My Day as an Appraiser

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VaCAP Board

Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
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CoreLogic vs Appraisers: My Day as an Appraiser

Big Corporations like CoreLogic are like sharks…

This morning, as I do every morning, I made some coffee and began work on one of the two appraisal reports that were soon to be due. The first was for an AMC known as Speedy Title and Appraisal Review Services. This appraisal management company is owned by CoreLogic. From their website

“CoreLogic is an Irvine, CA based corporation providing financial, property and consumer information, analytics and business intelligence. The company analyzes information assets and data to provide clients with analytics and customized data services. The company also develops proprietary research, and tracks current and historical trends in a number of categories, including consumer credit, capital markets, real estate, fraud, regulatory compliance, natural hazards, and disaster projections.”

As I opened my appraisal software program, ACI or Appraisers Choice, I noticed that it is owned by First American formally known as First American-Corelogic. Corelogic became a standalone business in 2010.

Once the data collected from my field inspection was input into the previously owned Corelogic software, I began my search for comparable sales though my local MLS. Surprisingly, I noticed a familiar orange, white and brown logo which I had seen somewhere else before. Then it hit me! It was the Corelogic logo!

As required by USPAP, all information must be verified to be accurate with other sources. At that point I started to check the data provided by my local MLS with the Realist Tax Data. Realist coincidentally is also owned by Corelogic.

After the data from the Corelogic owned MLS software was checked against the CoreLogic owned Tax Data and entered into the previously owned CoreLogic appraisal software, I began the cost approach, as it was required within the scope of work of the assignment. My current (but I’m thinking not for long) source for cost data is the Marshall and Swift Residential Cost Handbook, which, surprisingly is now owned by Corelogic.

In the final stages of the report I skimmed the lengthy engagement letter to ensure I had addressed all the requirements. Good thing I did, a flood map is to be included in the report. Well guess what, the company I use for flood maps is www.floodcert.com. Yes sir, another CoreLogic product.

Finally, I completed the report and just for fun I took another look at Realist to see how my value was coming in compared to the REALAVM. You know the computer generated value provided by CoreLogic within Realist.

The next appraisal report would have to wait because I had a revision request from my best client, The Veterans Administration. They always come before ANY appraisal management company. They actually pay a reasonable and customary fee, do not participate in scope creep, and have reviewers who know what they are talking about. They understand the appraisal process as they are most likely appraisers themselves.

It seems their review program alerted them that further commentary was needed for one of my adjustments on an appraisal. The review program is known as LSAM. Well guess what, LSAM is a CoreLogic product also.

Once that was uploaded to the portal I started work on the remaining report for RELS, an appraisal management company. Oops excuse me. My bad! That is the old name of the AMC. It is actually called Corelogic now as they acquired RELS in 2010.

In case you have forgotten, let me remind you; Corelogic, from their website,

“is an Irvine, CA based corporation providing financial, property and consumer information, analytics and business intelligence. The company analyzes information assets and data to provide clients with analytics and customized data services. The company also develops proprietary research, and tracks current and historical trends in a number of categories, including consumer credit, capital markets, real estate, fraud, regulatory compliance, natural hazards, and disaster projections.”

Finally, all reports were completed and the revision request addressed. It was time to look for some continuing education! I get solicitations all the time for continuing education in my email. So I check my email. I received an email from FNC, the parent company of Appraisal Port. It seems my credit card has expired and I need to update my information. ppraisal Port is an online portal some lenders use to create a firewall between them and the appraiser without the use of an AMC. Just so you know, FNC was recently acquired by CoreLogic.

Back to my continuing education quest…

There were a few options available to me. The first one was from the Appraisal Institute. Although I obtained my initial education from them, I decided not take any more classes from them as they do not have the residential appraiser’s best interests at heart. There was one that sounded very interesting, “USPAP at Sea.” Take a 5 day cruise, spend 1 day on the water knocking out the required USPAP update class. Sounds great. Wait! This class is offered by the Columbia Institute! CoreLogic recently acquired them too!

Enough! Time for a break; I walk down the street to my local coffee house for an afternoon pick me and I run into another appraiser I have known for years. We sit and chat and he tells me he is being solicited by an AMC to become a Field Staff Appraiser. We discuss how this is just wrong and that AMCs should not be completing appraisal reports. That is not their function. I inquire as to which AMC and he informs me it is CoreLogic. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry…

Big Corporations like this are like sharks. They must keep swimming and keep eating otherwise they die. Their shareholders want to see profits every quarter. It has happened to for profit colleges, the medical industry and now it is happening to the appraisal industry. As appraisers we identify trends. I think I have identified a very big trend here. If you think it is healthy for our industry to be so heavily engrossed with one company, which is harmful to the consumer, go on about your business. If you don’t think it is healthy and actually harms the consumer, contact the Attorney General in your state. Let’s regain control of the appraisal profession.

