Zoom, zoom, zoom is Good for Whom?

Exceedingly Rapid Turn Times Can Be Hazardous to Appraisers…we continue to ask for very quick turn times to outperform the competition…

Appraisers, I received a message today from an appraiser who provided the email from an AMC (below). I have redacted the lender’s name (primarily to avoid getting my skin scorched), but it’s a big one in the US that you see in TV commercials, on radio, in print, and social media outlets.

The email demonstrates the prevailing and long-running attitude among just about everyone connected to mortgage lending, whether they be AMC’s or direct placement lenders. It originates at the very top of these organizations. It’s a very typical ‘beat the other guy’ way of thinking when sales are involved, and that’s what mortgage lending really is – making a sale of a product to the consumer, as fast as possible, with limited obstructions.

This attitude among so many about doing an appraisal report is synonymous with baking a store-bought boxed pizza… 18 minutes at 425 degrees of love. The problem is, when speed is demanded, proper analysis, verifications and reporting procedures are often compromised or not done by the appraiser just so an artificial timeline can be accommodated. Those at the top don’t realize how long it really takes to produce a quality, well documented report, and certainly don’t fully understand our obligations under USPAP – since USPAP does not directly apply to them.

At some point in the future, poor and sloppy reports can negatively affect appraisers who always become the scapegoats when loans go into default, and the appraiser has to endure hours of investigative procedures.

Here’s the email:

“Hoping for some help on an order I have in [CITY]. It’s for (BIG NATIONAL LENDER) and we continue to ask for very quick turn times to outperform the competition. Based on some recent data, supposedly (BIG NATIONAL LENDER) has another AMC outperforming us. I’m really pressing for us to get back to first. Hopefully you can get this back to us by end of next week. Please help me out with this one and let me know what you can do. Thanks!”

One issue I see with this is independent appraisers who work for multiple clients are treated as if the client has the appraiser on-staff. Everyone incorrectly assumes that appraisers are just sitting around, enjoying a pizza slice, waiting for desperation calls or emails demanding exceedingly rapid turn times. These potential assignments are thought to have ultimate importance, regardless of what other work the appraiser already has scheduled or in process.

There’s no easy answer to this. The advice I will give is to be honest with your schedule and clients. This work takes a certain amount of time per assignment, which sometimes cannot be easily estimated. Don’t over-book, and then under-perform.

Too many appraisers have been known to accept assignments, and then “go dark” without any further communication to anyone. That lack of performance affects all appraisers negatively. It’s one reason why many lenders are trying to eliminate ‘us’ in the mortgage lending process.

Remember, most requested due dates are artificial, and typically are farther in advance than really necessary. If you can do the assignment, but your turn time would be a few days after the requested DD, just say so. Chances are the client will accept your time frame. Their goal is to get the assignment placed, not waste time hunting for an appraiser to do it super quick. It’s far worse to accept an artificial DD, and then not deliver the report until days or weeks after, especially if you have not communicated anything about the delay.

Zooming can be hazardous to appraisers. But requests to zoom will continue to be made because it’s just the nature of the business.

Dave Towne
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on e-AppraisersDirectory.com

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim DeFilippis says:

    Big AMC, (I’m not afraid to name names, AMROCK) sent out an email recently stating that assignments received before the due date result in a higher score on the appraiser’s report card. Chew on that.

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

    Let me guess, the lender’s initials are Quicken Loans. biggrin

  3. Rachel Appraise on Facebook Rachel Appraise on Facebook says:

    Rocketship. Blasting off. “Speed kills”

