George Mason Mortgage Ends Coester Appraisal Management Beta Test

George Mason Mortgage Ends Coester Appraisal Management Beta Test

George Mason Mortgage going back to Mercury Network

On Thursdsay August 18, 2016, two days after we published the post titled “Coester Allegedly Engaged in Fraud Sued by Former Senior VP“, George Mason Mortgage LLC (GMM) emailed its GMM Appraisal Partners announcing GMM Transition for Appraisal Technology. Based on this announcement, George Mason Mortgage is going back to Mercury Network effective Monday, August 22, 2016.

Be sure too look at their fee schedule below.

Thank you to each of our valued Appraisal Partners who participated in the George Mason Mortgage (GMM) Appraisal Management Beta Test. After evaluating six months of performance metrics and branch feedback for Coester VMS, GMM will be exploring alternative solutions for Appraisal Management Technology in addition to leveraging Coester VMS services for a few branches.

Next Steps

What this means for your participation in the Appraisal ordering process at GMM is that effective Monday, August 22, 2016, all new Appraisal Orders will be conducted via the Mercury Appraisal portal in addition to the following:

  • Existing orders outstanding via Coester will need to be completed and processed through the Coester VMS Integration.
  • GMM SLA Agreements will go into effect including the GMM Standardized Appraisal Fee Matrix listed below.
Sales Price / Estimated Value
<$500K $500K-$999,999K $1M & over
Appraisal Types
Single Family $425 $450 $475
FHA Single Family $450 $475 N/A
Final Inspection $150 $150 $150
Desk Review/Drive-By Exterior Only $200 $200 $200
Field Review $300 $350 $400
Land Appraisal $350 $350 $350
‘Add On” Charges
Investment Property $100 $100 $100
Multiunit (regardless of occupancy) $200 $200 $200
Construction Dept/ C to P $100 $100 $100
Rush Fee $150 $150 $150

We appreciate your cooperation and attention in this matter.

If you have questions regarding the above, please reach out to the GMM Appraisal Help Desk at a…

Image credit flickr - Luke


Have questions or need help? Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns.

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36 Responses

  1. Mark Skapinetz on Facebook Mark Skapinetz on Facebook says:

    Interesting. I guess I can now go back and contact GMM and once again do work with them.

  2. Avatar Carl says:

    Smart move

  3. Avatar Fred says:

    Others should follow suit… but what’s up with those fees? Fee based on value?? Appraisers agreeing to GMM fee schedule are violating USPAP!

    • Avatar Diana N. says:

      Fred, those fees are certainly more inline with what’s happening in CT.

      • Avatar Fred says:

        Diana, fees based on values can be construed to be an influence of the value opinion expectation. Appraisers can’t accept fees based on values.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      NO NO NO NO. YOU ARE WRONG. Sorry to shout but this is one of the most egregious and damaging misconceptions regarding contingency billing rules, which continues to damage the industry. NOTHING stops a lender from applying reasonable billing based on scale. NOTHING stops the appraiser from accepting the lenders base fee rate based on that scale. Contingency Billing rules ONLY are applicable to your value result, not the SOW of the work order. The Contingency rule is there to keep appraisers from valuing up to the next step, to automatically get the higher billing rate. In instances where the lender has sliding scale and the appraiser is in between on the value, the INITIAL SOW FEE is what stands, not the expected higher or lower billing rate, should the final value fall on that line. You have to roll with it when you’re on the line, but Contingency Billing is different than Fixed SOW based on lenders expected value points. What is a problem here, is there is only a mere pathetic $50 dollar difference between a stock economy under 500k, and a mansion over 1 million. Best lenders before amc’s ruined this show, used to have sliding scale based on 100k, and million dollar units were automatically assigned 800+ per order fees. Most people never worked with quality lenders who supported appraisers that way, but some still remember. Add golf, mountain, rural or drive, and we used to get 1.25k base automatically assigned billing for the same orders amc’s today try to run flat rate 450’s. Contingency billing rules are there for ethical reasons to prevent undue influence and any financial incentive to boost the value to get a higher payday. They are not there for the benefit of lenders and amc’s, so appraisers are corralled like cattle and are presumed to complete a mansion for the same price as a condo. Abandon emotion. Abandon advocacy. Seek logic. You just advocated for cheaper generic services and flat rate billing.  Did you really mean to do that?  Probably not.  Get wise or get out.

