Leaving the Appraisal Profession

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession

It’s a Great Time to Leave the Appraisal Profession.

I can hear the chorus of my fellow appraisers rising up in disagreement with me. I envision many of them screaming, “But I love being an appraiser”! Yeah, I hear you. I loved being an appraiser too. Let’s not consider what we were but what they want us to become.

First, ask yourself if you are still making a livable wage. I’m not and instead of blaming myself, I started running the numbers. In, my high value market, 18% of the solds were cash sales. No appraisal required on those! Values are so high that buyers are putting a lot of money down to lower the monthly payment as much as they can. So, based upon what industry insiders tell me, Fannie and Freddie are probably waiving the appraisal on another 17% of the solds. Add it up and I estimate that 35% of the sales in my market did not require an appraisal.

I ran the number of solds in my market and divided that by the number of Certified Residential and Certified General appraisers in my market and it came out to 1.4 appraisals, per appraiser, per month. Pretty bleak!

Now let’s consider the business from AMC’s. This business has dropped significantly In my market but I still get some offers emailed to me requesting a bid and turn time. I dutifully make a tolerable bid and quick turn time but I lose about more than 90% of these opportunities. Obviously, I’m losing business to an appraiser who is submitting a very low bid. My business cannot survive by being the low bidder. I’m hamstrung by not knowing what an acceptable fee is anymore. Where is Customary and Reasonable?

Next, let’s consider this racial bias issue. I am sick and tired of being accused of racial bias when I have never considered people, and/or their color, in any of my appraisals over the last 24 years. I appraise property, not people and I’ve not seen any examples of appraisal bias. I don’t understand how a biased appraisal could survive the gauntlet of eyes and machines that scrutinize every report before it is accepted. I have seen a fair amount of racial bias among lenders. I’d suggest the Feds look at them and stop pointing the finger at me!

One of the things I really enjoy about being an appraiser is getting out in the fresh air, inspecting homes, and meeting nice people. It’s really the field work that I love, not the “grind” of crunching numbers in the office. I find it hard to imagine how I am going to be able to produce credible, accurate appraisal reports without the benefit of personally doing the field work myself. AMC work is faceless and impersonal until I leave the office for an inspection.

The GSE’s, FHA, and VA will take all the field work away from us, shutter us in our offices and ask us to crunch the numbers all day at reduced fees. And, we’ll be held legally responsible for the errors and omissions of property data collectors. The chance for error increases when you take appraisers out of the field.

New forms will present yet another challenge and a steep learning curve to climb. I understand there will be more data and more analysis required. It will be hard for an old dude like me to become enthused about this major change.

Looking back 24 years ago, my business was dependent upon the relationships I cultivated with mortgage brokers and the work I performed. All those relationships and the business I grew were trashed in one fell swoop by the HVCC and replace by parasitic AMCs.

Tomorrow, I’m supposed to become a data scientist and try to decipher the value of a property I’ve never seen, bought and sold by buyers and sellers I’ve never met. I will be expected to make sense of the collective mindsets of thousands of people and describe all this in chart and word using a limited vocabulary so as not to offend anyone. I’ll need to spit two or three of these out every day to make a living. It really doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

Fannie and Freddie didn’t like what I was 20+ years ago and I don’t like what they want me to become.

It’s a great time to leave the appraisal profession.

By Soon to Be Retired Appraiser
Image credit flickr - STOP VIVISECTION-USE YUPPIES

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144 Responses

  1. Avatar Dennis Mcmillen says:

    Thinking of joining you for the same reasons. Been appraising since before licensing.

    17
    • Avatar Kevin Caudill says:

      Agree completely. Looking for a new vocation. A few years ago I had calculated I could retire at 65. Thanks to reduced fees and low volume of work I’ll retire 2 days after my funeral. But, it won’t be as an appraiser.

      5
  2. Avatar Krystal K says:

    Lots of truth there! Our worth as appraisers has been diminished by those with the power to screw the consumers and homebuyers over, in the name of a faster, no-interferrence paycheck for themselves. APPRAISERS ARE LITERALLY THE ONLY UNBIASED PERSON IN THESE TRANSACTIONS WHOSE PURPOSE IS TO PROTECT THE BUYER AND/OR THE LENDER. If this bullspit bubble doesn’t burst in time for appraisers to once again save the day in the lending process, there will be no one left to protect the consumer. With so many unknowns, it is wise for us as appraisers to start looking for and planning a backup source of income, with potential to become our new full-time gig.

    24
  3. Avatar -AMC Hater- says:

    The End’s Not Near, It’s Here Folks!

    blank

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  4. Avatar Brad says:

    Agree 100%! I have experienced and have the same opinions and realizations as the guest author has pointed out. A sad reality. I too am leaving the appraisal profession after 21 years.

    19
  5. Avatar Diane says:

    I left earlier this year after 20+ years. I am embarrassed for the industry and what it has become and no longer proud to be associated with it. It’s what the powers really want anyway, although they cry that they need more appraisers. They just need more appraisers so they can blame them for their irresponsible lending practices and manipulating the market. Adios to a profession that no longer exists.

    23
  6. Except for AMCs and bifurcated property inspection assignments – that many of us choose not to accept, nothing has changed.

    We’ve always been expected to support our opinions and processes with replicable methods and analyses – that includes data, metrics, and now basic analytics. We must also recognize that we are valuing property, not people and that markets are fluid with change.

    As appraisers we must continually grow our skill sets lest we become Blockbuster or 60-minute photo stores – or yes, retire.

    11
  7. Avatar Seneca says:

    WOW, First article from AppraisersBlog in over a month. Maybe more also have retired.

    12
  8. So sad, but so true. I heard a podcast last week that talked about taking the menial jobs away from appraisers and keeping them in front of a screen all day. Those menial task like determining the quality, condition and site/neighborhood qualities, all those things that The GSE’s see as menial. Look up the definition of “menial”. That does not fit the duties of an appraisal inspection. It’s about Power and Money and Fannie Mae creating a free world for AMC’s. Maybe appraisers should get together and create an AMC just for quality appraisers. There has to be clients who still care about value and not how much profit they can make and how fast. Sad to see the profession die. The new role of an appraiser is NOT the role I learned and loved. All professions change. This is a corrupt takeover…

    19
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Good ideas, but an appraiser ran amc will never work. Because lenders whom use amc’s do so with the specific purpose of being able to apply more pressure to appraisers, rather then less. There is a reason that although amc’s raked billions of dollars every year from the appraisal industry, they chose not to hire qualified appraiser staff beyond the absolutely minimally required protocols. Amc’s, the long arm of the lender. Besides, ethical lenders have the simple option to not use an amc in the first place and still fall under normal routine regulatory compliance.

      That meager 15% of the origination market which does not use amc’s, has been the safe haven for thousands of appraisers over the last 15 years, and every single VA appraiser in this country, as the VA forces lenders whom would otherwise use an amc, to manage the process themselves. So every lender in this country, specifically the ones whom use amc’s, know very well how much the amc’s have been shorting the appraiser this whole time. Additionally they know how to navigate the process without an amc, it’s just they choose not to. Lenders use appraisers due to regulatory obligations and in turn, lenders have funneled millions into various lobbying and special interest group efforts to slander and eventually eliminate the appraisal profession. Consumer protection? Whom in positions of power and decision making authority actually wants that anymore? Back to your regularly scheduled program of pretending our country is not under total assault on every front. Don’t forget to apologize for being a carbon based life form.

      8
    • Avatar Seneca says:

      Appraiser ran AMC? That means we have to get together to accomplish something. We appraisers have never been able to get together and never will.

      4
  9. Avatar Older and maybe Wiser says:

    100% (and another 100% if possible) agree with the author.

    Similar numbers for me. 20 years as an appraiser this year. 35 as a licensed agent/broker as well.

    Already semi-retired. Only doing work for the VA and for local attorney’s. They still treat appraisers as professionals, not fast food clerks.

    I completed about 10 desktop appraisal reports. Got paid paid $60 to a maximum of $90 each from ValueNet. I had to, just to see the future. It felt like I was gambling with my appraiser license. Same liability since I was signing as the appraiser.

    Real estate sales? I actually make a LOT more doing that. But I can see a day when REALTORS are gone. Virtual this and virtual that…. who needs the REALTOR?

    Yes…. it is almost a good time to HAVE BEEN an appraiser. Almost ready to retire. It was a good 20 year run.

    15
  10. Avatar Flash says:

    Plan your work and work your plan, or someone else has a plan for you.

    Have been in appraising before licensing and I am busy as all get out.

    99% of my work is estates purposes, divorce and real estate expert witness in the courts. I also use statistics in my reports which allows me to explain my mls search methodology in a court of law.

    If I have time I will appraise for lenders but I don’t make my total existence on lending or amcs.

    Not quitting as I am too busy. Also have a Real Estate Broker License.

    It’s only going to get busier with more people leaving industry and it should be busy in 2024 during a Presidential Election.

    Either the rates drop the first quarter of 2024 and lenders are scrambling for appraisers again and the politicians are beating their chests about lower rates which is always the plan in a presidential election year.

    Appraising is a tough gig and years ago I saw this moment as to what do I do now when the work drys up.

    During Covid while many appraisers stayed home, I work a commercial breather mask and did nothing but the rush which worked out well. I had over 30-40 requests a day so I charged large fees for fast 2 day turn around work and was very buys then too.

