More than Half of Appraisers Responded They Would Get Out of Appraising

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AppraisalPort Weekly Poll Analysis

This month, I want to again give you a quick summary of three recent polls. The first poll cut right to the chase, asking if you would get out of appraising if you could. This turned out to be the most popular poll in a while with 6,262 responses. I was surprised that more than half (53%) responded that they would get out. Another 25% said they would like to stay but only if fees were what they consider to be customary and reasonable. The smallest group, at nearly 7%, was composed of those who just aren’t sure what they want to do at this time. That leaves only 15% who responded that they are definitely happy with the appraisal business and have no desire to leave. However, when you add that 15% to the 25% who want to stay if the fees were customary and reasonable, we have at least 40% of appraisers who really want to stick with the profession. Appraising is certainly different than decade ago, but I was not expecting the numbers to be this one sided. Let’s hope things get better soon.

The final poll I discuss below seems to indicate that things may be getting better for appraisers. If business continues to increase, maybe these numbers will be more favorable to appraising in the next 12-18 months.

The next poll I want to discuss is a direct follow-up to the one above. Since so many appraisers would be willing to leave the profession, we asked if all the new rules and procedures that were implemented by HVCC, and subsequently the Dodd-Frank Act, are the cause of this desire to leave. This poll had a total of 5,138 responses and was a bit more positive than the previous poll. All this legislation does seem to be a big reason for appraisers wanting to leave the business. The largest group, at 42%, answered that they would want to stay in the appraisal profession if not for the implementation of these rules. Nearly a third (29%) responded that they would still want to get out of appraising regardless of the rules. On the positive side, about 29% responded that they want to stick with appraising regardless of the legislation. So, in this case, we have nearly a third of appraisers who seem to be in the game for better or worse. I did get some e-mail on this poll. Some believed the legislation has been good for appraisers; after all, it is intended to protect the appraiser’s independence. Some appraisers stated they would have responded that they are staying in appraising because of this legislation – good point.

As mentioned above, the final poll I want to discuss shows that business has increased for appraisers in the past year. We simply asked, “How busy are you currently with appraisal work?” We had 5,958 responses and the results showed that appraisers are pretty busy right now. The top answer was “very busy” with 37% of the vote. This was followed closely by “extremely busy” with 28%. “Doing OK” was third with a strong 22%. So when added together, nearly nine of 10 appraisers have enough assignments right now to at least keep them in business. The two less positive responses both received a relatively small number of votes. Only 9% responded that their business is “slow” right now. I’m happy to report that only a small number, about 4%, said they are “dead and barely hanging on.” So, at least for now, most appraisers seem to be receiving enough orders to keep them going.

~ Source By Steve Costello, AppraisalPort Product Manager
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3 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    That 1/3 that you speak of should adequately reprensent the ding dong clan who are just thrilled to be newly licensed and rid of their jobs at McDonalds. Give them another year to go through their credit and home equity and they should wise up as well.

    You already know what the response would have been from the tens of thousands of experienced appraisers who bailed out early on.

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  2. Baggins Baggins says:

    An interesting article. Slash every positive report by half because well more than half of the appraiser populace was not represented in this poll. AP draws in a lot of discounted fee clients. So many an appraiser who already refused such engagements did not log on to AP that week, or even in the same year, for that matter.

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  3. I’m usually the counter-point to my curmudgeonly amigos, “RA” and Baggins above, but not this time. “Wanting” to stick with appraising regardless of legislation is not the same as saying we are happy or even accepting of the current state of affairs.

    An AMC friend told me he cannot get anyone in Texas to accept $450 fees for non complex FNMA conforming loan limits right now. He also said that in Alaska, he cant get any appraisers interested for less than $800 and three weeks turn time. That does NOT mean business is good! All it really means is that of those that have not yet dropped out completely; many have refocused their appraisal into non (loan) production assignments. In the very short term it is going to be a minor windfall for some few appraisers. In the long run it means one of two things MUST happen in an extremely short time span:

    (1). Banks will have to become more realistic about “reasonable” costs and less greedy about what they pay AMCs as purported ‘customary’ fees.

    (2). AMCs themselves will have to settle in to less competitive, more moderate fixed rates for there services—just as they have expected appraisers to do for the past six years. It is the ruinous price competition among AMCs that results in appraiser fees being pushed down. Just as appraisers need a certain compensation or the work suffers, so do AMCs. Banks have passed through (abdicated) their oversight responsibilities to AMCs. If they want cursory “reviews” (quick read overs); then pay $75 fee. If they want meaningful USPAP compliance reviews than $150 to $250+- will have to become the norm.

    Study history. Economic principles can be short cut; side tracked, obfuscated and even lied about for a LIMITED period of time. We’ve about reached that limit. Supply and demand vs quality and price parameters have been stretched to the limits…and then some.

    The FACT that lenders are only making QM loans that can be sold to GSEs, rather than making portfolio loans shows that they KNOW they cant lend their own money safely.

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More than Half of Appraisers Responded They Would Get Out of Appraising

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