I’ve Retired & I’m So Glad I Did

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 Politicians Have Made Appraising Into a Nightmare, So I've Retired

What we got, was 30+ years of complaints from the lenders and politicians who blamed appraisers for all of the lenders and political wrong doings…

I retired 2 months ago, and I am SO GLAD I did. I’ve had enough.

I decided on an appraisal career because I found real estate, and especially the valuation of homes to be extremely fascinating and challenging, and although I had heard that the appraisal profession was making changes back 30+ years ago, I “assumed” it was becoming a more upstanding, professional occupation, in the eyes of the lenders, politicians and general public, similar in stature to doctors, lawyers and accountants. In other words, they would would hold the appraiser’s opinion via “trust in the professionals opinion”.

What we got, was 30+ years of complaints from the lenders and politicians who blamed appraisers for all of the lenders and political wrong doings. And the public believed them! Why? Because appraisers NEVER got together as an organization to support other residential appraisers! Oh yes, there was the Appraisal Society and the Appraisal Institute, of which I became a candidate, but when I realized that they catered to commercial appraisers, and recently to their own needs, I decided there was no reason for me to join. Besides when licensing came along, the license was the main criteria for selecting the appraiser.

I did my job providing unbiased appraisals supported by the data via extensive research of the data, long addendums of explanations, and graphs showing that research. But the lenders and politicians did not want that. They wanted someone to “play” their game. And since I refused to play their game, I lost a lot of clients. There were a few clients who “got it”. They wanted the truth. And those are the ones who kept me in business for those 25+ years as a self employed appraiser. I consider my career to be highly successful, as I never caved to be a MAI (Made As Instructed), as a Realtor once told me what the “true” meaning of MAI was.

Now with all the new, false in my opinion, concerns of bias in appraising, which we all learned as appraiser trainees, I am done. I have spent the past 3 years working almost every day of the week, including weekends and holidays, 8-10 hours per day, and can honestly say, I have given it my all.

I am ready for a new life, where I do what I want to do, not what someone else dictates what I do, without sitting for hours in front of a computer, without all the stress of deadlines, without arguing over the fee for each appraisal, without becoming a collection agency to actually obtain that fee, without all the revision requests because the lender wants something worded either more specifically, which I can not do as I missed the day appraisers were given crystal balls, or because the lender wants something worded nebulously, so that no “red flags” are produced.

Honestly, I loved appraising. I loved meeting the people, seeing the different types of architecture, and solving the big question “What is it worth?” I felt like a detective, searching for clues and answers to solve that question. It was fascinating! It was fun! But the lenders, and now the politicians, have made it into a nightmare. No more.

In the past few years I have been asked, “How do I become an appraiser”, and I have told them, “don’t, look for another profession”. And I will keep answering that question the same until the profession is respected by the public, the lenders and the politicians as what it is: An Unbiased, Well Supported, Professional Opinion of Value.

Originally, I thought I would work part time, doing probate, divorce and seller values, but after the recent news on appraisal bias and demand for “new” regulation and training, I have decided that my job as an appraiser is done. I am tired of “new” regulation on things we have been doing all along. I am tired for being blamed for things the lender, not the appraiser, is doing.

I wish everyone still working in the appraisal trenches the best of everything; honesty, respect, more time to complete the appraisal, and higher fees, as I know how tough it is just to do the job we signed up for. I will continue to be a part of this wonderful professional group, at least for a while, as I love to read all the latest concerns in the industry.

Sincerely, and with deep respect,
Former CA Certified Appraiser

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20 Responses

  1. Avatar Coach says:

    Congrats on your retirement! I feel the same way but I can’t retire yet. I’m just a few years from retirement

    7
  2. Avatar Eric Kennedy says:

    Congrats and thanks for putting your honest experience into words. The AMC debacle is real.

    9
  3. Avatar Mike says:

    Spot on! You said it all for me. I can not say what you have said better!!

    35+ years in the profession And it once was a great ride.

    Am right behind you. You have firmed up my plans to retire real soon.

    5
  4. Avatar don silva says:

    That is an article which represents about 75% of appraisers. We have been manipulated into getting values, with endless addendums to wear us down to satisfy the bottom line for their profit margin each month. Major code violations’, unsafe and dangerous houses, was told , ”WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL”. The appraisal profession is now a game of profit for predatory lenders and the appraiser is in the way. RETIRED IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR, COULD NOT TAKE THE ABUSE ANYMORE
    .