Other services of CoreLogic from their website:

Automotive: Automotive & Trucking Credit Reports
Mortgage: ePostClosing & Mortgage Credit Reports
Real Estate: Australian Property Info (RP Data), RealQuest, & REI Source
Marketing: ListSource
International: CoreLogic Australia, CoreLogic Mexico, CoreLogic United Kingdom

By ACE Appraiser, VaCAP Guest Author – ACE Appraiser is a Certified Residential Appraiser and wishes to remain anonymous.

Image credit flickr - Jeff Kubina
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VaCAP Board

Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.

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74 Responses

  1. cb says:

    I think they also bought Landsafe.  Just wondering, with CoreLogic controlling soooo many aspects of the process how much potential liability will they face when the next downturn inevitably hits??

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  2. Lauren Renee Moschette says:

    I believe if you look a little deeper, the lender, of that report you just completed, owns STARS, who is owned by CORELOGIC, who employees APPRAISERS!!!. What a loop hole.

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  3. bp says:

    Wouldn’t touch a Corelogic  order to save my life. Bottom feeders The data they use for some tax records is so off it’s not even funny

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  4. EK says:

    Big Data input by people with no liability and/or integrity, desire or competency to get it in correctly creates useless and baseless Big Data…   what could go wrong??

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  5. Ralph says:

    Great article ACE, but I’m just not sure how you can deal with CoreLogic on daily basis.  They are trying like crazy to recruit staff appraisers in my area and have called me many times.  No matter what those big AMC’s say, being your own boss is far more rewarding than death by 1,000 CUTS which is what AMC work is.  That’s why I do VA/REO/Private.  F@#k AMC’s!

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    • Dina says:

      It’s very difficult. I don’t do much work for them. By the time the underwriter has went through you Appraisal with a fine tooth comb, it hardly seems worth the fee. The turn times are ridiculous. If you accept a rush and the borrower or agent doesn’t get back to you, they take away the fee. It only took me 1 time for that. Also, they micromanage. Call you constantly even if you update. They also cancel orders and don’t pay you for your time.

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  6. BRYAN WEDMORE says:

    GET MY FLOOD MAPS FREE FROM THE SOURCE.

    https://msc.fema.gov/portal

    HAVE NOT PAID FOR FLOOD INFO IN YEARS.

    I HAVE A QUESTION. DOES ANYONE ENJOY BEING AN APPRAISER ANY MORE? I USED TO LOVE THIS JOB.

    ALWAYS CROSS REF, REALIST WITH LOCAL COUNTY GOV SITE INFO, TAKES A LITTLE LONGER BUT ALWAYS KNOW I CHECKED THE REAL SOURCE. CYA IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO TODAY, AMC’s SUCK AND SHOULD GO THE WAY OF THE FLOPPY DISK. IF EVERY APPRAISER WHO GETS AN ASSIGNMENT WOULD COUNTER THE FEE WITH ONE THAT PAYS ENOUGH TO EAT AND PAY THE BILLS THE AMC”s WOULD HAVE TO START PAYING WHAT I MADE IN 2004. TRY IT! SEE IF THE WORK DOES NOT COME BACK AFTER AWHILE. I ONLY ACCEPT WORK I FEEL IS PAYING WHAT I AM WORTH OR I JUST GO OUT IN THE GARAGE AND WORK ON MY DIRT BIKE UNTIL THE NEXT OFFER COMES IN. YEP YOU GUESSED IT, I COUNTER THAT ONE ALSO. I WILL JUMP THRU THE HOOPS THEY DEMAND AS LONG AS THEY PAY “MY” FEE OTHERWISE I JUST GO THE OLD MARKET MYSELF ROUTE AND HIT THE STREETS IN MY AREA TO SALE MYSELF TO THE LOCAL LEGAL MARKET. I MAY NOT GET AS MUCH WORK AS OTHERS BUT I WORKED TO HARD TO GET HERE I AM NOT WHORING MY SELF OUT. OK WELL MAYBE FOR THE RIGHT DIRT BIKE GOODIES I WILL WHORE A LITTLE 🙂

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    • Elaine Morgan says:

      I agree. I started quoting a reasonable fee and turn time and sticking to it. Last year I did about 15% fewer appraisals and made about 20% more money. If everyone did it we would all be in better shape. We should be paid for our expertise. Everyone else with their hand in the deal is paid way beyond the expertise they add to the chain.

