AMCs Have Failed

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Appraisal Management Companies AMCs Have Failed

…it will be the appraisal management companies that are going to be held to the fire, not the appraiser…

In the spring of 2002 my wife and I bought our third house; an older cape cod in a great school system where our son would start kindergarten in the fall and his sister the year after. This house literally was 1970 inside. It had deep red shag carpet in the family room and sculptured avocado green carpet upstairs. Not to worry, it blended well with the sunshine yellow stove, bright orange counter top and turquoise and pink bathrooms. After 3 years of removing layers of flowered and checkered wall paper from every inch of plaster down stairs, refinishing the original oak floors, new kitchen cabinetry and brand new bathrooms, we decided it was time to tackle top the upstairs. We gutted the entire upstairs and left 1,000 square foot of open space ready to be transformed. Long story short, by the end of the renovation, we had established a relationship with the HVAC specialist Mike, who installed the HVAC system upstairs. We have followed him to several companies he worked for and last year Mike opened his own company.

New Year’s Day, our downstairs furnace went on to the fritz. So, on January 2nd, I called Mike’s company. The service coordinator, Carol, asked me some questions: What brand is the furnace? How old is it? Where is the furnace located? Do you have any cats in the house? I inquired as to why she needed to know this information. Carol quickly pointed out that they have several technicians trained on certain brands of equipment and are more familiar with the newer equipment with all the electronics. She also shared that one the technicians has severe allergies to cats and dust mites. “If you had a cat or if your equipment was in the attic or crawl space, I did not want to send him out. I want to make sure I get the right technician to repair your equipment.” I was truly blown away! I was dealing with a professional company who conducted business the right way.

This is where appraisal management companies consistently fail. Getting the right appraiser for the assignment type, property type, location and intended use is by far the most crucial aspect of the appraisal management company’s responsibility. Just a little due diligence up front is all it takes. I am unaware of any appraisal management company that does it. I have on occasion had the appraisal management company get the locality wrong.

Blasting text messages to every appraiser is a complete failure by the appraisal management company and speaks volumes of their lack of professionalism and understanding what an appraiser does, is required to do, and how to effectively run a business. Appraisals are a service, not a commodity so one size does not fit all. Appraisal Management companies simply do not understand this basic concept.

For those appraisal management company trolls that read AppraisersBlogs, let me spell it out for you in the hope that you can comprehend the error of your ways. Before I do, the appraisal management companies need to understand they are not dealing with employees, nor are they dealing with independent contractors, they are dealing with another business. Every appraiser who is not a W-2’d employee is a business entity. Even if they do not have a business license, they file business tax returns with the IRS, State and locality in which they reside.

Before even accepting an appraisal order, I search the property in MLS. If it is in MLS, that front photo, interior pictures and the agent comments give me a lot of information about the property, even if it is an old listing, I have a good grasp of the property’s square footage, garages, parcel size, condition, etc. I then pull the tax records and view what the locality has listed. Despite what my license allows me to appraise, I pull USPAP into the decision to accept or not and ask myself, “am I competent to appraise this property?” I am bound by USPAP and competency is a requirement. I then ask myself, “do I want to appraise this property?”

Yes, my MLS allows access from mobile devices, but when I am in the field on an inspection, at a borrowers’ home, I will not be on my phone. This is not only rude, it is extremely unprofessional. When I leave the subject property, I am driving so accessing my phone is not safe, practical or legal.

I do not have any appraisal management company apps on my phone, nor do I allow any appraisal management company to text me anything. This is simply unprofessional and quite frankly, an extremely ineffective means of communication as an address is never enough information. Not to mention my attorney strongly advised against it for confidentially requirements and concerns. If you are an appraiser that is allowing an appraisal management company to communicate with you in this manor, I encourage you to rethink this. At the very least, discuss this with a trusted legal advisor.

A perfect example of the failure of an appraisal management company occurred just the other day. I received an order for a purchase. The MLS listing photo clearly showed a manufactured home and the style stated was a manufactured home. Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, all stated the property was a manufactured home. Even the Tax Card stated a manufactured home. So where is the problem? The first line of the engagement letter stated:

“The lender does not lend on manufactured homes. Stop and notify us immediately if you discover the home is a manufactured home.”

This appraisal management company failed before they even assigned the order. Not only was their lack of due diligence an embarrassment to themselves, it was a complete waste my time, the borrowers time, the real estate agents time and cost each of us money. I am thinking about sending this appraisal management company an invoice for their lack of performance, but I seriously doubt there is anyone employed by the appraisal management company that would understand how they failed and why I should be compensated for my time for doing their job!

