Faster Cheaper Appraisals!

Faster Cheaper Appraisals! Really Cheap Abbreviated Appraisals...

An appraiser shared the following with us. Vintage Mortgage Firm is offering faster cheaper appraisals.

New Faster Cheaper Appraisals!

Three points:

One: We run automated approvals with both DU (Fannie) and LP (Freddie) with the click of one button. This gives us the best chance for appraisal waivers. Have you done a purchase transaction recently with NO appraisal needed? We do them all the time.

Two: As of Feb 1st, we will have access to a completely different kind of appraisal if one is needed. First step is a much cheaper $145.00 abbreviated appraisal. This information is put into our system to attempt to get the appraisal waiver. If we still can’t get a waiver, the 2nd step is to have the full appraisal completed for just another $145.00. That’s a total of $290.00 rather than $450 or $500.

Three: The appraisal required on HomeReady and HomePossible are still being covered with a credit at closing.

Have a great February.

United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) explains the process here. At the 0:20 mark, the process involving a “field representative” is discussed. At the 3:06 mark, they disclose that no appraiser inspects the property.

It appears that UWM outsources the valuation process to Mueller who recently added a “Property Inspector” post in its Job Board (see PDF below).

We are hearing stories about loan officers finding ways to manipulate CU to get waivers.

“This will be great way for borrowers to save time and money for the transaction. And how nice would it be to not grovel with appraisers over value…” says one loan officer.

The real problem is not the time or the cost of the appraisal, but the fact that the appraiser is the final gatekeeper, the last resort for the consumer/taxpayer, acting as an important check and balance against those in a commission based business with the government either a direct or indirect guarantor in many cases.


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41 Responses

  1. Avatar Advocate says:

    WOW! Not only does this not comply with Dodd Frank Reasonable and Customary Fee requirements, this is in violation of many state laws and regulations. The President and CEO of UWM needs to personally guarantee each and every one of these loans. He clearly is getting really bad legal advice and does not understand how this garbage will impact the future of UWM and the real estate market going forward.

  2. Avatar Mike says:

    The President and CEO of UWM just openly admitted to price fixing. The fees for appraisal services are not the same for every property in the country. Everyone needs to file a complaint with the DOJ and the FTC..

  3. Avatar GM says:

    Haha! Sure, go ahead and overpay instead of “grovelling with appraisers over value”! As your trusted loan officer, I’ll even help you overpay!

  4. Leanne Kerber on Facebook Leanne Kerber on Facebook says:

    What about customary and reasonable fees? Who is advocating for our profession? I dont see anyone!!!!

    • Avatar MJ Carroll says:

      Hi Leanne – There are quite a few of us out here advocating for our beloved appraisal profession. I encourage you to join a local chapter of the Appraisal Institute or other professional appraisal organization. I’m not sure where you’re located, but here in Colorado we have the Colorado Coalition of Appraisers which is made up of the Appraisal Institute, Colorado Association of Real Estate Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers, Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. These organizations are comprised of nearly half of all appraisers in Colorado and have become a formidable voice in Colorado policymaking.

    • If you see no one it is because you have not been looking. Become a regular reader here and you will see some of the people and organizations. Join the 100%Appraisers facebook group and you may see more. Join the AGA (national issues) or your state coalition and you WILL see more. Stop waiting for someone else to do what needs to be done. Join a group and start helping us do it!

      Leanne; more than 4 years ago we (American Guild of Appraisers-AGA) proposed formula in writing to establish C&R fees similar to those federal civil service appraisers earn. We presented the proposal in person to VREAB. While interested, they had already gone well along the path to adopting VA fee schedules as the state minimum. VaCAP laid all the groundwork to get that adopted.

      We sent our proposal to federal regulators. It can still be read on my website or the AGA website

      The problem is that there are significant numbers of certified appraisers that own or manage interests in national appraisal mills and AMCs that don’t want C&R fees. They strongly opposed any minimum fee efforts. (Note I said minimum-not maximums).

      So now we have bottom dwellers paying appraisers $175 instead of the $500+- to $1,000 MINIMUM we advocated. These are the same scoundrels that will try to argue in favor of bifurcated hybrids. Pretending that they are USPAP compliant; or my favorite alternative “It’s not the form its the appraiser.” What they won’t admit is that the form and format are locked and there are prohibitions against doing many of the things that would be required to make hybrid garbage compliant.

      MANY appraisers are out there advocating for appraisal rights and integrity. Some groups are pretending to do that while working behind the scenes for their own special interests like the California Chapters of AI that passed AB624 (that we had to kill off; and who then came back with SB 70 which set a system up where less than USPAP compliant work could be done – Great work AI!); Now they are trying to extend SB70 for two more years with SB131.