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  7. JW says:

    They were what immediately became the re-branded First American eAppraiseIt during the collision lawsuit with Washington Mutual, which ultimately led to the HVCC and a lot of unanswered questions during the mortgage meltdown. The HVCC actually gave them more of a monopoly on the appraisal business as it directed all appraisal orders to AMC’s, and nobody has ever explained how they got more control of the appraisal industry because they were a defendant in a corruption case? Anyway, do what we all should do, don’t work for them. I have gone out of my way to avoid them, and no matter what I say or do, they have kept trying to get me to sign up for years. They may be the largest RE information and services company in the world, but apparently they don’t have enough appraisers willing to accept their low fees and constantly unreasonable stipulations, or else they would have quit asking me a long time ago. Just boycott them.

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  8. Matt says:

    Nice article.  I agree, but what exactly do we say to the attorney general?

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  9. My office is less than 10 miles from Core Logic. I’ve been talking about Core Logic’s big data dominance and warning what was coming for many years, and that one day they would be a monopoly. My MLS platform software was the first one bought by Core Logic many years ago . I knew then what was coming and the coming expansion mode throughout U.S. by acquisition of many MLS platforms. I warned that through accumulation and consolidation of big data sources, especially MLS, that the value added of appraisers would be diminished and in many cases eliminated altogether as automation would take over. FNMA’s “Inspection Not Necessary” CU [free automated appraisal] loan process, with up to 90% LTV, including non-owner occupied and 2nd homes, is now active and quite popular (up to $1.0 million value).  The vast majority of appraisers have responded that I was over-reacting, and that a robot could never replace them. Residential mortgage Appraisers have actually been helping the process working against their own futur best interests by submitting UAD formatted reports in XML format. The intent has always been the accumulation of appraiser data to be used in an automated appraisal process. BTW I am a SME having co-developed the AVM now used in both GSE’s platforms (Veros) starting in 1999, completely from scratch.  Core Logic and other large data and software competitors were blown out by Veros. My next prediction is that Core Logic will one day purchase Veros. This will not be good for appraisers. One corporation will be in control from top of Apex all the way down to raw data (MLS).  Knowing what was coming for many years, I stopped doing mortgage appraising which now makes up less than 10% of my appraisal business, instead focusing on litigation support, complex appraisals, relocation, etc. The writing is on the wall for the future of residential mortgage appraisers. Commercial too.

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  10. My office is less than 10 miles from Core Logic. I’ve been talking about Core Logic’s big data dominance and warning what was coming for many years, and that one day they would be a monopoly. My MLS platform software was the first one bought by Core Logic many years ago . I knew then what was coming and the coming expansion mode throughout U.S. by acquisition of many MLS platforms. I warned that through accumulation and consolidation of big data sources, especially MLS, that the value added of appraisers would be diminished and in many cases eliminated altogether as automation would take over. FNMA’s “Inspection Not Necessary” CU [free automated appraisal] loan process, with up to 90% LTV, including non-owner occupied and 2nd homes, is now active and quite popular (up to $1.0 million value).  The vast majority of appraisers have responded that I was over-reacting, and that a robot could never replace them. Residential mortgage Appraisers have actually been helping the process working against their own futur best interests by submitting UAD formatted reports in XML format. The intent has always been the accumulation of appraiser data to be used in an automated appraisal process. BTW I am a SME having co-developed the AVM now used in both GSE’s platforms (Veros) starting in 1999, completely from scratch.  Core Logic and other large data and software competitors were blown out by Veros. My next prediction is that Core Logic will one day purchase Veros. This will not be good for appraisers. One corporation will be in control from top of Apex all the way down to raw data (MLS).  Knowing what was coming for many years, I stopped doing mortgage appraising which now makes up less than 10% of my appraisal business, instead focusing on litigation support, complex appraisals, relocation, etc. The writing is on the wall for the future of residential mortgage appraisers. Commercial too.

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  11. Lyle Lanley says:

    Read up on CoreLogic a little more. They grossed 1.5B in 2015, their CEO knocked back about 7million. They pay appraisers generally 50% (or less) of the Appraisal Fee charged to borrowers (the Appraisal Fee that is intentionally misleading on a HUD1). “AMC paid $X, Appraiser paid $Y”, NO sir. Lobbyists won’t have an extraneous regulation like a fee-split notation sully-up the HUD1! Your state may mandate you disclose AMC/Appraiser splits – but we all know maybe 1/4 of the borrowers read that dialogue. Do CoreLogic Engagement letters request appraisers “Do not discuss fees with homeowners”?

    Clearly CL values Data. Not only did they buy most MLS databases, but you know those files you upload to Appraisal Port, the .env files? Those go into CL’s metadatabase, i.e., the appraisal professional’s Interpretation(s) of the MLS/MRED data housed within a report/assignment. Those flood maps and natural hazard info. sure help-out in assessing risk, don’t you think?