The very same appraisal management company called me and asked me to accept an order in an area about 45 minutes from me. It is an area that I cover, but due to a crazy schedule next week because of Presidents Day and my wife and I celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary over a long weekend, I told the appraisal management company, yes, I will complete this appraisal, but the due date would have to be Monday the 26th. The order was sent over with a due date of the 24th, which is a Saturday. I sent a message reminding them I agreed to a due date of the 26th and to please update the order. Several hours later, I received a message stating that due dates could not be changed and the appraisal was due on the 24th. There was no name signed to the message. I sent a second message stating the 26th was a condition of my acceptance. I further explained professional business hours are Monday – Friday and Monday was a Federal holiday. Banks, courthouses and title companies were all closed. A Saturday due date was absurd as no one at the bank would be there to receive it. I then received another message stating that due dates could not be changed. Again, there was no name on the message. I decided this was enough. I called the appraisal management company and asked to speak with the person who was handling this order. The very pleasant person on the phone stated she could assist me. After explaining the situation, she said, “I see the note in the system, I will change the due date.” Human verbal communication worked, messaging was a complete failure.

Saturday due dates, really? No bank has their mortgage department working on a Saturday. Maybe at the end to the month but they certainly are not looking at an appraisal that was just coming in as they are finishing up files that will close that month. My years as a mortgage originator and branch manager gave me great perspective on this. Another example of how the appraisal management companies lack of understanding and communication has failed.

Appraisal management company engagement letters are also complete failures. It used to be when the lender sent an appraisal request it was usually a form from their system they faxed or emailed. It had the borrowers name, address and contact information, the lenders information and maybe a few sentences specific to the assignment. I never received any appraisal requests that were multiple pages. Even the engagement letter the appraiser sends to an attorneys is only 1 page. My take away from this, the lenders understood appraisers are licensed professionals and know Fannie, Freddie, and FHA requirements. There was a professional relationship based on trust and professionalism.

Now in the appraisal management company world, there are multiple page engagement letters that instruct appraisers when to call the borrower, how to speak to the borrower, what to wear, and restating Fannie, Freddie and FHA guidelines. Sometimes the engagement letter will also state a preferred time they have arranged with the borrower. Treating appraisers like 3rd graders is another failure of the appraisal management companies. This only creates more discourse between appraisers and appraisal management companies. If only appraisal management companies understood they cannot exist without appraisers.

Why is the appraisal management company even sending an engagement letter anyway? It is the appraiser’s terms and conditions in which the appraisal management company must accept. Appraisers initiate the engagement letters for our private clients. We are independent businesses, just like my HVAC guy Mike. I agreed to his terms. No different when you call any other service professional. Do the appraisal management companies understand the appraisal is a service, not a commodity? Clearly they do not. Does the appraisal management company not realize without appraisers, they do not exist?

I cannot speak for others, but occasionally I will have difficulty contacting a borrower. After 2 voice messages, I will email them stating I have been unable to reach them by phone and to please call me to schedule the appointment. Once I update the appraisal management company’s system, I usually get a comment from the appraisal management company stating to reach out to the borrower by all means of communication, phone, email and text. I have never texted a borrower, nor will I ever text a borrower to schedule an appointment. I know there are some appraisers that prefer this, but I do not believe it is professional nor efficient.

When I have a borrower on the phone, I start to build a rapport with them. I ask about their home, bedrooms, baths, renovations etc. I sometimes get information about issues within the neighborhood or HOA. In case you were not aware, people love to talk about their homes. During that phone conversation, I also get a feel for who I will be meeting. Although I have never been in a situation where I felt unsafe at the subject, safety is a concern and I trust my instincts. If something does not feel right on the phone, I simply cancel the order and do not go. Texting the borrower or communication via email does not allow this extra layer of personal safety. This is another area where the lack of understanding of what an appraiser does, or the dangers an appraiser could walk into, has created a complete failure by the appraisal management company.

Once the property is inspected, some appraisal management companies require the report to be delivered in 48 hours. I recently heard of one appraisal management company demanding the appraiser submit the report within 36 hours of inspection. Well that is just another example of how the appraisal management company lacks understanding of the appraisal process and the requirements of USPAP. For example the appraiser completes the inspection on a Friday afternoon. The report is due on Sunday? How does the appraiser research and verify all the data required by USPAP? The courthouse is not open to verify a transfer if the records are not online. No attorney is working Saturday or Sunday to verify closing documents, and sales agents are out showing houses. They are not in their offices where the file is to verify information for you. Heck, appraisers are lucky if they can even get an agent to return a phone call sometimes. Even if all the stars are aligned and you can get the report completed on a Sunday, who is working Sunday to receive it? Is the appraisal management company going to provide additional compensation for having you work outside of professional business hours? When you call the plumber at 9:00 at night, does he not charge a night and weekend rate?