      • Avatar Fred says:


        this is certainly a topic which people disagree. I stay away from fee schedules, mine or clients, that are based on sale price or estimated value. If you accept a fee schedule like the one above, in effect you have promulgated the fee variation based on value determination and have violated USPAP.

        Fees should be set by the complexity of the assignment and not value. And I think any connection between the fee and value could have the effect of influencing the appraiser.

        There is also another issue. What is the borrower to think when he paid the fee for a $500K property but later received an appraisal for $450K? I bet he could make a good case that he did not get what he paid for.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        No that’s not accurate either. “in effect you have promulgated the fee variation based on value determination“. There you go again, missing the point. The fee must be pre stated in lenders engagement, and then there is no variation in potential compensation, and therefore no violation or applicability of the contingency rule, because SOW was already agreed upon. Should the value opinion coincidentally fall into the next category of billing, either higher or lower, the appraiser does not lose or win, but merely maintains the initial billing set forth by the lender. Newsflash; Complexity is rooted in value because a bigger home costs more, and subsequently there is more home to appraise and most likely more challenges associated with that. The borrower is of no consequence to this specific point of fees, since he’s agreeing to accept appraisal service as a condition of engagement with the lender. The borrower cannot claim theft of services or price gouging, and the best they could claim is the lenders automatic valuation model or whatever method they came about that fee was flawed. Naturally, that’s an untenable argument with the nature of avm’s, and lenders disclosures regarding avm’s. They know they’re not reliable and get real appraisals instead. The appraiser is shielded, because the lender proposes compensation in SOW, and appraisers final value opinion cannot effect compensation. It’s not a topic on which many disagree. It’s a topic which many are not properly informed. If the lender proposes a fee based on scale, with fixed compensation regardless of end value result there is no violation of contingency because the appraiser has no incentive or perceived incentive to alter valuation to attain a higher payout, aka contingency billing. If the lender proposes a fee based on scale, where appraiser compensation was not set by initial sow, but was set by end value result, only then would there be a violation of the contingency billing rule. It’s quite simple really, and the only point appraisers need to remember, is to be assured by the lender that the fee stated in initial SOW stands regardless of the end value opinion result. If SOW stands, contingency is not applicable. Contingency was primarily meant to shield appraisers from theft of services if they did not make deals work, thereby promoting the public trust, and this argument is minutia.

      • Avatar Fred says:

        Baggins, basically you think that an appraisal request with an estimated value attached to it does not violate appraiser’s independence. Well, I disagree.

        Also, I do complex rural appraisals and most are valued under $500K. Your reasoning doesn’t hold water. CFR definitions defines complex appraisal assignment: “complex 1-to-4 family residential property appraisal means one in which the property to be appraised, the form of ownership, or market conditions are atypical.”

        I think we will have to agree to disagree.

      • Avatar AppraiserMan says:

        Baggins is correct. USPAP only prohibits fees being based on the appraiser’s opionin of value (except for jurisdictional exceptions). USPAP does not prohibit appraisers from basing a fee on the opinion of value of another. See USPAP FAQ #43.

  4. Avatar Diana N. says:

    Smart move and their fee schedule is certainly more inline with the “real world”. Hope I get some orders from them if they cover CT.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Speak for yourself. Mansions start at 1k, not 475. Give me a break. I’m not touching million dollar appraisals for same rate as economy homes. No way, no how, keep dreaming.

      • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

        Not to get in the middle of this conversation Baggins, but my point with lenders as it relates to a single point of data to set appraisal fees in advance (TRID), is that it means nothing until the local professional (appraiser) brings clarity. Every week I get work in million dollar PUD’s where the homes are a dime a dozen (3 to 4,000 in GLA / 5,000 sf lots, etc.), good data is plentiful, and LTV’s are in the 50% range. I have no problem if lenders on paper determine these to be complex and pay accordingly, but by being typical for the individual area, they are not. Homes that are half the price, half the size, and on the surface typical for the county both by way of price ($500,000) and by property characteristics (3/2 1,500 sf), may be twice as difficult, and twice the liability (flipped, 3% down payment, etc.) , but yet lenders refuse to recognize and pay accordingly.