    CL will corner the market on cheap AVMs sold to the lenders with whom they are in-bed, self-insured (much like our E & O), before said Lender sells-off the loan to the Secondary Market. Pretty cool business model Anand (oops, RIP Anand… Frank!). Cut A LOT of cost, marketable or attractive to Lenders b/c their impressive metadata sure appears to assess risk adequately! Loan applicants with good credit, those looking for a small Home Equity line of credit, refi’s with a low LTV, e.t., will be a perfect target market. I’d guesstimate CL AVMs potentially eliminate 50%+ of Mortgage Finance Appraisal needs.

    I envision the day where States issue a new type of License, “State Licensed Real Estate Photographer” – not too much training needed, no college degree needed, simply pass a back-ground check and have opposable thumbs for operating a camera. CL will pay you $45 to take interior & exterior photos of a one-unit, Residential Improvement. Licensed photographer uploads photos to Appraisal Port, CL servers run metadata algorithms & image recognition software, and lastly their overseas desk-jockeys will employ a “diligent quality control” via punch-box check-lists (nothing against people from overseas!).

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    • TripOnDollarsForDimes says:

      Correction, they’re desk-jockeys are not overseas. I lived in the Midwest of good ol’USA when I was at CL. We don’t need to go throwing nationalities of any sort through the mud. Thanks.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        You only viewed a little portion of the bigger pie.  I’ll sling as much mud as I want regarding companies and people who sell out national heritage and prosperity for a buck.  If you knew what’s good for you, you would too.

        Did you read that article about Corelogic trying to patent the automatic valuation process and put all of it’s competitors out of business overnight?

        That is what you would choose to defend?  Neighbors whom make a habit out of suing everyone in sight, are not good neighbors to have.

        http://www.inman.com/2014/02/05/key-claims-in-corelogic-real-estate-valuation-patent-ruled-invalid/

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        • The Core Logic lawsuit against AVM developers is old news. They did actually not even develop the AVM algorithms in question. They bought it. Some might say  “Patent Troll”.  Very common in high tech businesses. After losing they took a different approach: control all data – the the foundation of AVM accuracy is abundant, good data. Take over control of as many MLS platforms as possible nationwide. Win-win for Corelogic. One day they will control the GSE platforms too. Having all MLS data and Appraiser data via FNMA-FHLMC is likely a company goal. Just speculation but so far my predictions for 15 years on where the AVM process is headed have all come true. The only question is when, not if.

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  12. Diana N. says:

    As long as the bottom feeding appraisers keep taking these $200 jobs, there will never be dignity anymore in our profession. I’m almost embarrassed  to say I’m an appraiser and this was something I loved doing for over 40 years.

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  13. Jack Of All Trades says:

    “Hey I resemble that remark” ~ Dustin Harris (The Appraiser Coach)

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  14. Scott says:

    I think the revolt should start with the local MLS’S. We had a great MLS and changed to a corelogic product. I have no idea why. The software is old hat now. No reason to get reamed by corelogic. You would think faced what loosing the data they would provide the service for almost free. We have a 1,000 or so realtors and appraisers paying $600 each a year for MLS. How dumb is that?

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    • Baggins Baggins says:

      ‘The following are registered or common law trademarks of Corelogic, inc; eProperty watch, Corelogic, the CoreLogic logo, AgentAchieve, Matrix, and Trestle.’  They repeatedly use T3 as a consultant to promote their products.  The deck is stacked against non corelogic affiliates every time.

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  15. Merv I Conlan says:

    My Gosh! you’ve got a genius in your midst: his name is ‘Chris’

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  16. TripOnDollarsForDimes says:

    I work for one of those shark AMC’s now and at one that recently became CoreLogic and I agree 100% with the appraisers commenting in this forum.

    I was one of those people who called to inquire if you were available to complete a request for me but what made me different is that I’ve always asked what are YOU charging US.

    I’ve always asked what that appraisers fee would be and in turn, I would tell the client straight up “we have no one else, the fee is $XXX.XX and they need extra time.” 9 times out of 10, my fees were approved because I do not back down on my requests. Have a lied to them just to get my higher fee approved? Absolutely, because I know it can be done.

    It’s ridiculous how people in my position seriously believed they can’t go back to their clients for a fee increase, which quite frankly shouldn’t be called a fee increase. It should be called a Standard Fee so they get the idea there is no going back and forth. I’ve actually argued with coworkers about it to the point of almost being written up -another stupid issue-.

