Average AMC Appraisal Fee to the Appraiser
Appraisers, I recently sent out a message asking appraisers to send me three data points comparing borrower-paid appraisal cost, and average AMC paid assignment fees in October, November 2021 and the same months in 2022 – for SFR assignments. My intent was to provide actual useful AMC-paid fee data compared to what the borrower pays for ‘the appraisal’, without revealing specific fees in any particular location.
Replies to that message were much less than I expected, and only 18 responses came back, with 41 data points provided. I had intended to grid the responses in 6 regions within the US; responses are missing from the North East US, and from South Central US.
The info below is Averages only from 4 regions combined in the US.
Based on this extremely limited data, here’s what was revealed:
Average ‘appraisal cost’ paid by borrowers is $802
Average AMC appraisal fee to the appraiser in 2021: $713, or 11.1% retained by the AMC
Average AMC appraisal fee to the appraiser in 2022: $591, or 26.3% retained by the AMC
What this limited survey reveals is exactly what appraisers have been reporting across many communication platforms. That being, AMCs are taking far more of the borrower-paid fee this year than they did last year. As the data shows, the AMC portion has increased more than double from the previous year.
But the kicker in this situation is AMCs would not be able to do that if appraisers weren’t so inclined to allow AMCs to brow-beat appraisers. The AMCs always whine when assignments slow down, and plead with appraisers to lower their accepted assignment fee – or just award assignments to the appraiser with the lowest bid – just so the AMC can stay in business.
Many appraisers fail to realize that lenders seldom, if ever, reduce the cost of the appraisal paid by the borrower. Actually, the reverse is true. Appraisal costs have been rising over the past 20 years, most notably in the past 10. Then here comes the major assignment slow-down caused by multiple factors. Far too many appraisers panic, and capitulate to the AMC demands to lower fees.
You’ll never be able to regain lost earnings by lowering fees, expecting to make it up by increasing volume of work. That’s probably the best way for you to slowly go bankrupt.
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