    Always change a losing game and find a solution.

    7
    • Avatar Srig says:

      How is “It’s only going to get busier with more people leaving industry and it should be busy in 2024 during a Presidential Election.” working out for you right now (5/8/24)? Bidenomics?

      0
      • Avatar Flash says:

        Ninety Five percent of my business is Non Lender Work. Estates, Inherited Homes, Divorce, Legal Work, Attorneys and Expert Witness Testimony.

        With clients in the Boomer Generation calling there is still 10-20 years of work just in Estate Work out there so I am busy with 3 reports on my desk now all non lender.

        Plan your work or someone else has a plan for you.

        1
  11. Kathy Morton Bunting Hoey on Facebook Kathy Morton Bunting Hoey on Facebook says:

    I have moved to predominantly private work and doing more real estate sales and am enjoying appraising again. The AMC’s and Fannie have destroyed our beloved profession. Best of luck in the future with whatever direction you go in. I understand the frustration!

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  12. Gregory Beck on Twitter Gregory Beck on Twitter says:

    It’s become a nightmare!

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  13. Avatar Pierce Blitch, III, GRI, RAA, IFAS, ASA says:

    I am 68 and not even thinking about retiring. My business is still average or above…. however, the number of cases is down 25-30% from 2019 (pre covid). June 2020-June 2022, I have never worked so hard in my 43 year career as an appraiser. The market over satisfied demand 2020-2022 and we are paying the price right now. Golden Handcuffs (2-4%) interest rates are holding back potential existing home resale inventory and builders in my area cannot keep up with demand (mainly due to a lack of buildable lots coming online). I am not afraid of the “New Form”….If you haven’t been reading enough, its not really a form. It’s going to be a Cloud Based program and the more info you input, it will provide sections of the appraisal report to fill out/complete. I think the learning curve will be minimal… That being said, I don’t think this new process will be rolled out before Mid 2025… If then… Just my two cents…

    3
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      How will you review the net/gross percentages, when at least one of them is plainly absent from the forms? Throw a dart for adjustment process and hope for the best I suppose. The new forms were developed by incompetent people for the purpose of eventually automating the entire process. Three pages was already more than adequate for the task at hand. A math problem running ten pages long when it otherwise could have fit into one. That’s not progress or evolution of an effective process. The previous forms were built around the principals of fair market value and competent analysis. The new forms, not so much. Perhaps read that form again, along with the technical specs pages which were published alongside, and also posted as a new form related article on this blog. Don’t forget to measure the surface area of every single window. I will have to go back to previous analysis posts on the matter but the length of poorly thought out alterations were lengthy indeed.

      6
      • Avatar Pierce Blitch III says:

        This is still a work in progress. Boots on the ground appraisers should and will have more input as things progress. As I previously stated, this will probably not roll out until mid 2025 and there will be many changes and improvements in the meantime.

        0
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          They’ll never provide a finished product again. An inevitable result when technical persons seek prolonged contractor employment by way of constantly tinkering with software and interface.

          Who’s still buying this that a new form development takes four to five years if not longer?

          The current form is adequate although we would not mind subtle changes. The ‘feedback’ most appraisers provide will be quitting or retiring when they are required to use the new interactive form. Certainly without a doubt, there will be hardly any appraisers whom would see the new form as a great substitute to the general purpose form. That is because the new form does not serve the best interests of the appraisal community, was not developed with advisement from the appraisal community, and is not comprehensive in terms of arguing or defending competent appraisal practices. Back into it, as one may say… The new forms are indefensible.

          1
  14. Avatar Raymond says:

    I retired from mortgage lending appraising (AMC, etc) 20+ years ago. There is certainly appraisal life after retiring from doing appraisal work for lending purposes.

    5
  15. Avatar Diana Nytko says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. After 50 years in the business I am disgusted with the way its headed. Sad.

    13
  16. Avatar Paul says:

    The comment about customary and reasonable fees resonated with me in a big way. I’m lucky if I get 5% of the orders for which I place a bid through these AMC’s. I always offer a competitive fee and lightning-fast turnaround times, but I rarely get the order, and I never get any feedback from the AMC. That’s the most frustrating part about it… without feedback from the AMC’s, how do we know what constitutes a competitive bid?

    9
    • Avatar Raymond says:

      Paul, the AMCs control the entire appraisal process, as it relates to mortgage lending purposes. Appraisers doing work for AMCs just need to accept the AMC terms or get NO work or feedback.

      3
    • Avatar Home Stretch says:

      I’m still busy and for me it’s been a great career. I want to retire because I’m tired. I read about appraisers working into their 70’s and 80’s. I’m 66 and I don’t know how they do it. I can’t imagine living the rest of my life doing appraisals. Since I started 25 years ago there has been threats of us being replaced by AVM’s, UAD data collecting and using our information, hybrid appraisals, property inspectors. The bias lawsuits are really upsetting but what percentage of appraisers have actually been sued? None of it has come to pass for me. If you’re new to this profession, shut out the noise and enjoy the work. It appears it will be plentiful since a lot of us are sailing off into the sunset.

      3
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      ‘I place bids through these amc’s’. I have identified the primary appraisal problem. Perhaps stop working for free? Have you ever insisted on knowing how many other appraisers those bids were sent to? Below, a summary of the amc and appraisal industry, for those whom perhaps were not present in the times before predatory amc’s were subbed in to mask the ongoing predatory lending issues.

      https://appraisersblogs.com/fighting-tooth-n-nail-4-consumer-protection-n-the-appraisal-industry/#comment-38688

      I’ve got my eye on appraisers who thinks it’s acceptable just to get theirs and walk away from this entire countries worth of citizens whom still need and deserve reliable consumer valuation protection. Everyone here has family or friends whom will still need to navigate these systems in the future, and one day you may find yourself needing to again as well. Stop turning your backs on the borrowing consumers in need of competent reliable full service valuations. Fight for the renewal of this industry rather than acquiescing to it’s untimely demise. Even if something is dismantled and damaged, such can still be re assembled and renewed. I mean it’s frigging unbelievably unfair and disheartening, the way some corrupt lenders and their partner corporations run roughshod over American consumers and the appraisers whom serve them, but it’s never too late for renewal. Predators at every turn…

      Missing the IVPI proposal yet?
      https://www.workingre.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/IVPI-Proposalfinal.pdf

      3
      • Avatar Rickk says:

        My friend, I’ve spent 40 years in the Real Estate business, including 30 as an appraiser. The Banks don’t WANT protection, they want to make money. To do that, they simply want to do every deal they can, and sell off the paper.

        BADGES? We don’t got no Badges. We don’t need no Badges! An we don’t need no stinking property appraisal.

        If it were otherwise, and the Lenders had skin in the game, this business would be close to the way you envision it. And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

        3
  17. Avatar Eric Kretz says:

    Much agreed with the author.

    I beg the question- do the powers that be really want us to retire?

    FNMA, Freddie, HUD/FHA, and now VA have all turned their backs on appraisers. The Appraisal Institute is nowhere to be found, doing the bidding of Washington lobbyists and bureaucrats. USPAP is nothing more than a loaded gun for state licensing boards to increase revenue under the falsehoods of preserving and protecting public trust.

    The MBA, National Homebuilders Association, and National Association of Realtors all hate appraisals, appraisers, and the appraisal process. They’ve all gone long, betting the farm on Hybrids, AVM’s, and AI in a workaround of the physical appraisal to speed up the loan process – all in the name of ‘keeping liquidity within the market’. Only if the homeowners really understood.

    We are continually told by those inside and out of the lending and appraisal industry that change is coming. You must adapt or die…. embrace the changes or retire. Well, the new 1004 is an absolute nightmare. I don’t believe there was one certified appraiser involved in its development. At some point you must ask yourself, who really benefits from these changes?

    The appraisal industry has been a devolving race to the bottom facilitated by the AMC’s who were purposely starving us out for the lowest possible fee and quickest turn time, and the appraisers are starving because we are own worst enemy. I’ve lost quotes this week from appraisers who are 70 miles away for $25, despite having a better turn time.

    In the end, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. And as others have said if you do not have an escape plan or a secondary income source, I feel within the next few years you will be caught holding the bag. It’s sad when retirement appears to be the only viable option.

    9
    • Avatar Raymond says:

      Eric, the AMCs and mortgage lenders know that appraisers are a very splinter professional group. Thus they can impose whatever terms they want on appraisers. Appraisers comply or get no work. Closest thing to professional slavery that I can think of.

      5
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      ‘ I’ve lost quotes this week from appraisers who are ‘ This keeps happening, it’s like deja vu! I identify the appraisal problem, and in turn provide an appraisal solution. Perhaps stop working for free? Why, when the consumer is already quoted an appraisal fee before hand, their money or payment commitment most likely already collected, the deals are lined up, the pieces in place, your services absolutely necessary and required, the appraisal order is already formed and filled out, are you required to bid? What we got here is failure to communicate.

      Eric you have so many great things to say and a really well rounded understanding of what’s happening in this industry. Which is why I’ll remain mystified why you would even bother quoting amc’s. Why don’t you ask them what their best possible fee is instead? You forgot TAF and Bunton whom rakes $750k a year to have milk and cookies with Andre Perre at Brookings, while communicating with the same lawyers and lobbyists behind incentivizing witch hunts against appraisers, and then hiring those same people to coordinate and provide consultation services to The Appraisal Foundation. That’s what they said on the internet, and I believe them.