  5. Avatar Wayne says:

    If you stir SHIT the chances are good that you will get some on you! Many appraisers are expert at doing this! Hit your knees and service the AMCs!

  6. Avatar Diana N. says:

    I will only work with AMC who will pay my fees and I won’t take any orders if the assignment is for JP Morgan Chase who screwed me and hundreds of other appraisers throughout the country through ES Appraisal Services. I wonder how many other appraisers have those scruples.

  7. Avatar GAPeach says:

    If you are still accepting orders from Coester, demand payment up front. More of their clients will be leaving them when they learn about the fiasco.

  8. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Smart move to distance themselves from the Coester felons but their fees suck donkey billiards BIG TIME. I’m sure some will jump at the “opportunity” however. Appraiser bone lickers exist in every state. Just throw down a quarter and you’ll find one crawling out from under a rock to grab it.

  9. Avatar pat turner says:

    They have changed law firms.

    They have passed my firm in Virginia 3, not 1, but THREE bad checks. To deliver the replacement funds they had to go to 7-11 to get three money orders.

    Keep on extending them credit at your own peril

    lenders are now in peril as well. Read the law.

  10. Avatar CFRAC says:

    Coester has increased their fees paid to the appraiser in my market and make quick payment by direct deposit. The quality of the assignments and type of property being appraised is consistent with few complex assignments. The appraisal review process is fair. I give Coester good marks from my experience with them.

    • Mark Skapinetz on Facebook Mark Skapinetz on Facebook says:

      this may be the funniest post of the week right here.

      • Baggins Baggins says:

        It’s the battle of the up votes vs down votes. As of; Skapinetz is slam dunking the vote power with 33 up votes, and 0 down votes. CFRAC is pro amc with balogney on white bread. 0 up votes, 9 down votes.

        Problemo? Why4?

        shoveling money

    • Avatar GAPeach says:

      CFRAC, where is your market and what fees are you getting from Coester?

    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      This is neither in support of or opposition of, but it is fact that MANY AMC’S PAY DIFFERENT FEES DEPENDING ON THE STATE, REGION, OR NEIGHBORHOOD THEY ARE SERVICING. Putting aside the issue of working with AMC’s at all, solely based on FEES ALONE, its possible some will have a good experience (fair pay), while some will have a bad experience (unfair pay). Do not shoot the messenger.

  11. Avatar Wayne says:

    Gee….some of my fellow appraisers have me confused. My general appraisal certification was bestowed on me by the Texas Real Estate Licence and Certification Board. There was a bit of effort on my part to encourage them to award me that certification. The part that confuses me is that FHA wants to dictate how I will prepare an appraisal. VA also wants to dictate to me how my appraisal should be prepared. Then there is the biggest clowns of all and that is FNMA telling appraisers how we should prepare appraisals. Is this the same FNMA that our tax dollars balled the hell out of certain doom?

    Now we add all of the Appraisal Management Companies to the list of crap clients. How many appraisal organizations do we as a group send dues to? What have they ever done for the appraisal profession? Appraisers send money to a coach? an Expo? an newsletter or magazine subscription. How many parasites do you want to feed?

    This business is a good business. You do not need to support appraisal organizations that promote designations that you do not have. Really…send in your annual dues so that some dude with a *** designation is promoted at your expense. (Really that stupid?) These designees are the same type of folks that own and promote the crappy AMCs.

    If I could make a suggestion…I would say that we need ONE appraisal organization. If a member suggests a designation he should have the shit beat out of him! LOL…this organization should be about appraisers with zero concern about AMCs, lenders, FHA, VA, FNMA…or any other parasite on our group. This appraisal organization should be for us…screw the designations (ME BE TARZAN, etc. crap) Oh well, fun to think about it!

    • Mark Skapinetz on Facebook Mark Skapinetz on Facebook says:

      I would suggest you look into the American Guild of Appraisers who are only about independent appraisers, have helped appraisers get paid, helped LA with their C&R cases, have bailed out appraisers from being. Lackluster. My dues to them are 325 a year. No designations. Just a group that supports independent appraisers and has thousands of members, and is against the AMC and lenders and oh yeah they come up with legislation and other forms of ideas that they present to boards, the Feds etc. I would say you run your business the way you want and others will do what they want and if they so choose to send money for help, ideas etc then that’s there decision. I’m a member of the AGA now and I am also trying to get more people to join. Why? Because they are doing shit for us appraisers.

