The Future of Residential Lender Appraisers

The Future of Residential Lender AppraisersWhat if you don’t want to do desktop bifurcated appraisals or the very tough appraisals that don’t work for AVMs? Or, wait, once again, for the lender market to finally come back.

There are many forces trying to get field appraisers out of doing full valuations for mortgage loans. Automation and Artificial Intelligence will increase this trend, as it has done in other professions. For example, Quicken dramatically decreased demand for manual bookkeepers. Once lenders can determine which properties will work with an AVM, there will be fewer human appraisals.

Recently, several appraisers emailed and called me saying their non-lender work would go down due to fee competition from desperate lender appraisals. Yes, this does happen in downturns, especially when it first starts going down fast. Estate appraisals are easy, and this market is affected. Plus other non-lender markets.

What is the answer? The only answer I know is to do litigation support. In my area, there are very few residential appraisers who will testify in court. When they go up against an MAI who does 1-2, or fewer, residential appraisals per year, they win. Good demand, repeat business, fees much, much higher than any other type of appraisal business, respected as an expert. Almost the opposite of AMC appraisals.

Why are residential appraisers very reluctant to do Expert Witness court testimony? Fear of the unknown I guess. I did them in the past and had no problems with testifying as an expert in court or in a deposition.

Next month in my monthly paid newsletter, I will have an article on Litigation Support and Court Testimony. I have been writing a lot about doing non-lender work. There are lots of options, but this is by far the most profitable with very little competition.

NOTE: To subscribe to Appraisal Today monthly newsletter click here.

Ann O'Rourke
Latest posts by Ann O'Rourke (see all)
Ann O'Rourke

Ann O'Rourke

Ann O'Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA, is the publisher and editor of Appraisal Today newsletter and practicing fee appraiser for 40 years (commercial and residential) in Alameda California. Click here to subscribe to her newsletters.

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. Baggins Baggins says:

    You know, what a challenge, the next level of appraisal product offering. Are there comprehensive top to bottom educational opportunities for affordable rates? To just jump in appraisers would need total recreation of on the job training, repeat mock litigation exercises, detailed legal and jurisdictional understanding, legalese writing training, court process training, the list would certainly go on. This one at a time entry level legal class at mckissock was helpful but clearly too far short for meaningful exploration of the opportunity. I’m going to focus on amc litigation and amc process compliance cases…

  2. Vincent R Simon on Facebook Vincent R Simon on Facebook says:

    Good day, with all this talk about hybrids and desk, third party inspections. Here are two companies that have been doing it for a while. Could we get a story on them on the legality, direction and volume of appraisal stats during the past few years? Would be helpful to see if this is truly the direction of residential appraisal in the future. Service Link and Valuenet. Let’s see this story soon. Thanks.

  3. Avatar Scott says:

    Yep. I do a lot of work for attorneys in Monterey, Madera and Fresno county’s in California. The biggest thing (for me) is making certain my report will stand up in court. It has to be completed the “right way” the first time. There are no AMC reviewers looking at your work checking off boxes. Attorney work takes longer but if you take pride in your work and spend the extra time it all pays off in the bigger scheme of things.

  4. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    Here is my plug for a new career choice: Adobe Creative Cloud $599 per year for every application Adobe makes.

    Cheaper than your appraisal software and everything you need for a new career (or careers).

    Video Production…Books…Web Design…you name it. Best of all it is REGULATION FREE!

    Say goodbye to AMCs…gas bills…MLS dues…E & O insurance…office space…and unlimited liability.

    Rather than build one appraisal at a time…build one product at a time and sell it to thousands or millions.

    The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the lord and the realization that residential appraising is a dead end job.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      I’ve already came down with a case of artists block just thinking about it. Regale us with your amazing rendering Picasso! Next.

      • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

        Claiming that you need to be an artist to use Adobe Creative Cloud is like saying you need to be an engineer…mathematician…and writer to become an appraiser. Artists may find Adobe Illustrator to be a useful tool but that is 1 out of over 20 applications included in the package. Bottom Line: Adobe Creative Cloud is by far the cheapest ultra professional tool that you can invest in to start a multiple income stream business for mass production and sales

      • Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

        So far I’ve used 3 out of over 20 tools in the Adobe arsenal. Photoshop…Dreamweaver…and Premiere.

        I purchase high end web templates to edit from online so I’m not designing from scratch. Templates can be purchased for $30 to $150. I typically sell to small business owners along with a domain and hosting for $1500 to $3000. I rarely have over 10 hours in a job.

        With the use of a 4K drone i shot some footage around a small town to edit with this application. I added GOOD QUALITY royalty free music and added it to the edit. Although I used a software I already owned to design the packaging you can design it within Adobe as well. After hosting a free showing of the video at a local cinema in late October I sold 430 copies of the DVD for $15 prior to Christmas and walked away with $5000. I had less than 30 hours in the production. A reasonable return for a first production.

        I don’t consider myself to be an artist. I search for a niche that has been overlooked and find a way to exploit it. This is a side gig for me so I’ve barely scratched the surface of Adobe’s capability.

        Consider yourself regaled.


Leave a Reply

We welcome critical posts & opposing points of view. We value robust & civil discourse. You may openly disagree, but state your case in an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which everyone has a right to a particular view about the topic of conversation. Please keep remarks about the topic at hand, & PLEASE avoid personal attacks. If the poster gets you upset, it is the Internet, you can walk away from it.

Personal attacks harm the collegial atmosphere we encourage on AppraisersBlogs.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

xml sitemap

The Future of Residential Lender Appraisers

by Ann O'Rourke time to read: 1 min