Posts tagged Appraisal Management Companies
Something’s been gnawing at my craw ever since January when FNMA’s wonderful CU was unleased to the world. And before that, which still continues, is the AQM process they still use to judge the work of appraisers.
No one else has written about this, or even mentioned it, so I will: It has to do with the word “Comp” which is used liberally by FNMA.
What exactly is a “Comp?”
In FNMA’s world, it’s any property that they obtain, either by their vast AVM process which examines millions of property transactions, or properties that have been extracted from appraisal reports submitted by appraisers… yes, your work. In their fuzzy logic, it’s a “Comp” considered for your report if they say it is. It is not! (more…)
North Carolina’s House Bill 577, introduced April 2, 2015, would seek to address reasonable and customary appraisal fees. Some of the proposals in the Bill would:
- Require the NC Appraisal Board to publish a “schedule of customary and reasonable rates of compensation for appraisals based on the market area where the real property is situated.”
- Establish rates by fee studies that would exclude assignments ordered by known appraisal management companies.
- Require rates to be “measured by the net compensation amount received by the appraiser.”
- Allow for payments above the scheduled rates for complex assignments.
- Only apply to (more…)
In January and February 2015, the Texas Appraisers and Appraisal Management Survey surveyed a total of 1,421 appraisers and 55 appraisal management companies doing business in the state of Texas. The questions were specifically designed to achieve the following:
- Clearly distinguish between the fees paid to appraisers by Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) and fees paid by non-AMC clients for residential appraisals.
- Capture any difference in fees paid by property type: single family, condominium, size or square footage, or other factors.
- Capture the impact on fees by market area or locale: urban vs. rural, (MSAs, county, zip code, etc.).
- Determine whether appraiser qualifications (experience, education, specialization) impact fees paid to appraisers.
- Determine how far the appraisers travel for an assignment; and if from another state or distant region, how much time they spend gathering the data for the appraisal.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on March 23 signed into law S.B. 1445, which requires appraisal management companies operating in the state to compensate appraisers at a reasonable and customary rate. The legislation gives the Virginia Real Estate Appraiser Board authority to take administrative action against AMCs not paying appraisers customary and reasonable fees in accordance with federal law.
Prior to enactment of the legislation, Virginia law already required an appraiser engaged by an AMC to disclose as part of the appraisal report the actual fee they were paid. In 2014, the Virginia Center for Housing Research and the Virginia Tech Program in Real Estate completed a survey (more…)
I heard from an old friend today that worked as an appraiser in Raleigh, NC for at least a dozen years. Shortly after 2009 and the HVCC, he (like so many others) started looking for career options. After appraisal reports kept requiring more and more pages, had more and more restrictions (far too many that were totally useless and had nothing to do with the home’s value), and his fees kept going down instead of up, he discovered that it would take him less time to get a law degree that it did to get his appraisal license. And, that he would get paid for his time and education. When you think of a doctor or an attorney, does a real estate appraiser cast an equal shadow for skill, knowledge, pay?
At a time when more and more demands are being made on the appraisal profession, the most highly qualified are being lost to other industries. Today’s appraisals seem to be geared towards “statistics,” like there is a magical “statistics fairy” that provides high quality real estate information (more…)
It appears that we, as an industry, have finally reached that all time high of stupidity in action. I was recently instructed by an appraisal management company to provide additional MLS sales on a grid to demonstrate market support for my opinion of value because I agreed with the origination appraisal. Had this been something other than a typical residential subdivision where the appraisal used sales from the same development, perhaps I would understand this requirement. Still, one wonders at what point have we crossed into the twilight zone of appraisal review. (more…)
Real estate markets cooled down in the fourth quarter of 2014, and despite historically low interest rates, refinance volumes dropped as well. The increasing pressure on lenders and real estate agents to maintain loan and sales volumes has brought about renewed interest in appraisal accuracy and increasing concern that residential real estate appraisals are inflated.
A recent Wall Street Journal article asserts that
“home appraisers are inflating the values of some properties they assess (appraise), often at the behest of loan officers and real estate agents, in what industry executives say is a return to practices seen before the financial crisis.”
This is a legitimate concern. It is widely believed that faulty appraisals (more…)
FNMA has released a new training video that helps lenders understand how to PROPERLY use Collateral Underwriter, which in some cases has not been happening since Jan. 26, 2015.
By reviewing this info, you can learn how to write reports that pass the CU evaluations, and make your reports more complete and accurate. But keep reading.
One thing I find interesting is CU assigns a unique ‘appraiser number’ for every appraiser who has reports submitted by Lenders to the CU. They don’t just use the appraiser’s license number by itself. (more…)
Whether you believe Fannie Mae’s comprehensive rollout of Collateral Underwriter will finally weed out the lazy form-fillers or it will end up euthanizing the aging residential leg of the profession once and for all, is not the subject of this article. There are plenty of blogs, articles, and seminars that are wrestling with the efficacy of CU and its long-term impact.