    Hell, I’ve even gone back to a client with a fee $100-$300 on top of what the appraiser told me their fee was because I am sick of how Lenders & AMC’s short change the appraisers. You guys are spending TIME & MONEY etc etc and all they care about is how cheap can we pay this appraiser…

    It sickens me when they catch that I’m sending orders to appraisers for more and force me to go with the lesser appraiser, who in turn forgets or asks to reassign the order the day it is due because it wasn’t worth their time [I don’t disagree].

    Maybe this is why they transferred me to a different department where I’m not making requests to clients? Either way, no regrets!

    I am for Appraisers and wish there were more people like me in AMC’s because we would make waves in showing Lenders they need to stop nickle & diming our appraisers or they will LEAVE.

    Which is exactly what happened in regards to our Staff Appraisers. I think we went from 100+ Field Appraisers down to 8… Yes, 8 Appraisers in all the US!

    I wanted to get into the Appraiser Field at one point early on in my career but seeing these things happen from both ends, I’m looking into other careers altogether and it sucks because I would enjoy being an Appraiser.

    Speak to your fellow appraiser friends, unite and demand LENDERS & AMC’s start paying normal fees! There are several states already getting this into play BUT there are still a few appraisers within each of those states who are still doing appraisals for <$280. They need an intervention that they could get paid more if they Join Your Cause.

    I have ideas on forming a company-esque style business that purely is For-Appraisers from auto response on your behalf to auto-declining orders. I’m talking you won’t even be bothered with the request and can rest assured knowing your counter offer was already sent.

    Imagine if all appraisers in a certain county/state were all using that, the AMC’s would be getting so many declines it would send a message to them about sending orders at a lower amount.

    The most important part of my idea would also be making sure the people you would be talking to on my end are educated in the business because I also know how frustrating it is trying to talk to someone about your appraisal when they’ve never seen one themselves.

    Vive la Appraisers!!!!!!

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    • chris says:

      Thank you for your honesty !!! Its refreshing. You should tell your story to some state affiliations/senators/congressman. Appraisers need you too.  AMC’s are causing financial hardship to the appraisers in the urban areas. And they wonder why we are not training.

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      • TripOnDollarsForDimes says:

        If I can get out of this AMC unscathed, I’d most definitely speak out directly, support at events etc etc.

        I just want you guys to know, don’t let them win by ignoring them. Tell them what YOUR fee is. Get everyone in your areas to do this as well and it will hit the Lender. In one area, one of our Lenders increased their fees based on this happening.

        I’d like to see this happen everywhere else

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        • BRYAN WEDMORE says:

          YA DURING THE SLOW TIME AFTER MID 07 I STARTED WORKING FOR A BIG AMC, DOING REVIEW WORK, AFTER ABOUT A WEEK OF SEEING HOW THIS AMC THING WAS GOING TO GO I RESIGNED AND WENT BACK TO MY LIFE AS AN INDEPENDENT APPRAISER. RARELY DO I TAKE AN AMC’S LOW FEE. I ALWAYS COUNTER WITH THE FEE I WANT, SOMETIMES THEY DO NOT REPLY AND NO BIGGIE. A LOT OF THE ORDERS I DO GET THAT THEY ARE OK WITH THE FEE INCREASE ARE RURAL SMALL COMMUNITIES, I GUESS OTHERS DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH. BUT KNOWING THIS, I COUNTER HIGHER THAN A SUBURBAN REPORT. ANYWAY THIS HAS BEEN ENJOYABLE. SEEMS A FAIRLY FRIENDLY BUNCH HERE (RARITY ON NET) EVERYONE HAVE A GOOD WEEK, REMEMBER IF WE KEEP TALKING TO EACH OTHER AND STAND FOR YOUR WORTH IT WILL GET BETTER. WE ALREADY ARE ON THE UP SWING OF HAVING THEM BY THE SHORT HAIRS. THE SUPPLY OF APPRAISER IS LOWER THAN EVER AND IF IT EVER GETS BUSY LIKE IN THE PAST IT WILL BE OUR TURN TO REAP THE BENEFITS WITH HIGHER FEE”S I SEEN A LITTLE OF IT MID LAST SUMMER.

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          • TripOnDollarsForDimes says:

            Agreed! Just check out the State of Oregon and their fees.

            Just today, an appraiser requested $3300 and 3 weeks to complete an FHA report for us in an area 1 hour east of Klamath Falls. Me being well aware of Appraiser fees in the area, told my coworker to take this to the client or risk losing the time altogether. They didn’t.

            We had someone else call in regarding it. Their price was $5,600 and would need 2 weeks. It gets better..

            Then we have another guy who wanted only $750 but would not have time to send us a report until early AUGUST.

            Guess which one they’re considering to go with? *eyeroll*

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  17. Cajun Coast Rider says:

    All interesting….post as well. I have posted this before on other blogs but it can’t hurt to do it again.