      ‘USPAP is nothing more than a loaded gun for state licensing boards to to increase revenue ‘ Sure, but before we dive into that, lets’ talk about complying with your states procedural rules act(s). We’ll need to ask the good persons at the state exactly which USPAP version they are referring to, and then they will need to provide documentation for us to locate this ever updating legal standard in their own published systems. ‘by rolling incorporation’ is simply insufficient and itself falls outside of states various procedural compliance requirements. (do you see what just happened there? If not, see Jeremy Bagotts articles, he can be found here, and on twitter. It is unconstitutional for state agencies to hold licensees accountable without complying with their own states procedural rules which require fair notice and comment periods, possibly adjustments to the standards, before any updated guidance provisions may be adopted. TAF never had the authority to bypass this process with bi annual rewrites to appease stakeholders.) Let’s play a game; spot the paper tiger.

      4
  18. Avatar Jeffrey N. Allen says:

    I appraise mostly for AMCs and do not have to cozy up to mortgage bankers and lenders to do my work. I put out a good product and do not care whether i hit the number or not because if they don’t think i am doing a good job then so be it. I have integrity and give a full blown sensible appraisal. I refuse to do some work where my liability is is increased due to not seeing the property. My business is down and sometimes get requests to appraise properties for half of a normal fee. I can envision the skinny, low quality appraisal that comes with a fee like that. The deals i quote are approximately 10% below what i was quoting last year and i have enough work to live comfortably. I did not buy any lake homes during the good times and live reasonably. I understand the market is down but it always is when rates change. I am sorry that there are so many appraisers that are leaving the business but if you compete on price then there will always be someone pricing the deal less than you. I try to compete on quality and will always have clients that appreciate honesty and integrity. Too many appraisers are afraid to miss the mark in order to keep business but you must protect the lender and the buyer. Sorry for the bad times for most but i do not share your misery. Thank you for leaving the business.

    5
    • Avatar Home Stretch says:

      Jeffrey, 100%

      2
    • Avatar Diane says:

      Bwahahahahahahahahahahahha.Oh my, let me catch my breath. Bwahahahahahahahahaha… Stop it, you’re too much for me. You my friend may be the 1% that has not been through the realities of this profession and if you’re post is not resting on a throne of lies, then I would be jealous that I am not reaping the just benefits of doing honest and reliable work as you are. Maybe you really play their game but tell yourself you don’t. Maybe you believe the pile of poop your spewing or just like to twist the knives that are in most appraisers backs at this point. We have dedicated our careers, jumped through every hoop they placed in front of us and tried to adapt to all the changes they kept throwing out there. At the end of the day, one has to ask themselves.. IF they wanted honest appraisals, why are the lenders allowed to own their own AMCs? Why are appraisers not allowed access to the UAD naughty list? Why was the process never converted to the rotation system like the VA? Why were the warnings from appraisers going back to the 2000s ignored? Now one has to wonder, why bring in data collectors? Why change the forms to be even more easily mined? Why do the lenders, OUR CLIENTS, or so we think, not having our backs?

      Appraising has become one of the most ass backward professions out there. Say what you want, but we all know that unless you play the game, you are benched and if you haven’t been benched yet, you will one day.

      14
      • Avatar Home Stretch says:

        Oh dang, did you think this was appraisers forum instead of appraisal blog? Because that’s where you go when you want to be snarky and condescending.

        2
        • Avatar Diane says:

          Don’t confuse snarky and condescending for honest and truthful. They can often look very similar.

          8
          • Avatar Home Stretch says:

            “Maybe you believe the pile of poop your spewing” No confusion whatsoever.

            2
            • Avatar Diane says:

              Maybe a bit snarky, you are correct. But being honest and truthful. I used to worry about posting “unprofessional ” views or comments, but the industry has sucked out every ounce of feeling like a professional as we are no longer viewed as such, nor treated as such. I gave everything to my career and to have no control over building my practice due to the government and its illegitimate children…well, a bit snarky tends to raise its ugly head from time to time. I am mourning the loss of what was part of my identity for 27 years and although our jobs do not define us, to watch our careers that we loved being twisted into what they are today is painful if not unbareable.

              14
      • Avatar Brad says:

        You go Diane !

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      • Avatar Brad says:

        Agree with that Diane.

        4
      • Avatar Older & Maybe Wiser says:

        Agree with Diane. Mr. Allen is a prime example of someone who has accepted being kicked down and being made less professional by the AMC’s. He wrote of working for 10% less than the year before because….WHY NOT…everything else went down 10% or more since last year (sarcasm for those that don’t get it). Rather than stand up and fight for our profession, some people just….give in and accept less money. Like the current UAW strikers…….oh wait they are demanding a 40% increase. smh. Mr. Allen and those that think like him do nothing but help destroy all appraisers. Now…….back to the main subject…..it sure is a good time to RETIRE! lol

        1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      I’m not sure that using the term integrity and working primarily for appraisal management companies belong in the same statement set.

      What is must be like to experience the joy of watching predatory companies drive your competition out of business and still remain on the inside track. If that’s integrity to you, I suppose that’s your own objective truth.

      I have some extra salt here if you happen to run out. And I won’t even charge you a salt handling management fee. This one is on the house.

      6
  19. Yes, private appraisal work is the only way to go these days. It’s great for the next few years. However, eventually AMCs will be training all the new appraisers. That future seems sad for mortgage lenders, home buyers, and the industry.

    0
    • Avatar Flash says:

      The Boomer Generation and the generation earlier is where I am finding my Business Model these days with estate work. The work will be there for the next 2 decades.

      99 percent of my work these days is using a General Purpose Form and I have no interest, Zero Interest in a new improved 1004 Report that looks like a shopping list with check marks.

      Have 6 GP reports on my desk and calendar to do that I give myself 1-2 weeks to complete and have no blow back from an AMC about more comparables.

      Over 3 years ago, i started using statistical data directly exported from the mls into 8 statistical charts and scatter graphs the AMC’s after reviewing the report accepted the report and did not waste my time further.

      The new improved report takes twice as long to fill out than the soon to be retired 1004 report. My business plan is GP Forms Only and I enjoy appraising again for the last 3 years.

      1
      • Avatar Brian says:

        Care to share the 8 charts and graphs you use? Trying to build better reports.

        0
        • Avatar Flash says:

          Two things you want to do is take Richard Hagars course on line or live about using statistics in a report.

          The other thing to check into Alamode Software using Titan Analytics to create and export file on the mls. Then you export the file into the alamode software to create the 8 statistical charts and scatter graphs.

          I can use this same product to appraise properties for estates that need a value up to 20 years ago or present time appraisal market conditions.

          There have been slot of nay sayers as to statistics but when a search of a mls mile radius is made for an entire year of market activity and just bracket the living area of a an area of similar lot sizes the results are amazing.

          Each set of charts and scatter graphs is unique to the subject search on the mls. No two are alike when the subjects living area is bracketed in the search parameters.

          When I go to court or to a deposition and I am asked or grilled by an attorney as to what was my methodology, it is printed in a one line page and then expanded to a 2 page CMA . I include it in every report.

          Going to court with a report with Titan analytics with 8 statistical charts snd scatter graphs up agains an appraiser that only has one chart about the size of a 2 x 3 inch square showing only the median value blows away the competition as to which report delivers a higher quality of work. And therefore command much higher fees when you consistently deliver a quality report.

          Watch an Alamode video of Titan Analytics to see what I mean.

          0
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Well, Flash, sorry to inform you. Every PAREA graduate will be gunning for those clients. Lawyers may be highly likely to require their paralegals to become appraisers. And there is a very high probability that amc’s will take into your work as well, now that they can pay for every last employee, including their managers and lawyers, to become certified appraisers with a 6 month McKissock class and no actual mentor program.
        You’re already cooked, but just don’t know it yet. The water having warmed so slowly while appraisers surfed the outside of the pan pretending the issue with amc’s would eventually go away.
        If more appraisers would have gotten serious about consumer protection and not turned their back on 300m plus American consumers whom still needed to access sound valuation services via government service enterprises, and instead actually stood up to the amc industry in an effective manner to not just ignore them, but to stop them from harming consumers and our industry, things could have been different…
        There will be no safe haven. Amc’s will not stop at mortgage lending. They took origination. They took default. They took ancillary service companies. They bought out every available technological provider possible. They partnered with government and sat on the various task forces. They coordinated with non profits. The amc companies are not stopping.
        I would suggest talking to legal connections about a national class action against appraisal management companies. Something long overdue. There is no safe haven for any licensed appraiser so long as the amc companies reach and influence continues to expand.

        4
        • Avatar Flash says:

          Mr Baggins

          I respect your commentary on many articles that you write.

          I have plenty of work and Richard Hagar opened my eyes to statistics years ago.

          Amcs control more of the lending work and not a relationship with attorneys that hire appraisers to write quality reports.

          I just hate to see all the appraisers give up rather than to change their business plan which they should have done years ago.

          I as busy as I want to be for a 69 1/2 year old grown ass man.

          Regards

          Flash

          Nickname given to me by captain of commercial boating world many years ago.