    6
  5. Avatar E J Brown says:

    I quit all FHA work in 2019. Quit all AMC’s & Lender work in 06/2020, since then all I do is estate & market value for individuals. I was thinking of retirement at end of this year but since I have all my CE, I guess I’ll renew for 1 more year but limit myself to 2-3 per month. 70 year old !

    3
    • Avatar don silva says:

      Your still a baby, i am 75 and loved the business, i always played a game,” “MAKE BELIEVE”” with each appraisal in the beginning and until I called it quits, i made believe this was my house and put my heart into it, but lenders won’t bother with you if you work that way, really heart broken in leaving, i really loved it at one point……..

      4
  6. Avatar Bryan Trenholm says:

    We should all retire on the same day!! That would require all of us agreeing on something and backing each other up which brings us back to this article……..

    4
  7. John Gazsi on Facebook John Gazsi on Facebook says:

    I’m right behind… Ima gonna take my bat, glove and ball and go home. I pride myself in my integrity and game performance. When the players kneel and the crowd boos it’s time to go home.

    7
  8. Avatar Dan says:

    I agree with the author, but I have found if you are pickier with who you choose as clients, it still can be a good profession. I rarely get revision requests, but when I do it is either a) justified, or b) from a new client, who gets told this will be the last job they get from me.

    5
  9. Avatar Vik says:

    Lucky you. As a new appraiser I probably face 25 years or more in that career unless things really go towards the worse. All these stories of appraisers undervaluing homes because of someone’s skin are bull. Who in their right mind would do that? It will definitely be more and more challenging to keep on going. Sad.

    3
  10. Avatar CJK says:

    After 38 years I will renew at the end of the year that should get me to when the new forms come out. I will leave this mess behind and see who they go after next. Maybe the home inspectors many of them are not regulated. Did anyone see the new info from FNMA they want to shake things up because we now have too many old white guys with years of experience and they want more “Diversity.” FNMA is all talk on the one hand the so called racists appraisers “low ball” the values in markets of “color” on the other hand the computer generated reviews check to see it we are over valuing the properties. So which one is it. Is it a case of the appraisers of color over valuing the properties in the “white” markets?

    3
  11. Avatar Eric Kennedy says:

    So they want to make house “more unaffordable” for people of color?? Sounds like us white folk have been overpaying for our houses all these years. Reparations??

    5
  12. Avatar BT says:

    It is a sad state of affairs. I am shocked that we are disrespected since we have all had each others backs for so long. There is NO other profession that I know of that is so disjointed. I would feel guilty bringing someone in to this “profession” no matter the race.

    1
    • Avatar don silva says:

      Personally, I have embarked on a new career field directly related to the appraisal profession that is more in line with the world of today. After 36 years in the business, that included selling, mortgage origination, and teaching in buying property, and 29 years appraising, I have found that ”REAL ESTATE PSYCHIATRY”””, is a wide open field. Last count I had a list of 177 clients just waiting for me to call and set up appointments. I promise I will let you know how I do and the progress I make.

      4
  13. Baggins Baggins says:

    Amc’s provide untenable engagement. I’ve been only direct lender assignments and denying all amc fee and tat quotes across the board for years, really helped. The time and effort spent quoting is better redirected to scraping out direct assignment, wherever that may be. Retirement, what’s that?

    1
  14. Avatar Joseph Fassari says:

    I agree 100%. Expectations are too high, Data is troubling and inconsistent, regression analysis is far from perfect and our opinions from experience does not count. MEANWHILE AVM’s and other technology that are preforming the easy risk valuations do not have USPAP like we do. Appraisal Institute is like he says and although fees have come up recently the work is treacherous. I now automictically turn down the worse of the worse. It seems they always seem to find me. COVID-19 HAS NOT HELPED. No one mentions we are front line workers, going into homes where people do not respect us by not wearing masks. I am in trump land. I am not a democrat or a republican. There is a war going on in this country. With us it has been a longer period. Yes they will still blames the next time something happened. Not all of us are tooled within their demographics. Its the information that is flawed with differences from is reported by the MLS and public information. There is no accepted standard. It is not something you can learn in a eight hour class.

    1

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I’ve Retired & I’m So Glad I Did

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