  12. Avatar Wayne says:

    Why does this particular company think that they have the right to determine the fees that an appraiser should accept. They can bight a big hog in the ass! I will will decide what fees I charge…..

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Wayne, those are relative considerations though. Some basic logic would indicate that 20 years later, there probably should be some fee movement though. Ha! When confronted with any argument about fee and billing structure, I like to constantly illustrate my rebuttle point above to Mr Fred (sorry Fred, but I’m looking out for you, by shutting your rebuttle down harshly). The rebuttle point being of course, that flat rate billing is not fair, and sliding scale billing is more appropriate and reflective of fair billing practices. It is also important to consider that those methods of lender setting standard billing did not come out of thin air or the dusty books of appraisal fee histories like is happening now. So long ago those standard fees came by way of highest average fees, back when all appraisers on panel were required to submit a fee schedule. Remember required fee schedules and how that was part of the standard application repertoire like resume or flyer? And for simplicity sake and compliance with other regulations, the lenders would simply tag in a highest average fee, and that was the fee which the industry flourished upon. Would you be as abject to a standard fee if it would have appropriately kept up with inflation at 750 standard?  So this is an important point regarding Freds mis interpretation of contingency billing rules as well. Sliding scale works, but so does highest average billing. Balance is achieved by fair distribution and fair billing for a general equalization of over all assignment and fees. Discounting for dollars cherry pickers ruin it for the rest of us, and that’s a fact. Appraisers who only take the easy stuff should pack it up and run home to mommy. Appraisers being asked to ride the bench and cover only tough work for the benefit of cherry pickers have rightfully so, got off of that train ride. Pick your engagement;  Reasonable flat rate and good with bad, increasing base rate with inflation and economy. Or;  sliding scale for fair compensation based on complexity. Oh yeah, who’s George Mason? Never heard of them. LOL.

      • Avatar Wayne says:

        Okdie Dokie on all of that but I did not understand most of it! Oh Well…I did understand the questions of who is George Mason…. I saw where he has supplied the fees that his company will pay for various appraisal services. Who in the hell does he think that he is to tell appraisal professionals what they are allowed to charge? He can go straight to hell and not collect the $200.00. Does he think that he has some type of silly control of our industry? Why in the world are the stupid appraisers in our industry allowing some scum to dictate the fees that we are allowed to charge? Are we fuc**ing stupid or what? The appraisal business is one that allows individuals to open their own business and work the business as each of us see fit. Why do you want to allow some silly company to dictate how you will run your business? These chumps do not pay your office expenses or other bills…why do you allow them to dictate your business. Tell them to take a damn hike!

    • Avatar Fred says:

      Wayne, I agree. They shouldn’t be determining appraisers’ fees. Clients can ask for my fee schedule. I’m the one offering a service to them not the other way around. They can accept my fees, hire me or move on.

  13. Avatar Koma says:

    Well in VA they are already violating their C&R fees, not that I pay attention to anyone’s supposed fees. Just like already stated above I’ll tell you my fees that I charge and if you do not like them bye..bye! And they’re definitely higher than what is posted in the article. With those fees your “Working like it’s 1999″…lol

  14. Avatar Diana N. says:

    I quote my fee and turn time, if they want to pay it fine, if not, give the job to the bottom feeders. I like to work, but I’m not desperate.

  15. Avatar Wayne says:

    Maybe not everywhere but in my neighborhood we are busy! A clients says “appraiser to do this, appraiser to do that, appraiser can charge this and that, appraiser can bark and howl at the moon!, etc.” Well maybe that works in certain places but on my street we don’t play that game! Client can go the hell out of business while the appraisers stay just as busy as we want! Does an AMC need an appraiser? Does an appraiser need an AMC? LOL I have not needed one of those SOBs in years….join me! Market your services over and over until you do not need any particular client. You will then be in charge and life will be good! The whole purpose of being self-employed is the ability to charge what you want and work as you please. If you are going to give up this independence to a lender or AMC….just go get a real job! These dudes NEED us in order for them to make a payday….if they miss enough meals they will start to see out point of view!


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George Mason Mortgage Ends Coester Appraisal Management Beta Test

by AppraisersBlogs time to read: 1 min