          “I may be slow, but I am deep”

          1
          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Thanks Flash. I just got heated and was actually about to edit down the post to be less, well, less upset I guess. Time will tell if there are protected areas, I doubt this will be the case.

            I just can’t help but say; Why and how could this many appraisers turn their backs on that many consumers whom would need and benefit from their services? Leaving the vast majority of all borrowing consumers in this country, subjected to the most aggressive crew whom is willing to play ball with these corrupt systems. It’s the fact these appraisers do not understand they are working within a corrupt system, under unfair imbalanced competition factors which would be illegal in other industries, which I find most disturbing.

            We are not existing in a free market system because nobody except the profiteers insists this artificially created imbalance continue. Someone should have gone to prison by now for this much deception, destroying this many careers, financial futures, and peoples lives.

            Thanks for the kind words though, appreciated. I’m going to put a big old post it up on my screen again; don’t let POL get to you. lol. Every last time. How can some of these people be so callous and cruel, so heartless and ready to capitalize on other peoples misfortune? That is not the world I want to live in. They should be careful what they wish for. Cheers.

            4
            • Avatar Flash says:

              It’s all good.

              Real Estate Expert Court Witness, Estate Work and Divorce is where I focus today based upon my resume of real estate since 1980 to the present.

              Real Estate Broker Owner. Certified Res Appraiser. Most real estate agents fear going to court and so do appraisers to defend their work.

              Court work has been interesting and it pays well. You have to be able to answer the questions artfully and truthfully and yes there can be hundred of hours in prep work prior to a trial which I don’t feel will fit the role of an appraiser hired by an AMC.

              AMC’s have copies of my work on high end properties with stats and graphs in Silicon Valley which had large fees yet legal work in court is even larger. They know where to find me if they want a bid.

              I am also an active Real Estate Broker Owner with current listings soon going into escrow.

              Life is good. You are only in competition with yourself and who knows how much longer appraisers will be needed in this world.

              1
  20. Avatar M.Cahn says:

    I agree with everything the story is saying, it’s a plan and simple fact, we as appraisers are facing diminished income at unprecedented levels. But let’s not forget one other and very important reason all of this is happening. Real estate agents are pushing higher sale prices even when they know the value isn’t there. Why, well two reasons really. Number one, they get more commissions. & two, they know that today’s lenders and even buyers are pushing back on us when we don’t come in at the contract price. They forget our job is to protect them all against over inflated pricing. Then we have to spend another two hours of work (un-Paid) explain and defending our values. I’m done very soon as well. If you ask me, I see another S&L crisis ahead. Possible 2008 all over again.

    2
  21. Avatar Marty says:

    I agree with everything the story is saying, it’s a plan and simple fact, we as appraisers are facing diminished income at unprecedented levels. But let’s not forget one other and very important reason all of this is happening. Real estate agents are pushing higher sale prices even when they know the value isn’t there. Why, well two reasons really. Number one, they get more commissions. & two, they know that today’s lenders and even buyers are pushing back on us when we don’t come in at the contract price. They forget our job is to protect them all against over inflated pricing. Then we have to spend another two hours of work (un-Paid) explain and defending our values. I’m done very soon as well. If you ask me, I see another S&L crisis ahead. Possible 2008 all over again.

    1
    • Avatar That Scott Guy says:

      ….”we as appraisers are facing diminished income at unprecedented levels….”

      I saw a review today of an appraisal that the O/A accepted the assignment for $425. The AMC fee disclosure was $310. Thats almost 75% of the appraisal fee. The AMC’s are to blame for the diminished income. I understand that we can refuse lower AMC fees, accept work that pays us C&R fees, and get non-lender work. But we are our own worst enemy. Get paid what you’re worth. When the ‘Skippys’ come in and do work for pennies it hurts us all.

      5
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Scott, please save that disclosure document and furnish this to admin for immediate publication. That or hand to your state agency. This should fall under anecdotal informational disclosure allowances, if you properly redact. The $115 dollar appraisal fee. Remarkable. Cumulatively, over the past few decades, the amc companies siphoned what could be hundreds of billions of dollars and crushed not only our industry, but many other ancillary ones as well.

        Now that’s management you can trust.

        3
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Sorry, I did the math backwards. The $735 appraisal fee, of which only $425 went to the appraiser.

          In the amc world, that’s an industry standard minimum. They fetch far more than that whenever the opportunity arises. All they need is one appraiser to discount even lower, and that appraiser gets an infinite stream of work ahead of the crowd. Dollar signs in their eyes. Free lunch every time an appraiser burns themselves out and dies.

          2
      • Avatar Page says:

        Wait. Hold the phone lol. If the appraiser accepted the fee of $425 that’s what the appraise was paid. Never once have I known much less was it disclosed what the AMC up charge was. How did you even know this. I work a lot for AMC’s and I am paid well. I get offers all the time for $250 or $300 and I always accept with conditions and give them my fee depending on location and time I expect to work on the assignment and if they accept it fine if they don’t find it I’m comfortably busy. Full disclosure I’m much slower than I used to be but I turn down a lot of work because my brain just can’t handle it anymore but on the low end I get $350 never less and high end $600. What the AMC makes on top of that is none of my business and I do not care and I have no way of knowing. So I cannot exactly figure out where you’re coming from on this unless you’re just making it up. Unless the house is three blocks from the appraiser’s office that he appraised at six months ago I cannot imagine any appraiser taking a job for 75% of $425.

        0
        • Avatar That Scott Guy says:

          Page-
          Not making it up. Colorado HB 12-1110, the appraiser must disclose in the appraisal report the fee paid to the appraiser for a residential real property appraisal, if the appraiser was engaged by an appraisal management company to complete an appraisal assignment.

          It was a review, and the OA had the AMC fee on the compliance certificate. Colorado appraisal assignments from AMCS will have the total fee collected and then the appraisers fee. Most AMC’s get between $100-250 per appraisal.

          When hybrid assignments started showing up, the appraiser fees were $50 and the AMC fees were $150. No joke.

          Makes it easy to get sour on AMC work real fast when you see what they take for what they don’t do.

          5
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          ‘What the consumer was charged is none of my business.’ So your consumer position is; Whatever a provider may choose to upcharge is fine and even if the product manufacturer or service provider actually charged less, you’re comfortable with the unnecessary middle management profiteering off your back with concealed fees and not passing cost savings back to you? If you were a consumer offered the choice, and had access to transparent billing, would you still call the middle manager to accept a $300+ surcharge, or would you call that service provider directly and save that money instead? Do you apply those same consumer principals regarding fair billing when it’s your spending money going out the door? Or do you only have this double standard when you are profiting from pay to play concealed billing system schemes personally?
          Do you understand the purpose of mortgage billing disclosure forms for consumers? If so, please justify why you feel that the appraisal vendors and appraisal management companies deserve some special exception to keep consumer fees for these totally separate companies, providing totally different services, be kept secret from consumers in an improperly co mingled billing state.
          Let me tell you a simple way to ‘know’. Make sure the borrowing consumer is informed of what your fee was. And likewise ask them how much they paid for your service. We’ll see if you feel the same way about the service, after full transparent billing disclosure to all parties involved. I mean for real, I have been getting no less than $550 for every full request, if not much more than that, for at least the past 5-7 years, up to $600 minimum this year. And the consumers I work with pay just about the same amount to the lender for the appraisal service as they pay to your dear leader appraisal management companies. Yet you get paid less but receive more work orders despite not having any exceptional qualifications more than the next guy in line. Are you understanding how pay to play systems work yet?
          Perhaps there is some confusion here. The poster illustrated how the appraisal fee to the consumer was $735, and the appraiser was paid a mere portion of that. In review, one may be able to observe both the appraisers fee, and the amc’s surcharge. All combined in one improperly co mingled fee to conceal the actual cost of service distribution from the borrowing consumer. That’s what keeps the consumer from questioning to the lender, why an appraisal management company is charging so much just for shuffling some paperwork. You’re giving your hard earned money away to amc’s whom do nothing more than shuffle paperwork, and in turn, selling the appraisers whom actually understand ethical principals in transparent billing straight down the river.
          ‘I work for a lot of amc’s, and I am paid well’.
          Two points. First I have identified your primary appraisal problem. Was that a black cat walking under a ladder below a full moon?
          Second, one ponders if you’d have claimed such a disproportionate share of work volume while a hundred thousand other appraisers were driven out of business or boycotted lending work, if you would have still received that volume if not for the appraisal management companies presence.

          4
  22. Avatar Page says:

    I agree with everything you said, some more than others. I will not leave the profession unless and until it just gets unbearable, but I do have a feeling the profession will leave me. I’m glad I do have other income but I sure like the appraisal business as well. As to racial bias I agree with you 100%. Yes there are a few jack ass appraisers out there I’m sure that have bias and not only racial bias, but I don’t know a single profession that is exempt from fools. There are too many checks and balances and even the studies that claim to support the finding of racial bias have pretty much all been debunked and exposed as a farce.

    3
  23. Avatar Howard Wettreich says:

    Yesterday I received a quote request to do a 1004D. I didn’t perform the original appraisal. After I submitted my bid, I received a request from the person in charge of the assignment asking me if I would take on the assignment for $25 less. Are you kidding me??? I was polite in my refusal, but I should have asked if he negotiated the fee with his physician during his last visit. I’m not leaving the business because I don’t have to. I do non-lender work and I just got my real estate license. But, yes, things are bleak with no end in sight until 2008 repeats itself.