    If you’re having trouble knowing how much to charge, use this: $100 an hour plus 1 hour. Example: if it takes you 3rs (i.e. field work and report writing) to do a cookie cutter 3/2/2 1500sf, etc. then your fee should be close to $400……For a complex property, let’s say, a million dollar property 8hrs; your fee should be around $900 or you can also use the cookie cutter method which is: let’s say, I can do 3 cookie cutter reports in the time it will take to do the million dollar property, then your fee quote would be: $1,200. If you get the order good, if you don’t good because you can do the 3 cookie cutters with less hassle on the front end and back; it’s a win win deal. Also, stop doing reports in 3 days, you are going to get yourself in trouble sooner or later. I never take anything under a 5 working day turn time; only if I am slow and I can do it and they are paying a rush fee…..and don’t forget ask for a rush fee. 20 plus years in the business, trust me this works, so stop doing appraisals for $280…for pete sakes, please fricken stop.

    I’m sure (trip on dollars for dimes) will tell you, if you don’t know, the AMC staff appraisers fees are much more than the fee appraiser fees.

    Additionally, on a side note: Stop driving all of those comps for photos; use MLS photos if needed and say it in your report. Who determines the scope of work….you know, we do or so says USPAP. Read the cert and the scope of work; do you really drive every street in the neighborhood…..I don’t think so, the fannie cert so out dated don’t rely on it and create your scope and simply disclose what you do; do not use the fannie cert and scope as is; create your own as clarification to the cert and scope. +/-80% of the appraisers who get in trouble is from the scope and cert versus what’s in the report. If you use an mls photo don’t hide it say you used it as part of “your” scope of work. They really need rewrite the forms and bring them up to date, but that’s for another time.

    I’m sure someone out there is saying right now, wait we can’t use MLS photos. Correct, you can’t if you use fannie’s mandated scope of work in the forms. Again, who determines the scope of work ?….does USPAP say anything about comp photos, comp prior sales, comps in general…….Analysis of the Market Market Market not comps comps comps. The cert and scope of work is a CYA for the GSE’s, fannie, and friends everyone but you. I can’t say this enough, if have not read the certification and limiting conditions you really need to….every word.

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    • Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

      Cajun, I like that your fees are time based. Assuming you have no office overhead, sick days or vacations to be amortized within them they are probably fine for your area. Higher cost areas would require more but your idea is adaptable. I’d like to share a method with you that takes into account years in the business or experience as well. It also anticipates possible use of trainees in the field. It can be found at http://www.appraisersguild.org or http://www.mfford.com under C&R Fee proposal.

      As for not driving (inspecting?) your comparable sales I’m vehemently against it unless the clients order itself says “Appraiser does not need to inspect comparable sales or their neighborhoods.” It’s not just FNMA Cajun, its all clients with an expectation that quality work will be performed.

      A map may well show a railway line near a property but it cannot tell you if it is an active line, or a detrimental influence. In areas of soil movement or instability it certainly won’t show you the red flag warnings of road cracks or hillside sloughing.

      Won’t you drive someplace for $100 an hour? IF you are charging based on time anyway, then why not take the time necessary to do the best quality work you are able to?

      My friend I know it becoming a bigger issue all across the country and maybe it is an accepted practice in more regions than I’m aware of; but to me it smacks of unacceptable short cuts and non disclosure of material facts in an appraisal. I’d respectfully submit that all the things you believe you can do through MLS as a substitute for comp inspections can and should be done in addition to comparable sales inspections.

      Just my opinion. Others may differ. Thanks again for the hourly method suggestion.

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  18. Baggins Baggins says:

    Corelogic should be broken up under anti trust, sherman, rico, they’re out of control.  Don’t forget they also bought the fraud analytical deal, their biggest competitor; interthinx.  In CO, they’re also trying to consolidate all the local mls companies towards one MLS corelogic Matrix monopoly, even using shell companies they likely own to ‘manage negotiations’.

    The worst day I’ve ever had as a real estate appraiser, was the day the corelogic Matrix MLS program came into play here in Denver.

    They have had their hand in amc’s, field service management, title, research, fraud, repurchase, you name it.

    It’s obvious to the normal citizens of the US, that major monopolistic corporations do not successfully police themselves.

    Funny story;  One time mid order with a Quantrix order, corelogic had bought out the company and suddenly swapped American phone workers for the india call center ones.  They removed me from the list when asking to speak to an american and officially called me racist on record.  Not surprisingly, after the normal staff turnover which is typically high with amc’s, they were back on the phone apologizing and trying to pick me back up years later.  By that time though I had already developed a much more sensible policy of only working with Americans.  Corelogic is not an American company, even if they do coincidentally run some of their operations from these shores.