Even if the property is inspected earlier in the week, most appraisers will inspect several properties in an area before starting the reports. Much of the research can be shared among the reports, especially if the properties compete against each other. Gas prices are on the rise; all the more reason to be organized and efficient in our day to day routines. Appraisal management companies do not understand we are businesses and work efficiently, even if they do not.

And what is it with appraisal requests coming over at 8:00 PM? If you give me 2 hours to accept, it will just sit there as my business closes for the day at 6:00 PM. I could care less that your office is on the other side of the county. If you ever call me phone at 8:00 AM on a Sunday, like one appraisal management company did, you will get an ear full. Trust me on that! Do the appraisal management companies not know what time zone the property is in? I am not sure they even understand there are different time zones. Another fail!

I live in a suburban county and cover the entire metropolitan area. Most of my appraisal assignments are now coming from rural counties. Some appraisal management companies have hired staff appraisers to complete appraisal reports in my coverage area. These appraisal management companies have set themselves up for some close scrutiny. There is current legal action against an appraisal management company concerning overtime pay to appraisers and attorneys are waiting in the wings for other actions against appraisal management companies and their lenders. If an appraisal management company hires staff appraisers to cover a locality, is that a restraint of trade to non-staff appraisers that are on their panel? What about appraisal management company requirements of delivering completed reports 36-48 hours after inspection? Will the appraisal management company requiring this unrealistic turn time be held liable to the independent appraiser for over time compensation. If the engagement letter tells me how to dress, when to call and what to say, is that not an employer /employee situation? One attorney is looking into these very questions.

To be fair, not all appraisal management companies treat appraisers poorly and have disrespectful and unprofessional practices as I have described. However, enough of them do operate that way that the discourse between the appraisal management companies and appraisers is strong and growing. All eyes are on the profession now that Fannie Mae has asked for another bail out. When our legislators start looking at appraisals, fees and such (and they will) it will be the appraisal management companies that are going to be held to the fire, not the appraiser.

By Milton P, Certified Real Estate Appraiser

Image credit flickr - Jeramey Jannene
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61 Responses

  1. Nathaniel Fitzpatrick on Facebook Nathaniel Fitzpatrick on Facebook says:

    I am a business owner and I had to stop reading your article after you mentioned to gain legal council when accepting an assignment. AMC’s are high maintenance but it’s the new way, as for now. As a business owner you should realize we have to adjust and adapt, just as you have to adapt to technological advances. If you don’t want the work I’ll take it! http://Www.profirstonline.com

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    • Milton P says:

      Nathaniel, I am the author of this article. While I respect the premise everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you have made a conclusion about me advising to seek legal advice before accepting an order. In reality, what I said was to seek legal advice about using text messaging and amc applications on your phone. You might be surprised about the liability you have with those unsecure methods. There is just too much information that could be compromised should your phone fall into the wrong hands or if your phone data gets intercepted. If you feel that mobile applications and text messaging is conducting yourself like a professional, by all means continue your quest. It is your licensure and your future that you are jeopardizing.  
       
      You state amcs are high maintenance; this I agree with. However, as a seasoned business professional, I choose to work smart, not hard. High maintenance clients cost me time, money and aggrevation. I have worked extremely hard establishing myself and earning an excellent personal and professional reputation. I no longer advertise my services, I work for very few amcs and most of my business is from referrals. As a professional appraiser, I do not want, nor do I need high maintenance clients. My business is far more successful without them. My life is far less complicated as well. 
       
      You made the statement “As a business owner you should realize we have to adjust and adapt, just as you have to adapt to technological advances” What makes you think I have not adjusted and adapted? Have you completed an appraisal pasting pictures from the one hour photo shop? Have you typed a report on a manual typewriter? Have you completed a report when there were no standard forms? Have you sent 3 copies of a report overnight by UPS or FedEx to the client? Have you verified a sale at the Courthouse researching deeds? There are many things I do differently than I once did and there are many things I will do differently in the future. But the one underlying factor in determining when, how and what to do differently is the answer to a very simple question: Is it more beneficial than what I am currently doing? Just because some thing is new or more technological, does not mean it is better or more reliable. Experience as a seasoned professional business person and experience in life has taught me that.  
       
      With all due respect Nathaniel, it is clear from your profile and actions, you are young, immature and inexperienced; not only in business, but life itself. I wish you well with your high maintenance technological clients.

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      • Jon says:

        soonds like TSI. They told me that since they are open on Saturdays than it counts in the business days lmao.. how about thinking about the appraiser. We are not the same and not just replaceable. I review work and about 80% of the appraisers out there are so so poor, they have no business having a license. It’s really scary. Do the work for $250, put in 3 sales, not have a clue on  what C3 versus C4 is or have a clue that quality means something and there you have it. AMC collects $300 and a shitty report with a wrong values gets through. Just the other day I called a realtor because a potential comp I was gonna use looked wrong $210,000 in a neighborhood of homes $15,000 to maybe $110,000. Not sure why realtor told me this, but Original appraiser came in at $160,000. They changed lenders and different appraiser came in at the sale price, $210,000!!! WTH!!!!! Sick to my stomach trying to figure out a way to turn these a**holes in

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        • I liked and agree with point of your post Jon.

