Independent Appraisers Task Force

Independent Appraisers Task Force to Overcome the Number Game

Create a task force of only independent appraisers…

Appraisers are a minority in the real estate/lending world and tasked as the gatekeepers of mortgage transactions to protect everyone in the transaction from their immediate rapacity.

Of the 40 some thousand residential appraisers I have no idea of the exact division of field appraisers to reviewers. I’m guessing that maybe it’s divided in half, or say a third which are reviewers and then there’s probably another third or so that are newer licensed appraisers. So now we have around 20,000 or so Certified Appraisers that are in the field and are the only ones that actually care or can be vocal about safeguarding appraiser independence. For them it certainly does feel like the world is against them. But besides protecting their sensitivities the greater task for everyone with an appraisal license is to uphold the integrity of the industry. For that purpose alone Commercial and Residential Appraisers, reviewers and those in management should unite.

By a simple number count we are a drop in the ocean of the real estate and mortgage world. So how do we successfully overcome the number game and succeed where others have tried and failed? How do we safeguard appraiser independence for everyone with an appraisal license whether they’re in the field, reviewers or management?

I say the answer is in us educating the consumers. Then lobbying for stricter punishment for violators of appraiser independence. Create a task force of only independent appraisers to do this.

Working across lines with lenders have failed miserably because it’s just counterintuitive. The leadership that came before us for various reasons have been unsuccessful in elevating our industry and no longer have the trust of the majority of appraisers. So, we start anew.

Without naming every individual and association let’s just say we’ve outgrown the antiquated methods of a few sell outs making closed door deals that hurt appraisers and our industry.

Everything costs money, if we have say ten percent (about 2000) or so of the independent field appraisers put in $1,000, that’s enough money to spend on billboards, tv time, exposés, google ads etc., to start educating the public. It’s a start. Before making any political moves we need to gain public confidence and support.

As far as AMC’s, I personally see them as a non-issue. Yes, they’ve overstayed their welcome but appraisers are innovators. Most any good appraiser is working their way out of having to deal with them. There’s plenty of responsible lenders with appraiser panels that will pay a good fee for a solid appraisal. If you’re an appraiser wondering how to find them LinkedIn is a great place to network. As appraisers navigate away from AMC’s fees will no longer be an issue in my opinion.

That’s all I got folks… What say you…

By Gynell Vestal, Certified Residential Appraiser at Vestal Appraisal Solutions. Gynell has a diverse appraisal background covering Commercial, Residential, Rural, Complex and Luxury Properties as well as National Appraisal Review work in the secondary Market. She began her Appraisal training in Oklahoma in 2001 covering Rural and Commercial Properties. With several years as a National Review Appraiser at Fannie Mae and other big banks, Gynell has keen insight into the secondary market guidelines and requirements.

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12 Responses

  1. Conceptually an interesting idea, however you may be operating under a few false premises.

    1. There is (are) already an organization(s) (or many, in fact) that have united without regard to license level or field of appraisal practice. They are the State Coalitions; The Network, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and the American Guild of Appraisers (AGA).

    2. As announced at Appraiserfest 2018, consumer education is going to become a focal point for all of us. It’s going to take many forms expressed in many forums and media. Likely for much less than $1,000 each. Appraisers have limited budgets for external projects. Right now the collective push is for ALL appraisers to join with their state coalitions at a minimum. We urge them to do more.

    3. Your mass media is a great idea, but that has already been achieved, with mixed results. We have had articles published in news and magazine articles all across America for years. Media such as the Wall Street Journal.. Phil Crawford (VOA) regularly broadcasts about appraiser and consumer issues as related to appraisal

    4. There are roughly 79,000 appraisers left. EACH can write to their newspaper editor and either author articles OR ask them to contact those of us that have already written articles on the importance of independent appraisers. I think it likely we’d reach more folks than by expensive billboards.

    5. If you were at Appraisalfest, you know there is already an expose/documentary series in the works. One that is nearly complete, and one that is expected to blow the lid off of all the systemic corruption and protective failures.

    You’re on the right track Gynell, respectfully please don’t include those that are actively fighting for appraisers without regard to self interests, to be included even by inference in your antiquated comments statement. It undermines our efforts.

    There is a behind the scenes collaborative synergy going on right now that very few people are aware of. Appraiserfest is one of the best examples of this. Started by just three individual appraisers. It grew to be embraced by hundreds in person, if not thousands in heart.

    Join with us all, and keep up the suggestions for improvement! As a recommended first step to all, make sure you have either joined your state coalition of START one.

    • Avatar George St Johns says:

      I would have made the same points Mike Ford made… he just did it first. Thanks Mike.

      But, when it comes to NETWORK, Gynell, and others who are not currently state coalition or appraiser organization members, you need to know that NETWORK is 28 individual State appraiser organizations participating together to preserve, promote and promulgate the profession.