    Patriots unite against corporations whom seek to usurp representative governance.  That is in fact, what this is all about.

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  19. Diana N. says:

    We have Corelogic /Matrix here in CT.  Just had Fairfield County & New Haven County merge. Information is getting worse & worse. Pretty soon Corelogic will own every MLS in the country. Shades of Big Brother.

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  20. I have noticed that Corelogic owns a lot of different areas of the appraisal process. I did not realize how much. Thanks for the article. Very interesting.

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  21. Mike Ford Mike Ford says:

    Im doing an appraisal for a court case. I reviewed NDC, RealQuest (CoreLogic), DataQuick (CoreLogic), Realist through my MLS (CoreLogic) & Market Trends (powered by CoreLogic) to review some past transfers and deed copies. Interesting item – CoreLogic (Realist version) is augmenting traditional “public records” data now.

    Under Bedroom count it shows “Assessor 3, MLS 5”;
    Under Bath count it’s “Assessor 3, MLS 5”;
    Under GLA for some it showed “Assessor 3001 sf, MLS 3,200 sf” (The latter number is an OWNER supplied number but CoreLogic doesn’t check that type of information)

    So, these ‘data aggregators’ now report multiple responses for single entry items because THEY DO NOT credibly VERIFY their data! Now THAT’S the kind of company I want supplying raw data for hybrid appraisals or AVMS!

    Fortunately my mls still codes GLA sources (A-assessor, B-builder, O-owner).

    In my area, raw “public records” data used to be sold by the assessors office as a daily magnetic tape reel that had standard information. No one fooled around with its data – they just reported it. Enter the age of Big Data where they now use underpaid and under trained clerical staff to ‘reinterpret’ the assessor or recorders data for us… thereby rendering it ALL unreliable!

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    • This is nothing new. The augmentation of data and data mining by Corelogic has been going on for many years. From many resources. Ever since they started taking over MLS systems. It started first in Orange County, their HQ and my County too. Now nationwide. What many wrongly believe to be Assessor data because of the “A” coding are also mislabeled in many areas. It’s always been problematic considering that the Orange County Assessor has never cooperated whatsoever with any data providers. Never. Not even once. They are extremely uncooperative with the R.E. industry.  I met with the OC Assessor about 2000 or so to inquire about buying a one time data dump. They wanted $2.5 million. In our discussion they claimed they spent a lot of money over many years and the price offered of $2.5 million was a bargain. They didn’t appreciate it when I reminded them that the county taxpayers actually paid for it, not them. Corelogic did an end around this issue to achieve the data (from MLS) and better yet be paid to do this. I’ve brought this up to high level MLS Admin and they think I’m making something out of nothing, that there is nothing to be concerned about. Once Corelogic buys Veros (another of my predictions from many years back) they will have FNMA and FHLMC appraisal data too. This acquisition is just speculation, but so far everything I forecast in 2000 is happening, including the monopolization of data into a single source and elimination of appraisers by the GSE’s. There is no turning back the clock on progress through automation.

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  22. Diana N. says:

    Hope everyone has good E & O. I know exactly what Mike is talking about, I see it all the time too. I constantly put disclaimers in my reports and name the sources for information.

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  23. Leslie Rafferty says:

    And, CoreLogic now owns the Appraisal Summit Conference as well. They are taking over the appraisal world.

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  24. Well, that’s yet another professional gathering or presentation I won’t participate in. I’m interested in what APPRAISERS views are, not some corporate pimps perceptions of “what we should do”.

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  25. Honest Appraiser says:

    Was handed a STARS report a few days ago. “Appraiser” was from 70 miles away – very new..  and very incompetent. Horrible report that caused the loan to go bad and ALMOST cost the borrower his chance to purchase a nice home.   Agents convinced them to try another lender and I got the assignment. I told them how bad the report was AND informed them WHY… AMC order that went to the lowest bid they could find without regards to competency and they pocketed the “profit”. They are considering filing a complaint and I told them I would help them write it. This happens to people EVERY day and is getting worse at a rapid rate!!!

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    • Baggins - just not fast enough Baggins - just not fast enough says:

      You’ve got it all wrong honest appraiser. That other appraiser completed origination reports faster than you, that’s why he’s better than you. Direct or amc, it’s the same story. Meaningless performance ratings matrix stats are the primary tool for assignment decision making.  Quality and experience are a side note.  Show me a lender whom is dedicated to strict rotational distribution of appraisal orders and I’ll tell you that’s the only one in the industry who’s doing it right. Betcha a hamburger that outside of the VA, you can not show me a lender whom operates that way.  As corelogic continues it’s hostile take over of Mercury assignment systems, we’ll only see more of the same, and betcha an additional burger that transaction fees will at least double in the single year after Corelogic finalizes the mercury system transition.  IVPI Proposal

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      • Honest Appraiser says:

        Hahaaa haa haaa hee hee hoooo… wait a minute!! You’re serious!!! Oh Crap ;(  VA is the ONLY system I’ve worked in that WORKS for all involved.