          Have to quibble bout clue re C3/C4. I know that they are artificial intrusions by FNMA into how traditional real estate analyses are performed where comparables and a subject are compare to each other relative to their market  and not as the absolutes FNMA has pushed us into accepting for FNMA ‘appraisals’.

          Im saddened every single time I hear or see appraisers refer to a property as C3 or C4 instead of “average” for the neighborhood which provides contextual relationship information – without requiring a two page definitions addendum page.

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    • B. Paige says:

      Bull shit, Nathaniel your part of the problem !

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      • Nathaniel Fitzpatrick on Facebook on Facebook Nathaniel Fitzpatrick on Facebook on Facebook says:

        I’m problematic bc I can deal w high maintenance clients?

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        • Annoyed Appraiser says:

          Nathaniel,

          Maybe I can stand working for AMCs if I was that hammered too, now, unlike you, I wouldn’t  have ran around naked, vomiting and defecated in someones yard, along with DUI, and resisting arrest, but to each there own.  Is that part of the adaptation process?  

          PS, Google is a pretty powerful tool, you may want to just google your name once, and see what the world does when they google your. Since your are such a great appraiser, most would do a little research.  Unfortunately for you, your antics are bigger news than your work.

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        • Hooligan says:

          This goes to show you how low an AMC will go to find an appraiser that will work for half the reasonable and half the customary fee ! I wonder if “Clear box” picked up on this ? HA ! If I were a home owner I would have real concerns about letting this guy in my house or around my children !

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      • Annoyed Appraised on Facebook Annoyed Appraised on Facebook says:

        Nathaniel, are the same person that ran around naked, vomiting and defecated in someones yard, along with DUI, and resisting arrest. Is that part of the adaptation process? Maybe I can stand working for AMCs if I was that hammered too.

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        • B. Paige says:

          No, your problematic because you apparently have a geranium in your cranium!

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          You guys are possibly not as good at discovery research on the general internet as you may think. The posters initial link is in Maryland. The story mentioned is Shrewsbury Township, that’s like closer to NY. I’m just not seeing the correlation here I don’t think you’ve actually exposed anything about this poster who fearlessly used his own name. There was this guy named workbox on the AF who would say similar things to me, don’t want the work, I’ll take it all!  To each his own but I have included some interesting disclosure on these so called ‘technological advances’ for your edification below. Newspeak. Dangerous technology is now innovative tech. Learn. Adapt.  choose traditional methods instead. No business is good business until it’s old business.

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          • Annoyed Appraiser says:

            It is very easy to see see his photo is in about 10 articles, along with appraisal page, which he shared, and quite a few others, and erased all his FB posts the moment the article was shared.  A haircut and a shave doesn’t change your identity or face.

            Everyone has issues, but he should spend sometime trying to overcome his issues rather than talking down to his peers and acting as if he is superior to others.

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    • Wayne Courtney says:

      A few days ago our office received an email from a management company seeking a fee and turn time for a property located in XXXXX. The email stated: “we understand current market conditions and would appreciate ANY response”. Our office is located three counties west of the subject property. I personally know the appraisers located in that area. They might take an assignment from an AMC but I doubt it. Our office does not work with any AMC and we get this type of request from AMCs all the time. It has to be tough to run an AMC when you have no appraisers willing to work with you. There are a few appraisers in my area that accept work from AMCs. They get on the treadmill with 36 – 48 hour turn time requirements preventing them from  being able to accept work from the decent clients. Those appraisers also are the ones that never receive the referrals from the other appraisers. Sad choice for many.

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    • Jeff says:

      And here it is black and white — the problem. Its a good thing most of us appraisers in my part of the world are pro active and standing up to problematic AMC’s. Get the bullies out of the industry.

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    • Advocate says:

      I believe the author is talking about using Apps and texting.  There is not much security with those forms of communication. That being said, I have to question anyone who states he is a business person and does not seek legal advice. That is just asking for trouble.

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    • Annoyed Appraised on Facebook Annoyed Appraised on Facebook says:

      I am an annoyed appraiser, and had to stop reading your post after I realized you are the same person that ran around naked, vomiting and defecated in someones yard, along with DUI, and resisting arrest. Is that part of the adaptation process? Maybe I can stand working for AMCs if I was that hammered too.