      Beware of which groups you join. A true state coalition will not be a subsidiary of anyone else. It will also be wary of who it works with.

      I’d recommend a national organization with a track record of fighting directly for appraisers. There are basically two: The American Society of Appraisers (ASA); and the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA). AI Obviously is a player but its difficult to see which side of the fence they are on for many issues much of the time. They joined with many others including ourselves in opposing an increase to the deminimis. Unfortunately, they are still advocating on individual state levels to allow lower standards than USPAP for products like bifurcated hybrids.

      There is only ONE organization in the entire country that will have your back though when a complaint is filed. ONLY one. We specialize in helping appraisers defend themselves on issues before their state boards or AMCs and lenders. Contact

  5. Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

    This will blow up in everyone’s face, it’s looking like another tax payer bailout

  6. Scott Taylor on Facebook Scott Taylor on Facebook says:

    Using UAD data that we collected against us.

  7. Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook Kathy Hubbard Bright on Facebook says:

    Why do you think CoreLogic bought a la mode? Yeah, and we even pay them for backing up files.

  8. Certifed Residential Appraiser and Licensed Realtor on Facebook Certifed Residential Appraiser and Licensed Realtor on Facebook says:

    Blah blah blah

  9. Avatar chris says:

    Same old B.S. !!

  10. Avatar DianaN says:

    Screwed again.

  11. Now that mortgage companies have leapt out with this ‘new policy’ it’s up to FNMA and Freddie to adopt it, and The Appraisal Foundation to redefine what an appraisal is to accommodate it. Any bets mandatory states are scrambling to rewrite their laws?

    Protecting the public trust.

  12. Avatar TruthBTold says:

    Another great article to post on all your social media outlets. Our biggest weapon to combating this is to let the general public see what’s happening to their transparency and consumer rights!

  13. Avatar LayDeeTee says:

    I wish the general public, borrowers and Realtors really understood what’s going on. Sadly, they only seem to care about the price of an appraisal and about how fast they can close a loan. It’s up to US AS PROFESSIONALS to try to educate them. Articles like this and SHARING INFO is our way to do that.

    As for a previous comment about no one advocating for appraisers…thankfully, that is not true! There are 30 STATES joined in a NETWORK OF STATE APPRAISER ORGANIZATIONS / NSAO, working hard to represent appraisers, protect the public trust, and take these issues to state appraisal boards AND to Washington DC!!! Thank you to those Network States!

    Look them up on Facebook. If YOUR state is not a member of this Network, get involved and get them to join their work!! There IS strength in NUMBERS people! The Network IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!

    • Avatar Advocate says:

      Agree 1000% State Coalitions and the Network are making a difference! Please share this article on all your social media platforms. Word will spread quickly.

  14. Scott Taylor on Facebook Scott Taylor on Facebook says:

    The problem is (one of many) that we are not respected by ANYONE in the mortgage process. The realtors and mortgage brokers all wish we did not have jobs. You would think the actual end user (lender) would be pro-appraiser but that is not the case. How do we fight it? Or can we? Maybe each one of us writes or describes a scenario where this $290 appraisal would be of great harm to the general public. I am sure we all have had appraisals completed in the past that did not come to sales price and it was actually renegotiated and the buyer purchased at fair market value. Those are the stories that need to flood social media.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Free market principles. Checks and balances. Individual liberties and individual rights.

      If an individual is foolish enough to be completely ignorant of the history of this country and blindly trust lenders, there is already a very clear historical record both recently and historically, as to what comes next.

      Wind down FNMA, shut it down forever. This entire thing is because the taxpayers are on the hook, and not the lenders whom promote such risky practices.

      • Scott Taylor on Facebook Scott Taylor on Facebook says:

        all to save $500 on the biggest investment of 99% of the general public

        • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

          No Scott, all of that to at times cost the consumer more!. When 80% of all residential loans get filtered through AMC’s, and when they steal 30 to 70% of the fee, the portion that goes to the appraiser is often less than $290 (gross). With business expenses running 30 to 60%, the net to the appraisal company (often an individual), can be below $145 per assignment. This has nothing to do with cost, but is 100% about control.

          Seek the truth.

        • Scott Taylor on Facebook Scott Taylor on Facebook says:

          Bill, I get it. I am an appraiser for 27 years. I am stating the point that the average consumer that will get charged $500 for the appraisal (the actual appraiser paid $350) is trying to save money in the wrong area of the home purchase. I know the truth. I guess some people just need someone to ague with but I am not the one. I am Pro Appraiser since I am one and I know the splits paid. I think you totally missed my point.