        They are slipping though… The Force is strong to dumb down in the name of fast and cheap.

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  26. Dear Honest, if the appraisal is really bad and by that I mean more wrong than a minor, technical oversight, then by all means file a complaint with the state board against the work that was done.

    Remember though that anytime a licensed appraiser opines about the quality, character or credibility of another appraiser’s work that opinion is itself an Appraisal Report whether delivered orally or in writing.

    Double check to make sure your analysis is USPAP compliant and that you have now made and retain an adequate work fie of your analysis and support for your findings. VERY shortly I’ll be writing a lengthy article on what happens when the author of the deficient appraisal makes counter charges in hopes of augmenting their bad work after the fact.

    You should not avoid turning the appraiser in if the appraisal and appraisal report work is bad. Clearly and objectively outline the areas of USPAP and generally accepted professional appraisal practices that it fails to meet without making it an attack on the appraiser themselves. My suggestion is to avoid opining about a value yourself. Leave it up to the Board to determine if the appraiser supported their opinion(s) or not.

    Good luck to you. While it is my task with the Union to help defend appraisers, that does not mean we condone ‘bad’ work or the practices that lead to bad work. I’m assuming the borrowers paid for two appraisals. Is that fair to them? Conditions for appraisers cannot improve nationally  if we continue to overlook or excuse subpar work by our fellow appraisers.

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  27. Bill says:

    AMC’s control the majority of appraisal orders from lenders, and Corelogic is buying up all the AMC’s and appraisal portals. Soon, if not already, they will have control of most appraisal orders. Since independent appraisers refuse to work with them, they push the narrative that there is a shortage of appraisers, and now the AQB is proposing the use of “practical applications” to becoming certified without going through the trainee process. Corelogic will just start recruiting college campuses for appraisers, pay for their training, and hire staff appraisers nationwide.

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  28. Juan says:

    Corelogic is the Appraisers Cancer….MONOPOLOLY at is Finest…..

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  29. Diana N. says:

    And so it comes to pass, another company swallowed up by Corelogic.  More money for them, less for us.

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  30. Baggins Baggins says:

    And billions for investors. 1.1 billion to share holders in the past 6 years, per their current data.

    I’m more inclined to boycott major corporations but this is one hard to get away from. The model where neither the consumers nor the workers have primary control of companies and products is itself detestable and people worldwide are actively seeking smaller scale more localized participation models. Vote with your wallet, it’s the vote that matters the most.

    CoreLogic Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

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  31. Greg says:

    Now they’ve swallowed up Mercury and changed that into a bidding platform. I thought appraiser selection had to be on a rotation. How is going with the lowest bidder a rotation? On another note, how can AMC’s hire staff appraisers? I thought the AMC’s purpose was to be a “firewall” between lenders and appraisers. How is there any difference between ordering the appraisal directly from my local appraisal office and ordering the appraisal from their nationwide appraisal office?

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  32. marion says:

    Kinda reminds you of the company store, in the coal minng town, where everyone worked as a coal miner, mining coal.

    Only the names change.

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  33. I can hear Tennessee Ernie Ford 9or maybe it was Ernie Kovacs?) singing it now “I owe my soul, to the company store...”

    CoreLogic is already becoming abusive. Whether this is corporate wide policy or simply bad actors from the Rels carry over is unknown. I’m seeing multiple cases out of National Panel Management in Minnesota suspending appraisers because of (unspecified) “Vendor issues”. Cases I had background on ALL involved appraiser unwillingness to ‘play ball.’

    One FHA appraisal was completed then nearly four weeks later the ‘client’ claimed they typed wrong lender on order and needed it changed now to a non HUD (conventional)  lender. Just wanted a simple retype-new name…no disclosure of prior appraisal.

    Anyone reading this ever hear of a loan officer that didn’t know who they were sending an appraisal to until four weeks later?

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  34. marion says:

    Here.

    Scroll down about a third of the way and see the amounts.

    Almost makes you wonder if they are financing their own country.

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  35. Great read marion—admittedly just skimmed it so far. Worth everyone’s time to read and then maybe forward a copy to FTC or simply promote the disclosure as widely and publicly as we can.

    WHAT monopoly?

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  36. JamesB says:

    BB&T has been a goto client and have been doing work in NC for them longer than any through appraisalport. Havent had an order in a month. End of that, as well as the great fees and minimal hassle.

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My Day as an Appraiser

by VaCAP Board time to read: 4 min
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