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    • Tim says:

      Nathaniel have you even been an appraiser for over a year? You are pathetic. Hey McDonalds is hiring…

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        One should check the ASC registry before jumping to any such conclusion. Uh oh…. Who knows, maybe you’re on to something. Multiple state licensing. Hallmarks of bpo and hybrid participators? On the other side of the coin, the way media scrapes public records to drive more traffic and profit from violating peoples right to privacy is a major problem. I’m a right to be forgotten supporter. Everybody deserves the right to privacy. Google is a monster. Getting drunk is totally different than theft and fraud, not even close to rising to the level where such airing of data should be promoted, it does nothing to protect our industry or the public. There are bad people and even companies out there who will screw with your drinks. You have to be careful, nobody is immune to food and beverage fraud. I don’t care if it’s true, it’s not an appropriate or necessary disclosure. Hit me with banking fraud, audit the fed, money laundering, cooking the books. I want dinner not empty internet snacks.

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        • Annoyed Appraiser says:

          This isn’t someone getting drunk, the man defecated and vomited in yards while running around naked, drove in that condition, and resisted arrest.

          Obviously, he has some personal issues to deal with, after all, this happened about 6 months ago.  He should deal with his issues rather than lecture others on doing things his way.

          He enjoys claiming he completes 26 appraisals a day, is licensed in 3 states, and can’t possibly have a driver’s license at the moment, and avocates for getting with the future and collaborating , so I’d have to guess he focuses on desktop reports.

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    • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

      Everyone please forward those $150 AMC orders to Nathaniel Fitzpatrick. He does indeed appear to be an appraiser in need of food, shelter, and gas money. I quit the flea bag “profession” in 2009 Nathaniel but if you’ll please create a PayPal link on your web page for donations I’ll chip in $5 so you eat tomorrow.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        This new proposal to stop welfare payments and food stamps and send the hungry boxes of food instead has my attention. I’ve been saying for years that shopping is an earned privilege not a natural right of a citizen. Send them beans and rice! That guy is licensed in 4 states, he’s eating well I’m sure. Dude, my online gaming renewal is coming up, help me out with that one? I don’t have paypal but I can accept cash or money order.

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    • Jon says:

      Nathaniel, you are an idiot. If you are not an appraiser, then please don’t comment as you have no clue

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      • Advocate says:

        Hey, the guy has a license. If he chooses to pass the time like a dog chasing his own tail, let him. Just like the dog, he will go no where. People like him never learn, so no need to waste your time.

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  2. DLW says:

    I actually agree with getting legal counsel when dealing with many of the major AMCs. I have been personally invited to join AMCs for certain specific types of work (private banking, etc.). However, the terms of engagement are onerous and invasive, and in some cases likely contrary to the law of my state and unenforceable. There is not way I would even think of signing such a document without legal counsel. I agree that AMCs are likely here to stay. However, they will be limited to certain categories of work, such as GSE-type assignments, where the lender can pass the buck. Many other types of lending clients have been, and continue to, avoid them like the plague.  

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  3. Annemieke Roell says:

    This article is right on point  Thank you!!!

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  4. Iron Mike Sharpe says:

    Well written and well stated. Why is it appraisers always have to adapt? When are these AMCS going to listen and adapt themselves? They are no longer middle men! They continue to morph into other things all while continuing to make millions off appraisers and consumers  with their ugly business practices. Many of these AMCS are getting credit for the work done by the independent appraiser instead of the appraiser themselves. We are not employed by you so please stop giving out the false information that we are your appraiser. We are not your partner. Please stop calling us your partner. If  we are to be your partner then we want profit sharing, benefits and more. Lastly they are developing products that are failing the public trust (IE. Clear Capital) and allowing appraisers from CA to appraise in WY, from IN to appraise in GA and who knows where else. It’s absolutely Horrendous.

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    • Rick G. says:

      Excellent point Iron Mike ! I think they want us to adapt to making up to half of what we met 20 years ago per appraisal so they can keep the difference. I don’t know about you guys but I am following the guidelines Fannie Mae has instructed me to follow. I use their forms and adhere to there appraisal requirements. I passed the state exam and became certified. I don’t know what they want me to adapt to? Maybe adapt to completing hybrid appraisals for them at $25 a pop? Not going to happen. I have no intention of an enabling this parasitic, opportunistic , corrupt system that we’ve been forced to work with.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        One important additional point to be made regarding these lines of reasoning, is how difficult it is to navigate the regulatory structure for appraisers. I wrote the senior editor at WorkingRE about this, and he is possibly going to have an article on that topic soon. 15 years later and I still at times have to spend quite a bit of time finding the data, reading the data, interpreting the data. PSI testing handled zero of that content. Jones Kapplan taught zero of that content. Per Mr Ford’s commentary on the matter, I believe the lack of central resources available to all industry participators is a root cause of the problem which has led to such variance in the way states come to decision and penalty processes. To stay on topic, it is an untenable request to ask that regular telecom based unlicensed distribution workers, amc’s or not, be asked to keep up with these regulatory points. If I was doing that job I’d say, I don’t have a license, you can’t make me invest a similar amount of effort as these licensed individuals for this quarter or half rate pay scale in comparison. Punch in punch out, the easy life for the employees, don’t discount it. Therefore a sensible solution; Require all distribution workers to carry appraisers licenses. This will better mirror the days when we could source orders from knowledgeable licensed accountable mb’s directly. Just trying to keep them honest.