  15. Avatar Virgil says:

    Certified Residential Appraiser since 1990, and I think it may be time to Grow Hemp (Hemp not Pot), and be done with reports.

  16. Avatar WILLIAM TEMPLE says:

    Why does this stuff from UWM remind me of the big wholesale lenders who flamed out in a huge way 2007-08. WaMu, Wachovia, Freemont, Luminent etal. Well, give it time there will be opportunity to pick through the wreckage in the near future. The interesting thing is an article in the Detroit News in 2016 UWM blathers on about how they dodged the crisis by not playing along, and worked hard to create opportunities for honest originators. Talks about strict ML licenses and ethics. Yawn.

  17. Avatar Noble says:

    the Great Crash Of 2022. Keep this company and tigers like it in mind for when the powers that be ask “WHAT HAPPENED?” when the market falls apart, and thousands of home owners find their home values sliding to half the purchased “value”, or less.

  18. John Coghill on Facebook John Coghill on Facebook says:

    You get what you pay for. In this case, cheaper also gets you poor grammar. 😉

  19. Avatar SB says:

    If you’re wondering why orders are slow….this is what Freddie Mac instructs Originators to do.

    “Remember, do not order an appraisal prior to initially submitting the loan to Loan Product Advisor. Mortgages where an appraisal has been obtained are not eligible for an appraisal waiver”

    Brokers have ZERO incentive to order the appraisal first anymore.

    • SB, brokers have not traditionally ordered appraisals right away anyway. When I worked inside a mortgage company the normal procedure was to wait until they had ALL the approvals and conditions EXCEPT the appraisal. That’s why we have always been under the gun to ‘hurry up’. They are literally three working days away from potential closing when most order appraisals. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

  20. Baggins Baggins says:

    Predictable. As soon as essential checks and balances are eased, super aggressive predatory lenders swing in and capitalize immediately. Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free. That ain’t working, that’s the way you do it. Consumers who blindly trust lenders are fools. I have this flyer in the mail from this weekend, ‘get approval for a mortgage within 5 minutes, and close within less than 5 days.’ Yes, the fnma waiver is going to speed up lending processes very substantially. It’s true. I’m covered because reo work is my favorite order request anyways.

  21. Baggins Baggins says:

    Just a few more related points and informational links.

    Did you see this one? The lender gets $75 fee each time a waiver is utilized, incorporated into closing costs. It’s a money maker for lenders, without the administrative overhead of appraisal management.

    Some details on the LTV thresholds for waiver use.

    Now this is very interesting, it appears FAQ on waivers, Q19 is new; Requiring accredited inspectors. Does this change the hybrid game? Also detailing the difference between high needs waivers, and regular waivers, rural appraisers serving the under served may lose the most work access.

    Somewhere there was another faq or similar detailing how if the borrower would not have otherwise qualified for a cash based loan, ‘as if there was no need for real property collateral’, a waiver should not be implemented. Perhaps that was not popular for lenders and why it’s not incorporated into the final set of faq’s and guidance pages from the collateral underwriter main page? It may be in the announcements page but I don’t have time to go through all of them again at the moment. Cheers.

  22. Avatar Fred Mertz says:

    Here’s the reality…i’m 30 years as an appraiser. My average fee in 1987 was $350…fast forward to 2019…my average fee is still the same…you tell me, it’s absurdly unfair, wrong, and go figure, the appraisal profession is dying before our eyes due to this Dodd Frank Act. The AMC’s at this point have gone way beyond their scope, which was merely to create a buffer. Instead, they have become large company’s who’s sole purpose (most will agree) is to make money. They market themselves to lenders which creates its own downward pressure which is just what they were set up not to do. They themselves have become what they were intended to eliminate. The AMC, as most appraisers still alive in this nonsensical at race will agree, has a motive which is not in the appraisers best interest. They solicit bids for the lowest fee, the fastest turn time, and once that appraiser is awarded the assignment, has the lovely daily pressure of the AMC asking what time, what time, when, what time, when, what time, etc….it’s so wrong it makes my stomach turn, and it’s got to stop. I get calls all the time from the AMC asking if I can increase my opinion of value…they are no different today than the mortgage brokers we all dealt with each day back before this mess started.

    The fall out is…..It’s hard to make a living today as an appraiser. The interest in the field is at an all time low and it’s clear the creation of the AMC is to blame.

    I used to have a large firm of 15 appraisers I trained, reviewed, and thoroughly enjoyed welcoming into the field. Today, I can tell you, that is hardly the case.

