Go Away, Appraisers…
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“Do they just want us to go away?”
Appraisers Feeling Like Travis… Does anyone remember the Pepsi commercial awhile back that featured Jeff Gordon getting revenge on a guy named Travis from Jalopnik? Watch the commercial below to refresh your memory if you don’t.
“Stop sir! This never works! Stop”! Travis yells from the back seat!
As Travis’ car was being chased, Travis knew that what was going on wasn’t logical and didn’t make any sense, and it made even less sense to him that his driver didn’t stop the car right away. What Travis didn’t know was, his driver had a hidden agenda. Travis had no idea that his driver and many, many other people had a hidden agenda.
Appraisers are feeling like Travis nowadays.
Capped fees, increasing costs, insane liability, USPAP, absurd revision requests, untrained reviewers, out of state reviewers who don’t know the markets they review, scope creep, more education requirements, appraisers trying to ruin each other, inspect this and inspect more of that, longer hours, less sleep, more stress, the list goes on and on. Last year, appraisers were getting emails from their state telling them that they also now had to spend their time writing letters to all their AMC’s, informing them that their licenses were about to expire. Appraisers’ scope of work now includes doing their states’ work too? Is taking the loan app and pulling credit right around the corner for them too? Appraisers know they can’t take an order from an unlicensed AMC, but wouldn’t it be nice if the state did their own job, and sent out their own emails telling the unlicensed AMC that if they send out an order they will get fined? Why again, is the monkey getting thrown on the appraisers back again? Now appraisers have to accept scope creep from their own states too?
“Stop sir! This never works! Stop!” appraisers yell from the back seat!
Nowadays, it isn’t that hard for appraisers to feel like they are totally helpless in a car chase, and their driver might have a hidden agenda.
The question has been raised before – “Do they just want us to go away?”, and at this point I think appraisers need to believe it might be true. Considering all the catastrophic directions things are going with how outrageous USPAP is written, how outsiders are still allowed to control how little appraisers get paid, how outsiders are still allowed to retain a great deal of control over an appraisers business, and all the extra requirements that are constantly being dumped on appraisers on a daily basis, how can appraisers come to any other conclusion?
I personally try to keep up with as much information as I can, and the majority of the information I see coming from my state agency is all about prosecutions and convictions of appraisers. Who would want to stay in any business where all people see are outsiders with influence not doing something that may actually help them, but instead are constantly focused only on hurting them?
Appraisers are logical people. We have to be, it’s our job. Constantly hammering appraisers with so many things that are not logical, only pushes them away even further. If someone goes to get their car worked on, the mechanic charges them for their time. If the mechanic is asked to do more work, they bill for that time too. Attorneys do it, trades people do it, any business is free to do it, and it should be done. But not appraisers. Nobody should be expected to work for free or as little as most appraisers are getting nowadays, all things considered. Look at a plumber – they get paid well for their time, and all they have to worry about is getting their clients’ shoes wet.
A plumber does their work by a code book that changes once a year. Appraisers have no code book to follow. Appraiser requirements can change daily, often without any notice, and they are sometimes different from lender to lender. If appraisers don’t keep up with and meet all those moving-target requirements, then they are in violation USPAP. A violation of USPAP means they can get prosecuted, and right or wrong, could have to spend thousands of dollars because of it. Really?! Does anyone not understand how difficult this job is getting nowadays? Then on top of all those requirements and all that liability hovering over their heads, they are allowed to get pushed into a bigger financial hole every year. Why?
Why is all this allowed to happen? Why is nobody willing to stop the bleeding? Is this how we expect to keep good people? Is this how we expect to attract new people?
If the plan is for them to go away like the vinyl record and the cassette tape, then so be it.Appraisers are some of the smartest and most ethical people I know. Appraisers have discussed in forums for many years, all the problems they face, how their problems can be fixed, and what product these problems are starting to produce. Has anyone listened? No. Why doesn’t anyone seem to care? Appraisers have no choice but to wonder if it’s all being done on purpose. How can they think otherwise? If the plan is for them to go away like the vinyl record and the cassette tape, then so be it. Appraisers will have no choice but to accept that and move on. But until appraisers are convinced that someone, somewhere, is willing to help them, then the profession will continue to find that it has forced even more people out.
Are appraisers crazy to think this way? Maybe. But after looking at everything that is going on, how could appraisers not come to any other conclusion?
If there isn’t a hidden agenda and the plan isn’t to slowly kill this business, (and consequently every other businesses affiliated with this business), then someone sure is doing a rotten job making appraisers think otherwise.
Travis’ short little nightmare finally came to a happy ending. Let’s hope the same happens for appraisers someday.
The bleeding continues…
By Bubba Jay more recently known as Bubba Jay / Retired Appraiser II