compliant by it’s very design, but you know that. USPAP AO’s can be ambiguously worded and change every 2 years.

                My true purpose? Really, what would that be? Possibly Seo for the link back you could not find because it was wrong in my previous posts. For the record, I am concerned about appraises in Maryland, but you obviously are not.

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      • WIZZARD says:

        Always nice when people comment and make assumptions about organizations or companies they know nothing about.

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  19. Raymond says:

    hmm……interesting comments. however, after 40 years in this appraisal profession, i have seen and read a lot of AI bashing comments. Its been going on for decades. However, there’s is one valid point, that I agree with and that is the AI has retreated from playing a greater leadership role in the residential appraisal role within the mortgage lending arena. When I began my career in the 70’s, the Society of RE Appraisers took the primary role of representing and educating appraisers working within the financial banking industry. Many banks encouraged and paid for their appraisers to take SREA course to receive an appraisal designations. On the other hand, the old AIREA concentrated on all forms of appraising for nonbanking(private) purposes. SREA and AIREA merged around 1990. Since then, the new AI moved away from concentrating on appraisal activities within the banking industry. IMO, the reason for this was that the many of the new AI leaders came from the old AIREA, who also, did not have a lot of understanding, nor give a lot of emphasis to appraising within the banking industry. Plus, is was quite apparent that it was going to be difficult to gain control over residential appraisers from the banking industry.
    After appraiser licensing, around 1993, the banking industry did not give a lot of importance to AI designation or any designations for that matter. Thus, the declined of the importance of residential lending appraisals, by AI, began to accelerate, while other new professional appraisal groups began to pop up weekly, if not monthly with all their new course work and new designations. The AI has thrown “residential appraisers under the bus” is mostly true. However, this was result of the banking industry. Fast forward to today, and we have a very splinter group of professional appraisers doing appraisals for financial institutions, while the lenders and lender interest groups have taken full control of the appraisal lending process. AI, ASA, IFA, and many others, including state licensing boards, have been unable to professionally solidify appraisers who work for financial institutions. AI designations(& some others) still continue to have greater professional recognition in the private appraisal world. Thus, the AI course work, seems likely irrelevant or inconsistent for mortgage lending appraisal purposes, because so much of the lending appraisal practices is totally controlled by lenders, not appraisers. The real issue, IMO, is how does the appraisal profession regain control of the appraisal lending process from non-appraisal entities(lenders)???(To say nothing about basic professional respect). I do not have a solution but I know all the professional bashing between appraisers will not help unify the profession. Oh, BTW, I am a designated member of the AI, if that’s important to other appraisers.

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    • Well said! Your perspective has broadened my horizons regarding the issue at hand.

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    • Raymond a lot of valid history in your comments but there is some perceptual differences observed between us. I started as an AIREA “MAI Candidate”. My first mentor until she retired was Kazue Yoshida, MAI; and my next was Michael Vizzini (SRPA designated by Society of Real Estate Appraisers pre merger and after). Both provided full service appraising (mixed residential and C&I). I abandoned the AI due to high cost when licensing was passed. As originally passed (FIRREA), designation could not be a requirement for assignments-though AI managed to get that modified between 2009-2010). I had no objections to AI at all aside from costs.

      The factual disagreement I have with your post is that the banking industry ’caused’ the AI to abandon residential appraisers. It simply is not true. Greed and a lack of respect caused the AI to abandon residential appraisers.

      Opportunistic openings for ‘Big Fish’ playing in Little Ponds caused the AI to abandon the residential appraiser. Look and see which MAI owns PCV Murcor.

      Their commercial side is a fairly reputable and well run appraiser AMC (in my experience). Conversely, the residential side represents ALL of the negative attributes we accuse many if not most AMCs of having (with possible exception of payment promptness-never heard any complaint there). Incompetence, unreasonably low fees and the primary criteria in appraiser selection is not appraisal complexity, but low fee and fast turn time.

      MAI’s were able to command salaried advisory positions after 1989 where they simply didn’t have to work doing appraisals anymore. Many became anointed consultants and policy makers simply by virtue of being MAIs.