    • Avatar chris says:

      We need a NON-PROFIT NATIONAL UNION of appraisers ran just like the VA !!!! VA just increased our fees to $525 for a 1004 !!! Very fair !!! The last increase was 2 years ago !!! There is OBVIOUSLY NOT a “free” market in our occupation in the AMC business model. I am I’m to talking to ALL the residential appraisers out there, the commercial and industrial appraisers were NOT affected by HVCC !!

      • Chris you HAVE a national non profit union. Join it.

        Until a consensus is arrived at all anyone can do is chip away at the edges of the abuse. Right now one major appraisal organization advocates for hybrid type product; “value-added” product (whatever the hell that is) & third party inspection.

        The rest of us are also apparently split with some appraisers saying they have to do them. No national union can develop and promote policies that are not supported by a majority of their own members and constituency.

        Each appraiser that is NOT a member of the Guild; or their own state coalition, or ASA or any other recognized peer group is part of the problem. You can take a positive step today toward fixing that.

    • Thank you here – 33 years appraising – in the mid 80’s my lowest fee was $350. A large $1M plus property started at $1900 and the most difficult was $2750. I could not have said it better than your post. It is disgusting how appraising is being destroyed to allow lenders to control the property values. When the crash comes – blame the primary cause – lender controlled AMCs. Home owners and buyers- you have been warned !

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Amc’s. The long arm of the lender.

      Now without any personal accountability!

      Who else is forced to work with an anti-advocate? Serious question.

  23. Avatar Anon says:

    I hear a lot of reference to ourselves as professionals and the lack of respect we receive. I am on my local realtors MLS advisory board and am heavily involved in some other realtor things. I always show up in a suit and tie. I have been a residential appraiser for 28 years. I have been bashed by my fellow appraisers for considering dress and appearance as a priority.

    So, our MLS board wanted an appraiser’s opinion and involvement in the committee so they chose myself and another appraiser. I showed up in my suit and most other attendees were in business attire. My fellow appraiser showed up in baggy jeans, a flannel shirt and a ponytail (Male appraiser). I always wanted to have long hair and love dressing casual, but this appraiser had been in the business 25 years and joined the committee because he wanted to get more involved. He was a very smart person as most appraisers are, but when it comes to being a business person and your livelihood, you should treat every day and every opportunity like it might be the last chance you get to make an impression or earn someone’s business. Realtors, builders and loan officers go out and have to deal with the public and run a full business. Every day their business is on the line. They do not view appraisers as having to the same thing. They see appraisers as enjoying their place as a regulatory requirement and not having to earn business like they do. We have to show them that we are business people as well and that we also work very hard and respect their businesses. Respect is what we want. We have to give respect. Part of giving respect, is just like dressing up to go to church or some other function because you want to show respect for the occasion. Make an impression and show others that you respect them and their business by your appearance. If you want to be in a rock band or run a t-shirt stand at the beach, then dress accordingly. If you want respect from others that work their asses off to be successful in their business and give them respect and earn their business, make an impression. If not, don’t be surprised when you can only make $50 on a desktop because you have no business other than the AMC that you signed up for on the internet and that this guy uses.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      That’s good perspective. If not for the evil appraisal management companies pilfering a billion dollars out of this industry, I think many more of us would be dressing nicer. Did you see those cufflinks Coester always sported. Flashy! Dude had cigar parties and funneled our dollars into his own charities. The other guys are busy outfitting brand new buildings, wining and dining with lobbyists, and are quite busy counting all those ponzi dollars.

      I do the same thing my appraisal parents did, which took them around the world. And I do it better. Sometimes I barely make it around the block and it’s a challenge to prioritize time for looking clean and spiffy when I’m literally alone at empty houses. Selling the appraisal service in mortgage lending is all about rule sets, compliance, competence, etc. There are so many different avenues to success. It’s all about where the appraiser wants to land. I’m getting by with good phone and typing skills, one of these days I should remember to clean up and get that haircut. Affording suits and ties is getting to be a stretch for many appraisers, the appraisal management companies took all that financial benefit for themselves and shared nothing back with the appraiser. No vacation days, no retirement, no benefits, no bonuses, reduced wages, inconsistent volume.

      Hey Anon, I have a question for you. What’s your fee and turn time? That’s what it comes down to for most average regular appraisers. Unlike other industries, the suit and tie means nothing if the appraiser has not invested all this time into regulatory reading and understanding, and who cares what the salesmen think, salesmen are always a dime a dozen. I’d prefer a salesman that knows his product better than the next guy and am leery of gold watches. The beat skips on.

    • All great points. There are times when business casual is appropriate and other times a coat and or tie is needed. Purely casual is for friends – not other professionals we are trying to educate or persuade. Imho. Different parts of the country though. Maybe ponytail had a field job that day in rough terrain.


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Faster Cheaper Appraisals!

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