      NETWORK is hard at it. In fact we just met in Washington DC. The 2019 plan, among other things, calls for increased “public” outreach. Why… because no matter what the produce, if it has to do with real estate value, an Appraiser needs to be involved. Ask yourself… would you want a ‘just anybody’ to do your brain surgery? If you want something valued in real estate ask for an Appraiser… no less is acceptable. And join your state coalition or association now!

    • Avatar Gynell Vestal says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for the response. And no disrespect intended. I was just inferring about a few very well known sellouts. I know there’s efforts to fight for our industry. I try to reach out and talk to Appraisers all over as often as I can. We all pretty much share the same frustrations and sadly there are so many navigating their way out of the business. There’s also so many with good ideas to help elevate our industry. We should listen and support all of them. We are fighting an uphill battle and every one of us count.

      Unfortunately I missed Appraiserfest. Will try and make it next year. It’s nice to hear that we’re all thinking the same way and that there’s movements already started.

      • Gynell, I suspected as much and no offense taken personally. I just caution all of us that are seeking the same goals against undermining the efforts of each other in the process.

        Respectfully we already HAVE enough organizations. What we need to do now is to ACT. We know the problems. We have identified the solutions (though we are in disagreement collectively as to which are best – something we need to work on). The recent election may have changed the direction or trend of lending policies considerably. Regardless of party affiliations and personal philosophies let’s not ignore it.

        Where it looked like Dodd-Frank was dead or dying, it has been resuscitated… for good or for bad. Let’s see if we can help fix its appraisal & consumer protection related aspects.

  2. Avatar Dan Wilson says:

    I agree I had been turned into the State of Missouri by Red Sky and US Bank for a difference of opinion. The State Appraisers Commission found that I had done nothing wrong except not having enough explanation. (subjective)

    They quit using me which is a business decision but then they BLACKLISTED me so I lost other accounts.

    There should be rules that protect the appraisers when there was no violation that happened.

    • Dan, If you were a member of the appraisers guild we could attempt to get you reinstated and the cross populated lists corrected. There IS a rule against them doing this. They have to notify you in writing why they are blacklisting you.

      One of their steps is a business decision. The other is potentially libel. Depending on circumstances it may have violated DF appraisal independence or even Missouri law. You may want to contact our V. P. of Member Services for assistance.

  3. Avatar chris says:

    Off Topic, but here is still the problem…..From an L.O. to me. Oh the house was bought for 140 K a few years back…And he did fight the value and made the client spend time and money on a field review for nothing !!
    So you are basically saying you are not willing to even help to try and get a better value here? $161,000 is extremely low as the comps I used were not renovated according to the descriptions I used. I don’t have access to multiple listing service which is why I ask for the MLS cut sheets. If you weren’t willing to help then I can ask (removed) to help. They like to have the cutsheets though.
     (AND he doesn’t even have the MLS !!!)

    I am sure they are going to ask your opinion when I send them the reconsideration of value. Simply saying (the sales you have chosen are not comparable substitutes due to varying designs, superior interior conditions, superior locations, superior quality of constructions, superior market appeals.) when Palmerton literally has a population of 5,414 people shouldn’t fly but I am sure they will go with whatever you tell them. Palmerton is 2.4 square miles and is not outside or a suburb of any major city so I can’t see there being multiple markets in this small hamlet. The borrowers house beside needing the gutter fixed looks just like the other houses from the outside.
    You rated the subject a Q4 and C4 respectfully and gave your comparables the same with only a slight adjustment to #2. The comps I provided are the same as the ones you used. I did review my comparables and their interior as well. Besides the comps having a lack of clutter do to being staged for showings they do not seem any better than the subject.
    If you are not willing to use my comparables then can we find some other ones that support a value of $185,000? Considering my valuation tool gave a value of $225,000 we are quite a bit away. I can see that we aren’t near $225,000 after seeing the appraisal. $185,000 seems reasonable considering all of the factors. I wish appraisals were easy like they used to be.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Commission based lenders have more incentive to close than to care. Try seeking out salaried lending outfits instead.

      I like this main article but must regrettably post; as long as nobody went to jail, lenders will continue to railroad appraisers and slam dunk consumers. They operate above the law with virtual impunity to any and all legal wrong doings. If there is a fine, the company pays it and it’s still more profitable to operate that way. Only when the justice department brings back individual accountability where a licensed person like appraiser realty agent or mortgage banker will risk actually going to jail for willful fraud will anything change. In the meantime, tell consumers there is no such thing as a safe mortgage loan.

    • WHY is the L.O. communicating directly to you without the firewall? This guy AND his AMC need to be turned in. NOT to be punished, but to demonstrate the adverse impact phony AVMs or other ‘valuation tools’ are causing. IMHO if something is NOT a USPAP compliant appraisal it has no business being referred to as ANY form of value indicator. Its use as an argument for ‘helping’ a L.O. to get his value is unconscionable.


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Independent Appraisers Task Force

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