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    • Jon says:

      they will never help the appraiser and push back on the lender because they are afraid to lose a client. Who cares about the appraiser as there is another right around the corner is their thinking. And the fact that there is an appraiser shortage is bs. They want more appraisers in the pool to lower fees.

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  5. TruthBTold says:

    Lately, I’ve noticed a trend that seems to be another AMC manipulation. More AMC’s are requiring you to call and speak to someone if you need the due date extended. I happily comply with this except in 99% of the cases it’s not because of me but because of homeowner delay. The AMC “claims” to make the change and everything goes according to schedule. When the monthly report comes around it shows me as being late on the assignments I gave proper notice on. I just fired an AMC that pays a better than average pay but has been doing this now for at least 5 years. I have called after reviewing the monthly report and complained and they made the changes, but I shouldn’t have to be subjected to this!  They also wouldn’t stop the clock on the turn-time until you responded to any revision request or additional comments. The problem with this is most of the people reviewing reports these days are following a guideline sheet or computer review print out. If there is anything about the report that is not consistent with those guidelines, they don’t read the report to see if there may be an explanation as to why, they just send it back for revision. Additionally, most of these people involved in these reviews have little to minimal experience in real estate valuation, so no matter how explanatory you get in the report, there is always somebody who doesn’t get it. We’re being asked to be mind readers. Imagine what attorneys bills would be if they were asked to do the same!!!

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    • I agree. IF one is working for an AMC ALWAYS make sure all communications are well documented. No matter what they are for. It is for YOUR benefit as well as theirs. Phone memos are little better than hearsay in court. An email message is usually pretty clear…though not always.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Yeah, it’s like, all automated these days. You may be interested to learn that the new quotas for review imposed on these people, now that CU has the XML tools, can be upwards of 40 reports a day. Trust the EO review tool on internal software, that usually keeps a lot of that concern down. I appraise with the ghosts of the last thousand reviewers at my back. They keep on reminding me that you’d better cover this, and that, and this, and that. 50+ page reports and climbing. Stips remain rather low for me, but are more routine than ever. Just change this name, missed that checkbox, this did not line up.  It’s one big illusion, the automation of it all. Alamode could provide us those tools but the money was in selling the review tools to lenders and amc’s, then upcharging appraisers for those plug in service tools. If Alamode truly was all about appraisers, they’d give us every tool available to get ahead of the lenders scrutiny. A lot has changed in 10 years which many appraisers are blissfully unaware of. I’m liking this new LenderX platform, heard of that one yet?

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    • Jon says:

      Same here. AMC told me that the clock starts when u get the order, let’s say 7 days. The borrower doesn’t call back right away resulting in an inspection date on day 7. Report is now considered late and they say they can’t do anything about it and now my turn time % goes down! WTF!!! What is wrong with these god damn people. Please please

      we have to do something and unite as one to take back the careers we have worked so hard to creat. I refuse to be taken down by some $10 an hour rude punk at an Amc

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      • Wayne Courtney says:

        This morning we received an email requesting that we “assist” this AMC out of Colorado in the preparation of an assignment THEY have accepted. We are requested to provide the fee and turn time as well as every silly BS application and information form. These appear to be new idiots trying to get established in our area. Our office is only FOUR counties north of this property location. The lender is Compass Bank who has a meager presence in our market. The other banks in the area simply order their appraisals direct, the appraiser completes the assignment and loan closes. There are a few banks that send the assignment to an AMC. The AMC starts out broadcasting their foolishness to every appraiser in the area. No response, a few days later they send out individual requests to the appraisers within a four to five county area, still no response. Later they start calling every appraiser in the area…..The local lenders could already have the appraisal completed and reviewed before the AMC can get started. I just cannot help but find this situation to be funny.

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      • It’s real easy to unite – Nike said it best. Just do it.

        http://www.appraisersguild,org contact janbellas@apprisersguild.org

        1. I don’t allow AMCs to ‘rate’ or score me. The ONE that I respect and sometimes do work for has told me repeatedly to ignore the appraisalport automated messages. I haven’t done an appraisal assignment for them since my birthday in 2015. They’ll still buy me lunch tomorrow. (seriously).