To be sure, the profession has entered the new age of big data. Residential appraisers will need to navigate regression analysis, heat maps, trend lines, oblique aerial images, and especially how to tie it all together into something meaningful.
From a regulator’s perspective, the new paradigm creates compliance challenges for appraisers and AMCs. Collateral Underwriter will be analyzing its own model data and data provided by an appraiser’s peers. Everyone needs to be aware that Fannie Mae’s label of “peer” is not necessarily synonymous with the USPAP definition of “peer”. (more…)
I recently received an AMC update and reminder about the need for and why actual comparable photos are necessary. My reply:
Original Comparable Photographs: Scope of Work Point 3: Inspection of the comparable sales from at least the street. This requirement does not tie the appraiser to a specific time for that inspection. Geographical competence would have the appraiser in the area of the comparables many times, and depending on the appraiser’s experience, for many years. Taking a photo a month, six months, a year or more after the sale, does not represent the sale’s condition at the time of the listing/sale. If the assignment is done in February in our Michigan area, what good are comp photos when there is two feet of snow covering the house and site? This archaic lender requirement should be brought to the technological times of today.
Point 2: Inspect the Neighborhood. Are we to photograph the entire neighborhood? If you have to in #3 why not in #2? The reason being we can get aerial photos from the internet. But wait, can’t we get comparable comp photos from the same place? The difference being??? (more…)
FNMA’s CU is causing a big industry ruckus. ICAP member Keith Wolf, SRA, AI-RRS, created a survey in January because opinions being posted across multiple message boards and blogs are fragmented. The results of this survey are out and show that a vast majority of appraisers believe Fannie Mae CU should be transparent. Nearly 70 percent of appraisers said that they will increase fees to cover the extra work CU may cause and 80 percent believe that CU risk scores will cause lenders and AMC clients to request appraisers to fit comps to the CU model. Also 73 percent believe that CU transparency violate Appraiser Independence by influencing choice of sales to get a better CU score. Below you will find the results of the survey. (more…)
Finally, you have an opportunity to get what you have been screaming for: customary and reasonable fees for your work.
On January 23, 2015, Senator Martin offered Senate Bill NO. 1445, requiring appraisal management companies to pay appraisers customary and reasonable fees. The bill mirrors the language in Dodd-Frank. A copy of Senate Bill NO. 1445 as introduced is attached. (more…)
Dear Real Estate Appraisers of America,
To date, each of you have invested years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars to create your real estate appraisal career. No small feat. You have sacrificed greatly to get to where you are. And, now you are feeling as if everything you have worked so hard for is being stolen away from you.
Tragically, over the last 5 years there has been a whirlwind of events that has resulted in a very frustrating situation for appraisers. AMCs who have been permitted to increase profits by driving down appraiser fees and constantly push for dangerous turnaround times, have largely taken control. Lenders, Fannie Mae, and the like continue to creep up the assignment requirements to dizzying levels.
In spite of this awful situation, there seemed to be no one on the offensive to directly attack the harmful onslaught. Who is out there making real moves to bring appraisers the changes they so desperately need? (more…)
Fannie Mae’s new “tool” for lenders is the Collateral Underwriter (CU). This is a review program available to lenders so that they can compare the work of an appraiser on a property to other work the appraiser has done and to what other appraisers have done on appraisals of the subject property. This program compares your report to others. Comparing your work to all of the information they have in their database, using data from other appraisers to evaluate your work.
DON’T PANIC! Remember when the UAD came out and there was great angst among residential appraisers? Yet when the dust cleared, life went on and we adjusted. The same will happen with the CU. Many of you may not know that there has been review system called an AQM or Appraisal Quality Management that was designed to look at you through an Appraisal Management Company. The AQM is a software system that compares reports to industry standards and requirements. It has been in place for several years.
The CU (more…)
Not so long ago I had multiple clients. They would call me if they needed my professional services and trusted me to perform a satisfactory service. I’m a streetwalker. I drive and walk the streets looking at houses and photographing them from the street (outcalls) and sometimes going inside to determine condition (in calls).
This worked well for many years until the Federal Government got involved in the late 1980s. The Feds discovered that a few streetwalkers had exaggerated their claims of professionalism and service and declared in the 1989 DIARRHEA that all streetwalkers must be licensed and regulated by the state in which they operate. The states got together and formulated a set of rules for streetwalkers they called USCRAP that outlined in minute detail how streetwalkers were to do business.
Well, we studied USCRAP, passed the tests and got our state certifications and went back to walking the streets like before. Unfortunately (more…)