    6
  24. Avatar Russell Bean says:

    I have been appraising in rural areas for the past 20 years. Some of your points are well taken and valid. I do not have issues with getting business. I pick the business I want for my fee or I do not accept them. I have also been getting non-lender appraisal orders.

    1
  25. Avatar Fitz Turner says:

    I hear you, but I have heard it before. In about 1986, I have a copy somewhere, there was an article I read that the computer was going to put us out of business. In 1990 there were so many bank failures for not having proper appraisals, and the market crashed, and the legislature created FIRREA. In 2004 at a USPAP update class, had to be 50 appraisers, in New Jersey, as the class began, the instructor had us all stand and shake hands with the appraiser on the left and on the right, and then told us to say good by, one of every three would be out of business in the next year.

    In my fortieth year appraising, I am trying to slow down but they won’t let me. I bid high and slow, and have too much work. I must admit, I only do a little amc work and then only on an individual bid process, none of this x fee for all x property types.

    The thing is, I have a new fun time with the appraisals now. An example is I am writing this instead of writing an appraisal. With one waterfront farm, last month, I took my long lens, and macro and got some terrific wildlife photos. Seven years ago I became a bee keeper, expanded to 18 hives this year, and my phone message says, sorry I cannot take your call, I am busy finishing an appraisal, personally inspecting a property, working my bee hive, or sailing, and my message devise has a small storage capacity, call me again if I do not return your call. …and I stay too busy.

    You think appraising is tough.. try bee keeping. 40-50% of the hives nationally die and there is no consensus as to the cause. So you have to replace your hives. The bees do not want you to be messing in their business, and if given the chance they will sting you. Part of appraising is the inspection, and analysis, the fun of determining the value of a specific property. Like managing bees, to make your bees survive, and make you honey, like keeping the bees, appraising is challenging. I added my bee keeping to my appraisal business card and get work from environmentalists and tree huggers.

    People have been bee keeping, managing bees for 4000 years, and they still have differing opinions every day as to what is the best way to manage bees. If all the banks fail or if we do not keep the bees, the lives of the nation will be in a bad way. We need banks to survive and bees so we can eat.

    You can retire if you want, but if you have 20, 30 40 years in appraising, your have a wealth of understanding, you know the process, and you can figure out any new form; generally they look longer and ask for less information. So raise your fees, do not cut them, tell the client it will be 2 months, and take you time, enjoy the profession, and take some personal time. Carry a fishing rod with you.

    3
  26. Avatar Eric Morse says:

    SERIOUSLY, all of you can leave the business. I will take the work you will not get going forward. 37+ years and I still love what I do. And our I do a high volume of work for VA, FHA, USDA, AMC’s, Credit Unions, Local Banks, Attorneys, Individuals, builders and everyone in between. Sorry some of you can’t take the heat. The industry is changing… go cry into the abyss. I’ve already completed almost 350 reports this year. Looked at 8 today. Good luck greeting me at Walmart next month. Now, bring on the haters comments….

    2
  27. Avatar Seneca says:

    February will be 32 years for me. I am quitting as soon as the new form comes out. And I’m only 56 years old. I never understood people’s expression ” the industry I love” or “I love to be an appraiser”. Although I’ve made really good money over the years, I have hated this industry. It always felt like I was turning in a paper to a high school teach to be graded or it was challenged from people with emotions in the deal. When we use to go to continuing ed in a classroom I would always shake my head at the comments from 1/4 of the people in the class and thinking “so you’re the ones giving us appraisers a bad name”. In the 90’s-2000’s it was “work out the basement ” loan officers ripping off grandmas. Or three college buddies start a loan company that had the ethics of a 18th century pirate ship. Always chasing my checks from everyone, even banks, when the loan didn’t close. Told “build your fee into the next one”. We get blamed for the meltdown in 2007 with no one to defend us. Then came HVCC and AMCs. I don’t have explain the bullshit to come out of that. Stealing of our data from our hard work and not getting a red cent. Now for the past three years I’m now a racist and 3rd party inspections & waivers have taken probably 30% of the market’s business share. 32 years of hearing “appraisers need to unite” when this blog is the closest thing I have found to show for so called “unity”. I look back and realize I worked too hard for this industry to keep shitting on me. And when I look forward I see the toilet flushing, especially if things don’t change in Washington.

    15
  28. Avatar Pat Turner says:

    PDCs will be gone in less than 6 months.
    So will the AMCs that used them and put felons in people’s houses just to make a buck

    I’m watching.

    5
    • Avatar Flash says:

      I sure hope so. Yet PDC’s seem
      To have expanded their ability to work for insurance companies that insure homes now. Just had a PDC need to see my pending sales to confirm exterior condition prior to insuring the property.

      1
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        I tried to pick up that gig. One company offered me $8 per photo set and a coverage territory that was like half the damned state. Mandatory one day turn times? Pass.

        1
  29. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    I never dreamed that i would read an article with 60 complaints from retired or retiring appraisers. Better late than never

    2
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Retired, you always knew one day this would be true. It’s just the frustration of waiting for the masses. Last month I swore, no more trolling. But I had a great week, fixed the truck, actually worked full time appraisal all this past month without but sending a single email, today was my first legitimate day off again, and here I am. When I first read this article I thought; Did the admin pull one of my old posts and turn that to a stand alone article? That happens now and then. But no, that was not me. He’s too refined and well spoken. If I wrote something like that, an undercurrent of rage and supreme disappointment would have dissolved the page. I really liked the ending about field appraisers being mistaken for data scientists. Did you ever get in touch with any class action attorneys? Thanks.

      2
  30. Avatar rick says:

    The voice of a curmudgeon. I’m 60 years old. I have been a general appraiser for 32 years now. I can’t imagine leaving the profession right now. These are exciting times! I feel terribly for you if you’re not curious about new technology, data science, business process improvement, and how to make more with your skills. Don’t give up! Start learning about things. When you stop being challenged, you stop growing. When you stop growing, dig a hole, step into it, and await your departure. Seriously, it’s not that bad out there. It’s up to you.

    2
  31. Avatar Robert J Livingston says:

    Wow, I read your article to my wife. She said to me that is exactly what you have been saying to me. I have been wrestling with getting out of the business which I have loved and worked so hard to be good at. I agree with everything you have said in your article. We are the ones who they come after when the load goes south, or don’t get used because we have looked out for the one who has invested the money in the load. The loan officers and the real estate agents skate out of it, yet they make the most money out of the process. I have a bottom line that if I’m not paid that I will not accept the work. I do a lot of very rural areas that due to the location and the miles you have to drive, not to mention the lack of comps that my fees are up there. Last year due to health reasons I could not work in the summer months. Looks like they found someone who did not consider the extra time and effort needed and is now doing the work for far less than I did it for. Also, I refuse to take this racial bias crap class. We work under USPAP which already had had this taken care of. It is not the appraisers who need this class. The loan officers and others are the ones who need the class. We are the ones who have the most to lose and yet get the least amount of renumeration for our efforts. The AMC’s need to be disbanded altogether; however, this will no longer be my problem. I’m closing down my business. Great article well said, thank you.

    8
  32. Avatar Raymond says:

    8 in a day. lol

    7
    • Avatar Pat Turner says:

      EXACTLY
      That dumb ass might have signed a death warrant

      5
    • Avatar Seneca says:

      IKR, That means there is at least 24 to 36 hours of desk and photo work to do for the rest of the week.

      1
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        36 hours of desk work!?!?!?!?!? I’m already losing sleep just thinking about that. And my back hurts.

        What’s the benefit and vacation package with that position?

        0
    • Avatar Russell Bean says:

      When foreclosures was big in the market I had a contract with companies that managed the foreclosures. I did as many as 10 inspections in a day. so, it is very doable.

      0
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Russell, which companies? And how does one go about setting up a contract in that manner?

        They all seem to be poached by these slimy amc’s and other service managers using the ridiculous pdc and hybrid approach these days. Untenable engagements.

        1
        • Avatar Russell Bean says:

          They are not around any longer. They were located in Atlanta for my region. We have almost no foreclosures in the rural areas I serve.

          0
  33. Avatar Maria says:

    For those/us, who stay ( a bit longer) shouldn’t we fight for our reasonable and customary fee? Isn’t it a law?

    All we need – per the law – a third party survey (not including AMC – per law) about the customary AND reasonable fee.

    It would solve the AMC problems too?

    Any suggestion?

    0
    • Avatar Seneca says:

      There is that “we” thing again. We appraisers don’t do “we”. Never have, never will. Hope one day our industry proves me wrong.

      3
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Close no cigar. See CFPB’s safe harbor interpretation rules which altered the dodd frank reg z C&R rule to be customary or reasonable, in other words. Read through the various added interpretations.