        2. I never minded if a bank, LO, agent or client rated me as ‘sometimes difficult to deal with’ because those were real, honest, human evaluations that I had or have a degree of control over.

        3. My clients keep coming back because I generally know my stuff and will talk to them honestly. Heck, I even tell them my fees are intentionally high because I don’t want to play in the shallow end of the pool anymore.

        4. If my client has to use a computer to rate me then one of us is doing something wrong in the relationship. If they are that stupid, then they’d be incapable of understanding what makes a good professional relationship anyway.

        So, don’t be afraid to wave goodbye to them. If they are schmucks they just waive with one finger.

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      • It’s real easy to unite – Nike said it best. Just do it.

        http://www.appraisersguild,org contact janbellas@apprisersguild.org

        1. I don’t allow AMCs to ‘rate’ or score me. The ONE that I respect and sometimes do work for has told me repeatedly to ignore the appraisalport automated messages. I haven’t done an appraisal assignment for them since my birthday in 2015. They’ll still buy me lunch tomorrow. (seriously).

        2. I never minded if a bank, LO, agent or client rated me as ‘sometimes difficult to deal with’ because those were real, honest, human evaluations that I had or have a degree of control over.

        3. My clients keep coming back because I generally know my stuff and will talk to them honestly. Heck, I even tell them my fees are intentionally high because I don’t want to play in the shallow  end of the pool anymore.

        4. If my client has to use a computer to rate me then one of us is  doing something wrong in the relationship. If they are that stupid, then they’d be incapable of understanding what makes a good professional relationship anyway.

        So, don’t be afraid to wave goodbye to them. If they are schmucks then just waive with one finger.

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      • Advocate says:

        Jon, Are you a member of your State Coalition? Or any organization? The State Coalitions are gaining traction and have started to work with the National Organizations. Please get involved if you are not. We can and are making a difference.

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  6. Ralph says:

    Many great points, a bit long winded, but I completely disagree on not texting a borrower, get with the times it’s 2018!  Many borrowers prefer this, especially when they are at work.  I used to always call, but found I spent wayyyyy to much time on the phone and it was a game of 20 questions all things real estate!  Texting is how many of us communicate now and works well for me!  To each their own but technology changes so quickly and I like to use it to make my job easier.

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    • Advocate says:

      Ralph, 20 questions of Real Estate is part of your job. On the phone or on the site. Either way you have to do it.

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      • Ralph says:

        Hey advocate, sure if said borrower wants to pay me a consulting fee, but not when I’m trying to schedule a simple refinance!  Time is money, waste your own!

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        • Advocate says:

          If you choose to talk with the borrower about the subject real estate at the time of inspection,  that is your choice. I personally try to get as much info as possible up front to pull some sales so I can snap photos when I am in the neighborhood. I have found it saves me from going back and saves me time.  If you do it different, it makes no difference to me.

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          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Also, serving a secondary and more vital purpose. By establishing a dialogue, you keep the doors open for objection, new information, and deflect a far greater number of complaints before they ever materialize. I like the catch line; Talking to homeowners can be invaluable, the majority of my experience and knowledge comes from either learning or sharing lessons from people I have worked with previously.

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    • Ralph, I have mixed results with texts. ALL bad field appointments in past two years resulted from text arrangements rather than voice. Im also prone to typos as some have observed. Texts simply don’t allow for all the necessary questions to be resolved. I don’t mind a text requesting I call at a certain time. I’ll also send one requesting an owner call me but I wont schedule by text ever again.

      Getting with the times doesn’t mean sacrificing quality of workmanship and accepting the adequate communication that results from texting. IF I text, I do it reluctantly.

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    • TJ says:

      Texting a borrower? How do you know they prefer that? You could just as easily irritate them by texting. Texting is for casual communication among friends, not professional business. You are walking a very thin line my friend.

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      • Ralph says:

        TJ worry about yourself!!!  Who are you to tell me how to run my business!! And what line??? Times change get with them or get left behind!!  I have not had one complaint, and many referrals from borrowers met upon inspection who were contacted via text!

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        • TJ says:

          Whoa there Ralph. I am sorry someone poured sour milk on your Cheerios this morning, but don’t take it out on me. All I did was ask you some questions. Clearly you are sensitive to the subject. I am not telling you how to conduct yourself, just pointing out some questions you should think about going forward. Change is always a good thing, but change that is not beneficial is  change that should not be done.. Think about what you are doing is all I am saying. Hope your day gets better.

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      • Anonymous Appraiser says:

        I don’t text without consent, Businesses have been sued and fined as it violates TCPA.  Any text sent without consent can cost $500 a piece,  and a $1,500 fine.