      BTW any brutally honest MAI or experienced C&I appraiser will tell you that MAIs typically are the WORST appraisers when it comes to appraising SFRs. Their one size fits all, “hit it with a hammer” price per SF presumptions are simply not reflected or practiced by most buyers in most markets. Process ‘looks’ good- yet has little to do with real buyer/seller perceptions. But that’s an argument for another time.

      The AI could EASILY resume its traditional leadership role IF it simply recognized WHY members have left them and changed their thinking. There should never have been a need for an AGA to begin with!

      But for the time being, there is.

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      • Raymond says:

        Well i agree with your statement: “The factual disagreement I have with your post is that the banking industry ’caused’ the AI to abandon residential appraisers. It simply is not true. Greed and a lack of respect caused the AI to abandon residential appraisers.” What I meant was in the late 80s and definitely early 90s, it became a well known fact, that the banking industry began to avoid, in a big way, recognizing appraisal designations. The banking industry has other alternatives and they definitely took advantage of that business opportunity. It helped them get the appraisal service (and control) they were seeking. Given that situation, the AI (and I’m sure other groups) and its educational course rapidly became irrelevant to mortgage activity. Having started my career doing 100% mortgage work, i saw the writing on the wall, AI designation (and any designations) were being devalued. Thus, i decided to exit the mortgage appraisal arena, with the motivation of securing more appraisal $s and better appraisal client work. It took me several year to make the transition, but the past 10-15 I probably do 10-15 mortgage appraisal a year and only for clients that have known me for decades. Similarly, the AI has moved away from the mortgage appraisal arena. its too bad that none of the other appraisal groups, (ASA, AGA, etc) have been unable to solidify the mortgage appraisers to effectively address the issues with the AMC business model.

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        • “Thumbs up”

          Concur. ASA has done yeoman service on behalf of residential appraisers. AGA has also done what it could and like ASA, we plan to do much more. Actually we have a plan under development (being submitted for peer and other coalition review and input this month and next) where we can focus on our strengths and both support and promote other professional associations including AI to capitalize on their strengths.

          I only saw the proposal outline yesterday so its VERY new at this point.

          I’d LOVE to be able to support AI, ASA (as I do already), other professional Associations, and state coalitions in areas where each has special services they can offer appraisers. Our executive leadership has taken an idea first proposed by a VaCap member and fleshed it out into something that I think COULD be viable.

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          • Raymond says:

            mike, to improve the current plight of the residential appraisers, it will take a lot of collaboration with ALL professional appraisal groups. So anyone contributing to that effort should be commended.

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            • Baggins Baggins says:

              But the only action that means anything to me, the only performance with substance behind it; is direct assignments at $550 or better. They can all save the grading, the marketing, the management, the performance enhancing software and tech. In this independent appraisal business, our only reward worth anything is two fold; cash, and reliability of cash inflow. That’s what entices so many appraisers to cut corners, use risky behaviors like unlicensed inspectors, boilerplate and automation, flash gordon tats, the need to have a reliable income stream to stay in business. When unethical process becomes an institutionalized effort for the betterment of a few, at the expense of the many. Well, we’ve got some appraisers and middle managers out there whom do not believe in free markets, they believe in monopolies. They do not believe in unity, they’re purely self centered in their business focus. They’re not union minded, they’re vulture capitalist minded.  The consumer is definitely not a priority in their business dealings. Perhaps if they had to look those consumers in the eye….

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  20. Donald Cox says:

    Lenders need skin in the game to keep appraisers honest. Recourse lending kept lending local, and small lenders in business. A few legislators, over time allowed the strongest lenders to grow to the present situation of ( to large to Fail). Not all, nor a significant number of us are guilty of a purposeful indiscretion, but those that are should be punished and barred like Attorneys and Physicians. Those controls would raise fees and respect. We have to do it to ourselves!

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  21. Peter LeQuire says:

    AI’s disinterest in residential appraisers goes back much further than 2008. From its emphasis on international valuation standards, to its promotion of AVMs to its silence on the PIW, its energies have been directed toward promoting its non-residential members. With the possible exception of the alternative paths to the SRA designation, its neglect of residential appraisers has been anything but benign.

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AI Ignored the Residential Appraiser

by AppraisersBlogs time to read: 3 min
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