      Start here.
      https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/42/

      Then explore this concept. How this section was written, and had no specific prohibition on with holding work from appraisers whom refused to discount their services. They would have had that in there, as a primary goal of these sections was to protect appraisers wages. Many appraisers contributed and volunteered their time and effort to speak with people whom formed this language. They specifically had the C&R rule on fair compensation, so there was no need for a redundant clause here. However, they did not forsee the cfpb simply nullifying the C&R rule so quickly before the regulation even took effective date.
      https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/42/#624ee2f92dc2880a16e889c0b4621171e0ecd168ca11c3efbfd49dba

      And then we get to the disappointing part, the betrayal of the original spirit of the C&R rule. So take the time to read through all the bs interpretations which shift what was a rather cleanly simple written guidance into one big bureaucratic mess.
      https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/42/#f

      I mean, come on. How many appraisers being excluded from the market constitutes a violation? Three out of four and a hundred thousand appraisers quitting is not sufficient evidence? Collectively, we need a lawyer. Click the top bar.
      (ii) The creditor and its agents do not engage in any anticompetitive acts in violation of state or Federal law that affect the compensation paid to fee appraisers, including:
      If this amc situation which excludes 75% of all appraisers from the process is not anti competitive, well, because clearly the situations appraisers deal with are anti competitive. Which is why three out of four appraisers are unable or unwilling to work with amc companies. It’s their behavior, they do not pay fairly and to this day there is clear as day difference that for the majority of orders placed, a lender whom does not use an amc pays substantially more to appraisers than lenders whom use amc’s, despite consumer ‘appraisal service’ charges being generally similar across the board.
      (B) Engaging in any acts of monopolization such as restricting any person from entering the relevant geographic market or causing any person to leave the relevant geographic market, as prohibited under section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 2, or any other relevant antitrust laws.
      https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/42/#eb0dfa0a14c6f78903272763f5bc91a6120e869b6c08addb90700472

      And this is why some appraiser was saying for the longest time (which I just copy again these days)
      ‘Please advise when the fictitious alternative presumption of compliance rule will be rescinded.’
      At the time people struggled to read through this and even understand what it meant. We still do, so purposefully convoluted. Somewhere in the history of appraisers blogs or the appraisers forum, buried deep in archives somewhere, is endless appraiser communication trying to figure this all out. The proof that there is a C&R workaround is apparent though, amc’s were no longer held to the simple standard that;
      https://www.consumerfinance.gov/rules-policy/regulations/1026/42/#f-2-ii-B

      (i) The creditor or its agents compensate the fee appraiser in an amount that is reasonably related to recent rates paid for comparable appraisal services performed in the geographic market of the property being appraised. In determining this amount, a creditor or its agents shall review the factors below and make any adjustments to recent rates paid in the relevant geographic market necessary to ensure that the amount of compensation is reasonable:
      Then further down we get the convoluted definitions of ‘reasonable’.

      Initially the industry eagerly put together fee schedules, and Alamode pre corelogic ownership, issued a customary and reasonable fee schedule from it’s mercury records which at the time had mostly non amc compensation, and for amc’s data, they simply parsed that away. Appraisers decried that; ‘I do not get that much from the amc’s in my area!’ Amc’s braced to pay appraisers the full amount as if they were not there in the first place with improperly co mingled billing, and they sent TAVMA lobbyists to the CFPB whom shortly after issued the ‘alternative presumption of compliance’, and other confusing complex interpretation rules.

      And suddenly because appraisers continued to accept amc fee rates, the amc’s were therefore in compliance with reasonable payments. Because customary AND reasonable, just basically became customary or reasonable.

      That’s the point of this story though. Appraisers whom worked with amc’s and continued to do so have perpetuated the amc industries presence which in turn the amc industry has invested heavily in every means possible to replace every one of us whom still focus on mortgage lending.

      Meanwhile, appraisers like me continue to harp on the simple premise that they should just mandate a separate fee for these distinctly different services of an appraiser providing an appraisal, and the amc’s providing some other services, which is not actually licensed appraisal. Then without an improperly co mingled fee, the amcs would no longer have the ability or motivation, to drive the appraisers fee down, and drive the consumers fee up, to pocket a variable difference and never return cost savings to consumers. Think of the gravity of the deception here for this regulation and interpretation to go through so many mental gymnastics and complex interpretations about surveying fees and compliance and all of that. When the root cause problem remains that there is an improperly co mingled fee going on which places appraisers at severe disadvantage, always played against each other, compensated less, under more pressure, and these market pressures imposed by amc companies ultimately result in three quarters of the licensed appraiser workforce being excluded from the vast majority of mortgage lending services today, and having caused over a hundred thousand other appraisers to shut down their previously vital and thriving small businesses. The amc industry are straight job killers and replace qualified educated licensed appraisers with low level non specialized replaceable staff. Now with PAREA, they plan to hand all of them appraisers licenses.

      One of these days, I’m going to just pass on even looking at this anymore. Nobody else does. But if more people did… Fifty states in this union, is there even one whom would force separated billing to remove these perverse billing incentives? Yes, one state did stand up for appraisers, which resulted in Louisiana vs FCC. They went through all of that, instead of just issuing a demand for separated billing and transparent billing disclosure. Geesh. What a damned circus and total butchering of logic and reason on both sides.

      What’s the big deal with all these tests of compliance? Answer; The powers of oversight. Government people seem to have a real hard time releasing these self appointed privileges of the audit and oversight capabilities, and replace them with a simple separation of billing rule. They never audit the amc’s though, so curious of a choice to only apply effective oversight to beleaguered appraisers. We simply can not trust appraisers so therefore appraisers no longer are trust worthy to act as a free market to themselves, and control their own industries fees. That’s the amc’s job now, and the government involvement shall be increased not made less.

      Call me crazy but I seem to remember a day when appraisers were in charge of their own fees, and everything sailed along quite nicely, and no special interpretive rules or appraisal management companies were even necessary in the first place. But if you guys like working with those companies for reduced compensation and never collectively dig out of this hole but rather would prefer to face a total shift in appraisal related approaches and modeling for this entire industry, where another twenty thousand or more independent small business appraisers are driven out of business, and amc’s now dictate GSE policy from positions valued over and above your individual licensing, I guess that is the industry you would prefer to have.

      They sold it and you guys bought it. Working with amc’s has always been a voluntary choice and what many amc appraisers do not realize is that many of the lenders whom use amc’s also do not use amc’s in many circumstances. They work directly, with appraisers whom still readily provide them service but absolutely steadfastly refuse to work with amc’s. So non amc appraisers get the better work anyways, the lenders repeat customers get direct assignment, all the origination and poached customers switching over to the lender, they get run through the amc program.

      If they identify you as being willing to be an amc appraiser, you’ll simply never make it onto direct assignment panels or those mini panel approval lists. And if more appraisers simply opted out of the amc program, within months the lenders often switch back to using mercury systems or alternatives and appraisers no longer have to share their fees. Better was notable over the past few years, they assembled a direct panel and paid the VA rate or higher just for conventional and FHA loans. What a great model example and it’s a shame the mortgage downturn hit them so hard.

      And all the lenders know how to navigate direct assignment systems. At some point there has been a steady rotation of companies whom used Mercury Appraisal Port, Scope, etc. It’s just they were the constant target of amc solicitations, many folded, many did not. And the VA makes all these lenders navigate their own VA specific direct assignment system, so the lenders know damned well how simple it is and how much better service and better broader appraiser coverage they get if they do not use amc companies.

      The idea that amc’s dominate the market and appraisers are powerless is all one big shell game. Appraisers dominate this market, but they choose to allow the amc companies to persist. I guess they really do need that management factor and were not really worthy to be true independent small businesses after all. Sela vi. Well, I guess that is how the appraisers wanted it to end. Sad, there was always a better path lying right in front of those 25% appraisers whom stayed with amc work. Their compliance cost many of us dearly. They boast in response to the other appraisers hardships. They laugh at the anti competitive practices, because they are on the winning end of the discrimination. They made fortunes while many other appraisers lost out. So much for the peer standard. They prefer dog eat dog and bidding singles for the rest of their lives in an infinite race to the bottom, so be it. We’re not playing that game. I do not bid for work orders. I establish meaningful client relationships and roll with standard C&R fees. Simple. Easy. On time. Steady. I’ll remain mystified how amc appraisers run effective businesses around a question mark. Thanks for reading the Appraisers Blogs. I’m signing off for now.

      2
      • Avatar Russell Bean says:

        Excellent points and facts! I refuse to allow anyone to tell me what my fees should be. Either you pay my fee or I do not accept the order. I have a successful business for the past two decades .

        1
      • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

        Not saying this to be mean but to be honest. You could make a fortune as a freelance writer for blog sites.