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        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Dangerous microwave frequency waves which disrupt cellular activity which is a known and disclosed cause of leukemia and cancer. 1g,2g,3g,4g, and now ‘5g’. You may be surprised to learn this is a labeling trick and 5g is really like 25g, a very high powered high frequency wave which is so energetic it does not transmit through solid matter and 5g will require a vast increase in relay and tower stops for line of sight access. Our wireless systems are known dangers which even at current 4g levels are illegal and prohibited elsewhere in many other developed countries. Smart meters, I have a link for you. Pay special attention to the second half where it talks about how you pay to power the meter. Other research testing shows 8 out of 10 ‘smart’ meters have vastly different reading results under controlled matching energy loads, some known to over bill by double the use amount. The wireless industry is a total sham. Over 1/3rd of all wifi traffic is porn.  This is the reason we’re ruining beautiful landscapes and subjecting citizens to future cancer and leukemia? You are vastly more likely to get cancer with all the interconnected devices out there. If you know what’s good for you and understand wave energy science, you will keep it wired and avoid all wireless devices possible. Trading cellular dna disruption for the convenience of calling on the go? Resist 5g and V2V. Do not buy.

          Evaluation of the ITRON Open Way AMI Meter

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  7. Milton, Excellent points – all. Maybe I’m one of a few that appreciates saying everything in our hearts and mind takes space. You kept me interested the whole time. Thank you.

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Yeah, great read. We can all relate. Further illustrating why all individuals involved in appraisal assignment should be required to have appraisers licenses themselves. Just trying to keep them honest.

      All this talk of texting, you guys really do that? Bell 1984 desk phone, right here. still going strong. I even shut down the blueray on the PC and still have a wired ethernet cable, wired mouse, keyboard, all of it is wired, every single last device down to the wired 360 controller, thermostat, alarm, everything. Do not participate in the internet of things program. Get hacked. Think of how these concerns would not even be present in the first place if you had a more simple and patient approach to managing communications. By eliminating the device which causes the conflict, conflict resolved.  Easy. It’s tough to object to the don’t have a cell phone argument. Patience is a virtue. Cell phones now a days render humans like dogs on leashes. I’ll pass on the additional oversight of my activities movement and communication.

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  8. Please be respectful to your fellow appraisers. Please do not attack someone for having an opinion that differs from your own; if you disagree with someone, please express yourself respectfully. Snide or rude comments are not constructive and certainly not helpful. Thank you for your cooperation!

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  9. Chris says:

    A lot of great points! I’ve been an appraiser for 16 years. I started when I was 21. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, with most of them being for the worse, especially of late. The one example that frustrates me the most is, an AMC that services a large client in my area using data from our reports to provide valuation services for the client based off a property checklist. It used to be an awesome job and I loved it, but over the past 6 – 7 years I’ve grown to hate the profession, not to mention people have become so vindictive and difficult to deal with in recent years. I spend a lot of time on my reports, and try to be the best I can in my field. Then I see others work in my area and wonder, how in the world did that make it through underwriting? and if it did, why do I work as hard as I do? I’ve finally started going back to school to be a nurse, and I’m busting my butt, and counting down the days that I can be done with this wretched profession.

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    • I find your post especially interesting for a couple of reasons.

      1. You have been in it long enough to know the ins and outs of appraising; and

      2. You are still well below the age of the average appraiser (by about 20 years). Meaning you still have other practical career options available to you; and are planning to pursue them.

      I bet the AQB of TAF never reached out to you specifically to ask if you plan to remain or leave the profession, and what it would take to retain you, did they?

      Instead, they appear to have just waived a magic wand and decided the answer to the aging appraiser pool is just to make it easier for college grads to bypass experience requirements. Seems like a pretty egregious oversight to not even poll younger appraisers such as yourself as to why so many are leaving the profession.

      I’d like to see a survey of the early 20’s to mid-forties appraisers about why they may leave or stay.

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  10. Robert P. says:

    ASC Special Meeting – April 12, 2018 Tuesday March 06, 2018 The ASC will hold a Special Meeting scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on April 12, 2018, at the Federal Reserve Board facilities at International Square, 1850 K Street NW, Washington, DC. The purpose of this Meeting is to consider the temporary waiver request from TriStar Bank of Dickson, Tennessee. The agenda for the Meeting will be posted here approximately two weeks before the meeting date. If you plan to attend the ASC Meeting in person, we ask that you send an email to meetings@asc.gov. You may register until close of business four business days before the Meeting. You will be contacted by the Federal Reserve Law Enforcement Unit on security requirements. You will also be asked to provide a valid government-issued ID before being admitted to the building.

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  11. John Fucarino says:

    Anybody that writes anything other than Thank you or I agree %100 is not anyone I would even have a conversation with . You have described what we are up against better than I could ever hope to do. It has become intolerable . I have 5 months left until I retire and it is even harder at the end. Thanks Again

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AMCs Have Failed

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