  4. Susie Buresh Hohn on Facebook Susie Buresh Hohn on Facebook says:

    Yet another clear example as to why many of these companies are certainly not in place to protect the public. Faster-faster- faster so they may gain clients and maximize their bottom line… all off the back of the professional appraiser who is the one on the hook for a poor report when the loan goes south. Sorry, this is not a sweat shop, and the appraiser is not your friend nor partner as they attempt to make you feel. Here’s the thing, one day many of these companies will go bust. Taking their billions of dollars they made off the appraisers, lenders, and most importantly the consumers. They conned lenders into thinking they added value to the process, and conned appraisers into thinking the only way they will survive is doing as they say….and one day they will simply disappear and leave these lenders and subsequently, the tax payers with bad paper and the bill. Because…..”Please get this done faster appraiser, ol’ pal, ol’ buddy.” “…paired with the promise of more work’. What they’re doing is taking the entire thought process and analyzation away so they can fill their pockets faster. There is absolutely, 100%, no way this protects anyone in the process.

  5. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI 27+ Yr Cert. Residential says:

    Well said

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    Just talked to a lender, they gave up the AMC business model, got tired of seeing their people over paying for appraisals. Wanted me to sign up again, said he talked to me last year, I asked about turn time, he said they like 5 days. But they understand that they may take up to 2 weeks, he said “well lets see, at least email us back and see if we can take 10 business days…..”

    lets see……hmmmm….I said, “not interested in responding to appraisal requests only to be canceled on by a faster appraiser !!!”

    Can you imagine doing that with 2 dozen lenders………???

    Wait that IS The AMC business model

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      When you can confirm an order right away, with a standard fee, and no negotiations, that saves a few days right there. But yeah, conditioning. 2 weeks and 550, that’s a fair deal, not much wiggle room but still workable, 4 weeks is much more sustainable. 1 week and less than 550, that’s when it just hurts your feelings and you say to yourself, why is the client whom trusts me with these orders constantly dogging me around like this. We have been depersonalized by tech assignment systems. The appraisal industry 2018 where all raises are temporary and your future depends on your ability to be an advocate for the assignment personnel best interests.

  7. Faith Jones Adamec on Facebook Faith Jones Adamec on Facebook says:

    I’m honest with my clients about my schedule, turn time and fee. I’ve refused assignments that were unrealistic. I’m happy to say I have some great clients and I’m still in business 15+ years later. Separate the wheat from the chaff; we’re all better for it.

  8. Avatar John Pratt says:

    I recently received the following from a large AMC, I get several of these “broadcast” requests from this AMC each week. I never respond to any of their requests however I still get their “broadcast”. As you can see from the last line of their request the only thing they care about is the Lowest Fee and Short turn time. Quality and knowledge of the area is of no interest to this AMC and many others.

    Copied from their request :

    The subject order inquiry has been sent to you to determine your work availability. This is a FHA Interior Appraisal 1004

    Please advise your interior and exterior fees and TAT.

    Please respond to this email with your availability. It will be assigned according to fee and availability.

  9. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI 27+ Yr Cert. Residential says:

    What’s new? I think I must have hit a magic number of deletes with broadcasts from most AMC’s. I only get 2 AMC’s broadcasting to me, but I did just get a new one from a “New” AMC I’ve never seen. “Rapid Appraisal” same deal, Price and TT. That’s all that matters.

  10. Avatar Rebecca says:

    Have you seen the form email blast that tells you to provide your best fee and quickest possible turn time as [lender] had the potential to be a high volume client for them? Really killed the magic for me after I got this from three different companies in one day.

  11. Rebecca McLeod on Facebook Rebecca McLeod on Facebook says:

    Money after inspection but before the report – always with private work and particularly anything that seems contentious. Divorces and contested estates are particularly bad.

  12. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI 27+ Yr Cert. Residential says:

    We should ask to be put on a retainer, give me $75,000 now and I’ll do my best to make you happy, and USPAP compliant ON MY TIME.

  13. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI 27+ Yr Cert. Residential says:

    As far as Domestic “problem” reports, I always collect and CASH before delivery. Tried C.Card’s but they could always stop payment if value was not as expected.

    Give me money and I will start work, I don’t know you.


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Zoom, zoom, zoom is Good for Whom?

by Dave Towne time to read: 3 min