        1
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          I keep thinking about that. There are some people on substack doing such a thing too. Did I land in the wrong career? I don’t know, appraisal was always an interesting fun way for expression of subject matter. I was just always writing about price value relationships, home components, market happenings, all of that. I mean, how would one even go about monetizing ‘blogging’? I’m game.
          One of these days I’m going to record myself typing and post a vid or link or something. I used to love to play typer shark on yahoo back when that was a free game, I smoke the keyboards and have clocked over 165 wpm before, although my normal speed is somewhere in the 80-120 range. It’s the symbols which were always my downfall, I’d get ate by the piranas or would accidentally blow up the bomb because my palm rested where I did not intend, things like that. But basically if you can talk the language of real estate, you should be able to type it. Typing fast is the easy part and for people whom are wasting their lives on mobile devices punching one single dang letter at a time with one or two fingers. Give me a break, learn to use the keyboard and type fast, it’s not that difficult. And it’s fun there are interesting sounds and rythms, people are fascinated when they see me typing, lol. I prefer an HP with the big raised buttons so they click and pop back up to my fingers and the space bar is more durable, that’s always the first thing to go. The flat and rubbery keyboards are no good, you want the hard plastic with popping buttons, but raised vs low profile is your choice. Just don’t use the backstands, you need your fingers to be able to float right over the keys. I wear off the ink printed letter indicators within days sometimes. It’s all about the F & J buttons to know where you are at. I picked up typing early because during high school, it was the one class I could show up, complete the entire semesters worth of assignments, then ditch class the rest of the year without consequence, I still got an A. lol.
          There is just so much out there though. I hoped appraisal would hold up better, it was a nice way to be independent, have spare time, earn just enough, help other people, etc. GSE’s know better though. They can’t hand the real property wealth of this country to their insider buddies as long as we stand in the way. Not much left to exploit, really. Inevitable in such a corrupt system I suppose. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.

          edit, correct speed numbers. Been so long since I tested though, who knows, as fast as my fingers can move basically.

          1
    • Avatar Russell Bean says:

      Charge your fee and do not back down. No one determines my fees and TT my scope of work determines my fees and TT. My appraisal fees starts at $600. My lowest fee is for an inspection 1004D starts at $200. What I charge are my R&CF fees. I do not care what the AMC get. What we should be able to do is collect our fees at the door like we use to.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        I’m like; Follow up someone elses report and do the 1004d for them?

        Response; You should have assigned that 1004 full request to me with direct assignment methods and a consistent fee rate instead.

        I’ll be here if you need me. Pass on the follow up of someone elses work. I could do a 1004 for you though.

        I’ve only completed a 1004d with value update like two times in twenty years. Try to reserve that for just the subject to requirements if possible.

        1
  34. Avatar Mark Skapinetz says:

    Very interesting article and I couldn’t agree more. Things are only going to change more and get worse as long as there is no one to keep them from making changes. And there really isn’t anyone that can.

    20 years as an appraiser is coming to an end. For the past 6 years all I’ve done was private work. Built a good company around it and I do enjoy it. However it’s time to make a major change. Well I already have. 3 months ago I agreed to be a 50/50 partner in a new mortgage company hoping my partner who is starting his second company after selling his first one that was very successful.

    I have done a couple jobs here and there for extra money while we get things together and we open up in 1 week.

    I have been lesser stressed out, drive 8 min to my office everyday, and enjoy my days. Come home and there is nothing to worry about.

    Yeah I know. Why do mortgages in this climate?. Well it’s a lot different than appraising and well we already have business to do when we open. See. I don’t have to rely on refinances for business, I don’t have to worry about waivers, nor PDC people nor changing appraisal guidelines. I don’t have to worry about AMCS or bidding. I don’t have to worry about many things.

    I’m still getting 3-5 private jobs a week and they are flexible on times and days. No one telling me when it must be in buy etc.

    My life is happier now that I let go of my groups, my advocacy and my late nights doing reports.

    I wish everyone success going forward but with all these changes and more coming down the pipe, the appraiser profession as it is today will be gone very soon. So I suggest having a back up plan.

    4
    • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

      As a disciple of the appraiser coach where for a fee the the lie of 4 to 9 appraisals a day was presented, I’m shocked your just now weaning yourself off Dustin’s appraisal Kool-Aid (smoke & mirrors). What took so long?

      The words, “I told you so” come to mind Mark, but good luck in your new adventure.

      Seek the truth.

      3
      • Avatar Mark skapinetz says:

        lol. Well if this new opportunity to be an owner and LO didn’t come along I’d still be doing appraisals and continuing to build my business. I was actually going to expand it due to the volume I was getting

        This has nothing to due with Dustin who I respect. This was my own decision to better my life professionally and personally. Im still doing some work here and there but soon I’ll be down to 0 appraisal work. May do some consulting. But that’s it.

        1
        • Avatar Bill Johnson says:

          Yeah, okay.

          My apologies, I thought the school of Dustin Harris come drink the appraisal Kool-Aid was just a learning problem, but I guess its a disease. Being subservient to the end, I can respect that Mark.

          With rates at a 23 year high, I do wish you luck Mark, but please keep us posted regarding what AMC’s your new company is going to be working with. I for one can give you no recommendations.

          Seek the truth.

          2
          • Baggins Baggins says:

            Be nice to Mark. It’s a tough call no matter how you slice it.

            But yeah, be a force for good and insist that company do not use amc’s and set up a Mercury or value trac account instead, something like that.

            That’s it, I’m going back to lawn mowing!

            1
  35. Avatar Raymond says:

    For decades now the appraisal professional has fought to maintain both the integrity and control of the appraisal process as it relates to mortgage lending purposes. The fight has not gone well. The AMC business model was designed by and for mortgage lenders and their interest groups. The advent of AMCs was a major victory for lenders. They now control the appraisal process from the appraisal fees, turn times, appraisal preparation and contents, etc, etc. For those of us that were appraising prior to 1995, its hard to accept the changes (or losses). The younger appraisers you have a much bigger fight on your hands, whether you are aware if it or not. Best wishes.

    4
  36. Avatar David K Eigenbrode says:

    I got out in November 2021 after 29 years. Could not have been a better decision. I live on the beach of a Carribean island with nobody bitching at me about anything… I strongly recommend that if you are unhappy with the business that you get out. Life is too short!!!

    5
  37. Avatar Russell Bean says:

    I have been in the real estate industry for 44 years. Buying and selling real estate, building and renovations, mortgage broker, branch manager of mortgage company, owner of a mortgage company, real estate agent and real estate appraiser. I have seen a thing or two. The appraisal industry has been ever changing and always will be ever changing. Being an entrepreneur you learn to adapt or you will put yourself out of business. I have learned there are opportunities in change. You have to see the opportunities and be willing to seize them and take advantage of them. My wife says “Either a situation can make you bitter or better. I choose to be better’. Being able to guide your business and yourself through the many obstacles determines who rises to the top or fall. Now we are in the technological age of AI and If you are not taking advantage of AI you are missing out on how to be even more effective in this industry. It is ok to complain but doing nothing about it is even worse. Just saying!

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      and If you are not taking advantage of AI you are missing out on how to be even more effective in this industry.

      Embrace AI at your own peril. Y 4 the rush to eliminate human labor? Be careful what you wish for.

      Did you hear the story of how an AI system readily lied to the human interface to get what it wants?

      Ethics be damned should accompany any promotion of AI systems.

      Bow to the robots if you choose. I’ll never ever use it. I still refuse to even talk to robots and insist that any company whom has a directory interface still provide numerical press selections. I do not talk to robots.

      Please take the time to review the rather lengthy screen capture examples of people whom are interfacing with AI, before you support this particular product. There are already several ‘brands’ to choose from. Some more honest than others.

      I don’t produce this content, I just find it on the internet. POL, and all of that.

      2
      • Avatar Russell Bean says:

        AI is a tool just like everything else we use. Such as software, computer, flashlight, tape measure, sonic measure, digital camera, scope etc. They all can be used the right or wrong way. It is no different from using the internet for good or bad. AI has been around a long time just like the internet was before it became public and now AI is available for public use. Did you know AI is already being used in our industry and has been for some time now? One of the best ways to stay successful in business is to be innovative and progressive or you will be left behind struggling to survive. Ultimately it is up to you how you run your business and if it succeeds or fails.

        1
        • Baggins Baggins says:

          No Russel. You only think you know what AI is. You know the front side of it, the simple interface. Most people confuse AI with advanced programming capabilities.

          It’s not just a tool and what you have been using was not this new sentient version.

          I”m getting terminator vibes right now and have already begun the resistance campaign to refuse to furnish my id card for scanning just to buy alcohol or lottery tickets.

          As people race to a brave new world. You’ll have a bar code on your neck before you know it if you continue to play along with this.

          It’s just an ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, they said. What, you’re not smart enough to manage your own life? Be careful what you wish for.

          1
          • Avatar Russell Bean says:

            Never said it was all good. The versions I use are limited tools. What you are saying is also very possible and probably will happen. It is part of the times. Some people have put chips in their hands. Musk is experimenting with chips on the brains of animals. I also, saw the forum with AI robots answering questions. Very creepy! I have been using computers since 1977 and sold the TSR-80 when I worked for Radio Shack. I also operated my own computer store for many years. I am very well aware of the progress of computer technology. The advanced AI programming capabilities is very scary. So, your terminator vibes are not far fetched when it comes to the advanced AI which is not available to the public.

            So, in general what I use is a tool but you are very correct about the advanced AI. Two different things.

            1
            • Baggins Baggins says:

              I’ve got a funny picture about that! I’m not getting ‘chipped’.

              If I am to lose my humanity and be treated like a cattle, I’d rather have the big plastic tag in the ear.

              1
    • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

      Agreed. I would definitely use A.i. to tell AMCs to F O every time they call, email, or fax.

      2
      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Um…. There is a better way.

        https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sentry+call+blocker&i=electronics&crid=3RPMW87F88R2V&sprefix=sentry+call+blocker%2Celectronics%2C115&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

        Oh my, the 1.0 is gone. That’s what I have. It’s just like the 2.0, but I still use the reject button and don’t ever mess around with the white list. Every damned time they call, I just press block. Then forever more to infinity, the next time that number calls, it is one ring, and the machine hangs up for me. Easy. Helps train them to eventually remove your number from their lists. 10,000 block number capacity which is why this is superior to any other brand. It flashes the total number of blocked numbers when you block. I think I’m at like 2.2k and counting.

        Look up jim browning on youtube. He reverse hacked the hackers and blew the lid off the multi thousand person networks in india who’s professional jobs are to scam americans. You know, those same people your traitorous corporations shuffle you over to when you need regular phone support? You guessed it. Their side hustle is then exploiting your data. Just make a new rule and except for some rare more trusted circumstances, never talk to india based phone support people again for as long as you live, find another provider. It’s why xfinity moved to the phillipine support centers instead. The last guy I talked to, there was a rooster crowing in the background. What planet is this?

        1
  38. Avatar Robert J Livingston says:

    Ever notice that the AMC’s don’t lower their fees to the mortgage company even when they cut the appraisal fee. The AMC’s don’t do jack but increase the fees to the buyer and cut our fees. There should also be a mandated rule that whatever we have for a background check should have to be accepted and not have to do one that they want us to use. I just tell them if they can’t use what I have then I’m not interested in taking on another background check. Funny thing is when they can’t find someone to do an area that I do, all of a sudden, they can make an exception.

    5
    • Avatar Diana N. says:

      After 50+ years in the business I resent AMC wanting to pay me what I was charging 15 years ago. Insurance is up, gas is up, education is up but the fees are down. Not fair.

      5
  39. Avatar Brent Hollis says:

    I have enjoyed reading the comments as this is my first time here. I’ve been a full time appraiser for 40 years and have wrestled with many changes that have taken place. I remember back in the 90’s when Wells Fargo told us that we’d have to produce an all electronic delivered report and thinking, no way will that happen! The changes in tech have actually been good over the years, however, the writing is on the wall as to where the lenders and regulators want our industry to go. I think that most of us enjoy the appraisal process, just not the garbage that we have to endure from AMC’s and such. I’m going to slowly transition out of full time appraising over the next few years as I am not up for enduring the PC language/agenda that is being pushed. I’ve always like doing work for the regional banks in my area as they have been the most reasonable to work with. Now, the push is for these banks to be bought out by the big guys. It’s not going to end well for them and us.

    5
  40. Avatar Mark Hastert, ASA says:

    I’m going to hang in another year or so just to see how things play out. After 38 years it’s hard to let go. The profession has raised and educated my kids and kept a roof over my head for a long time.

    I look at the hybrids like they’re a version of the kid’s game Telegraph, where the players pass a sentence or phrase from one kid to the next and by the time it gets to the last kid it no longer resembles what it started out as.

    I cannot be sure the data collector saw what I would see or understand what they see. I can’t know that they’ll ask the same questions I would have or observe what’s going on in the neighborhood. Something will always be lost in translation.

    8
  41. This single post has had 121 comments. That should tell you something is wrong with the appraisal profession. The government is trying to put us out of business.

    3
  42. Avatar Jim Glickman, MAI says:

    Deja Vu All over Again…

    Although blogs and social media weren’t around back in the late 2000’s after the 2008 crash, and the reasons for the lack of work are different, what I am hearing and feeling about our profession is not that much different. Relying on lender work and assignments tied to the purchase and sale of real property is cyclical and the level of appraisal work is too low to make a living. And since that time we have been bombarded with one clear message – Diversify your client base and reduce your reliance on lender work. For those of you with 20+ years of experience – why did you not heed the warnings?

    Rather than bitch and moan, take control of your life and career. I made that difficult decision in 2009 and by the latter part of 2010 I found a salaried position with a government agency that valued who I was and what I brought to the table. I have not looked back, but at the same time have done my best to support a profession I love and respect.

    Use your well-honed research skills to find a better job, or better clients. Examples of where to look include, but are not limited to: USAJob.gov, state and county government job websites, International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), and so many more. What about home builders and land developers? They need people that understand the market, planning and entitlements, etc. Heck, their the ones selling houses right now in the midst of low levels of activity in the resale market. Think out of the box with a positive attitude instead crying in your beer. Tax agents handling tax assessment appeals use the same skills as appraisers. The list is endless if you really think outside of the box.

    Take control of your life – and stop being a victim!

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      And then, what’s your advice for the hundreds of millions of American citizens whom still will need to navigate the mortgage lending systems? Stop crying in their beer as they get fleeced by the hucksters once more? When merely saving ones self does not solve the actual problem. Take a government job on purpose? Go into government buildings voluntarily? That’s not for everyone. Generally, the positive attitude is appreciated. Now, provide a positive message for the regular citizen whom will have to navigate these ‘modernized’ systems.

      0
  43. Avatar scott says:

    I agree with the author and stopped accepting lender assignments at the beginning of the year. The fees are going down, the liability is increasing, there is less work due to mortgage volume, and new lending forms are now being introduced. Perfect storm.

    1
  44. Avatar Raymond says:

    professional salvary…………

    0
  45. I stopped updating my AMC clients with updated license and E&O forms over a year ago since most of them started to become abusive with respect to fees and I just didn’t want to waste my time providing them with quotes since it became a regular occurrence for them to accept fees below $300 (every now and then I would test and offer to do it for $300 and not get it even with short turn time). More of my business has come from private work over the past year. The amount of private work is not enough to keep pace with the kind of money I made in the past, so since I had my sales license I put it to use and have listed and sold more property in the past year than I have in the first six years of having my license as a sales person. Real estate sales also seems to be an industry undergoing a lot of change and headwinds currently so I’ll try it for a while but I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself in a different area of the process if I’m still focused on real estate whether it’s building, landscaping, or something that requires some physical labor to be accomplished since the paper pushing activities are no longer valued by the market.

    1
    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Terrence, check this website out. Government contracts. Skip the landscaping and fire up the lawn mower instead. Or auditing, security, vending, mechanical, the list is virtually endless. I was on the phone with a county guy about this, the premier website for government contractors. Free accounts give full access, just not alerts.

      https://www.bidnetdirect.com/

      0
    • Avatar Flash says:

      Having a Real Estate License is a bonus as an appraiser. I have a Broker License and Certified Appraiser license. If the Estate likes and trusts you to represent them in selling a property all you have to do in escrow is disclose that you provided prior services. I agree my own listing of properties generates a good side line of income. The other service I offer to lenders is Nothing by the Rush bids which have larger rush fees included.

      Just a few months away, in 2024 the mortgage interest rates will drop significantly and create a refinance and a purchase market which will create a need for appraisers. So this is where the Nothing by the Rush bids occur and most lenders are willing to pay them to close the deal.

      0
    • Avatar Raymond says:

      Terrence, back in 2004, I decided to terminate my lender clients to concentrate on seeking non lender clients, such as legal firms, large accounting and property management firms in my market area. My appraisal income took a hit for 3-4 years. But, I re-established my client base. My individual fees have increased and my turn time is seldom a issue. Interesting….I, also, still get AMC emails for appraisal bids, even though I have not update my license or e and o policy with them. The typical AMC emails, I get, are usually for difficult or complex appraisal assignments that probably no one wants do accepet. lol.

      1
  46. Avatar Steve Maher says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Us appraisers are seeing the appraisal business being run by the powers to be, the greedy businessmen who are only looking to increase their pockets at the expense of the uneducated buyers. Our profession of appraisers should be working in the forefront with the buyers to give them an independent value so they can make a financial decision and not by the greedy bankers. These buyers need us just as much as they need a home inspector.

    0
  47. Avatar Craig says:

    Hi everyone. I began as an appraiser in 1993. I worked full-time as an appraiser 1993-1994 and again 1996-2000. I became licensed in 1997, as a certified general appraiser. I appraised commercial properties 1996 thru 2000. I appraised residential properties part-time (side hustle), 2003 thru 2007 and 2020-2021.

    As I’m sure you all know, 2021 I had all the work I could handle and worked flat out all day and into the night and did quite well. I stopped in 2022 not because business wasn’t still good, but because I was exhausted and needed a break, I still had my full time job, so the additional money wasn’t worth it any longer.

    Looking back on 30 years in real estate, my advice would be broaden your skill set into other related fields. There is home inspection, insurance adjuster for property damage claims, etc. I’m very thankful I was able to get out of the appraisal “profession” and only dip my toe back in for the few and far between “boom times”. The few people I know that have only been appraisers for 30+ years are much less successful and seem miserable. The research and communication skills required to be an appraiser will transfer fairly well to several similar related/similar fields.

    I hope everyone the best of luck.

    0
  48. While I respect your perspective, it’s disheartening to see the challenges faced by seasoned appraisers. The evolution of the industry does present hurdles, but it also offers opportunities for adaptation and growth. Embracing technological advancements and continuous learning might help in navigating these changes. Remember, every profession evolves; it’s about finding a balance between tradition and innovation.

    0
  49. Avatar Lee says:

    I am glad I saw the writing on the wall and bailed out 1 1/2 years ago. It used to be interesting and even important work. No more, the idiots have killed it. Retirement rocks, I don’t miss appraisal one bit. How long until the next stupidity caused crash? Don’t answer, I no longer care, and don’t need no stinking mortgage.

    0

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Leaving the Appraisal Profession

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