Waiting for the Platform to Fall…

Waiting for the Platform to Fall... They Hired the Fastest Cheapest Guy

…waiting for the platform to fall… because you know they hired the fastest and cheapest guy to build it!

When Dodd Frank was implemented lenders started using appraisal management companies, eliminating appraisers relationships basically overnight. Appraisers embraced the change reluctantly and started accepting assignments from appraisal management companies.

Over the years appraisal management companies showed their true colors and lowered fees, required appraisers to pay upload fees and forced many appraisers to pay for unnecessary back ground checks. Some have hired staff appraisers, completely disregarding the intent of Dodd Frank in an attempt to lower operating costs. Today, most AMC’s blast out bid requests for fee and turn time wasting significant time for appraisers. Clearly amcs are searching for the fastest and cheapest, completely ignoring experience and competency of the appraiser. The quality of the appraisals reflect this. I am not going to even discuss the absurd revision requests common with amcs.

Sadly, appraisal management companies have failed to get the message that they can not exist without appraisers. They call appraisers partners, but the reality is their actions show they think of us as their employee/subordinate. Attempts at Bifurcation have completely failed and the abuses have continued.

Appraisers, on the other hand have moved on from the abuses of the appraisal management companies. Most appraisers truly believe there is no benefit for these companies to exist. Appraisers have always had the control over their own business and the abuses of the appraisal management company are no longer being tolerated. Appraisers are terminating the one sided relationships with amcs and focusing their business on more profitable and satisfying business.

The impact of the appraiser shift is being felt by amcs. Orders are being blasted numerous times with verbiage of desperation. Some amcs are accepting ridiculously higher fees just to get the appraisal assigned to salvage their relationship with the lender. Of course they continue to shop for a lower fee while it is already assigned.

Lenders, on the other hand have no loyalty to the amc. They too are feeling the impact of the appraiser shift and are sending appraisal orders to multiple amcs to get the order assigned. Some amcs are randomly assigning the orders in hope the appraiser will just accept.

Well, none of these “tricks” are working. Appraisers are just laughing at the amcs. Don’t believe me? Just read the posts in the appraisal groups.

Appraisal management companies could have been a great experience for appraisers. Lack of respect, greed and complete incompetence by the amcs chartered a very different path. Amcs not only built the platform, hung the rope and tied the noose, they are sitting there, noose around their neck just waiting for the platform to fall… because you know they hired the fastest and cheapest guy to build it!

By Advocate. The author is a Certified Residential Appraiser and has chosen to use the pen name Advocate to protect their identity. Many famous people including Benjamin Franklin, Agatha Christie, and Steven King have written under a pen name for various reasons. Just Google pen names used by famous authors, there are only 45,700,000 results to choose from.

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35 Responses

  1. Avatar Donna Taylor says:

    I’m happy to say I haven’t worked for an AMC for 2 years now. I have plenty of business without the AMC.

  2. Avatar B.C. says:

    Not sure how appropriate the hangman’s noose is for the pictorial of the article with the current Appraiser bias being circulated.

  3. Avatar Bryan says:

    Let’s start a lottery – Pick the date for the LAST time we have to read about our relationship with AMCs.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Well as long as you don’t work with them, amc’s are entertaining to talk about. Management by imperial decree.
      Please help fee quote. We have an order opportunity. Fee and turn time request. You have not responded to your bidding opportunity. Your bidding opportunity has expired. Great news, an order opportunity awaits. We need your help please. You have been added to a panel you never applied to be on in the first place. It never ends.

      Join me in my quest to forward all fee and turn time email quotes back to the administrators of the tech systems which facilitate this unlimited spam without any unsubscribe capability. Appraisers deserve simple opt out options to cease all amc communications if so desired. We need clear and straight forward options, accept communications from amc’s, yes or no. I don’t mind bids from lenders, but from amc’s, hard pass 100% of the time.

  4. Avatar Golfnut(pen name) says:

    Most appraisers are very busy and some are accepting the same fees as last year and/or the previous year. I have increased my fees 100% over the prior 4 years. Some of you may think that I am gouging the borrower howeveer that is not the case. Example, I charged a fee of $ 2,000 for a complex assignment. I received 2 checks in payment, one for $ 400 which was the fee that the borrower paid and the other for $ 1,600, It appears that the $ 1,600 came from the AMC or Lender or the Loan Officer/broker. Another fee of $ 1,500 was broken down into 2 checks, one for $ 750 and another for $ 750, which apears to have come from AMC. Lender or Loan Officer/Broker. Both of these were very recent assignments and I have other that were handled in the same way. I am doing about 40% less appraisals and making a lot more money. If I get assignment direct from the lender I charge a smaller fee, also if there is tech or upload fee of $10 -$20 I tack on an extra fee of $ 25 – $ 50. I also have time to play golf with the guys now.

  5. Avatar LaydeeT says:

    URGENT; Can we please remove the pic & rename this article? It’s offensive. Especially considering that the entire issue of appraisers being racist is an issue we are trying to settle right now. Seriously guys…what in the world. ?

    • Because a few peers complained about the title and pic, we edited the article with the permission of the author.

      • Avatar ej says:

        More like a few snowflakes.

        • Avatar LaydeeTee says:

          I had no plans to post any further…and I thought there was a policy that encouraged an atmosphere of mutual respect on this page, and warned to keep remarks about the topic at hand. Oh well. ¯\_(?)_/¯

          • Avatar Milton P says:

            Lady T, mutual respect also includes allowing people to express themselves. You seem to be a little one sided with your respect when it comes to pictures and titles. If you continue to cave on a false narrative, as you are clearly doing, then the accusers have won.

            • Avatar Laydeetee says:

              Not one sided at all. Just aware that we as appraisers are under fire right now, & everything we do will be examined & used against us if possible.

              The last thing we need is for an image or title to be taken out of context & then held up as “proof” that appraisers are “racists”.

              ***And if in the process, a site I respect is attacked & forced to be shut down by those pushing a specific narrative…
              THAT would be a tragedy.

              It’s not worth it. We need AppraisersBlog.
              They’re one of the few sites putting articles out that actually defends appraisers.

              • Avatar Milton P says:

                When are appraisers not under fire? In the 20 years I have been associated with this profession, lenders have tried every trick under the sun to eliminate us. We are still here and strong. Success comes from focus and determination. If you let the nay sayers get to you, you will never succeed.

                Respectfully Lady T, not only have you been swayed by the false narrative, you publicly put it out there so those who were not offended are now thinking it is offensive. If you perform your job as an appraiser and have support for your conclusions, you have nothing to worry about. When you act in fear, which you have done here, those promoting the false narrative have won with your assistance.

          • Avatar Dan Stadnick says:

            LadeeTee mutual respect is supposed to go both ways. Respected the OP’s choice of title, picture and even their ideas. Now because you are offended at a picture we have the thought police kindly requesting the OP to please change his picture. Shame on you, and shame on all the other people who cried about being offended at what? A picture?

            • Avatar Laydeetee says:

              First, what I brought up had nothing to do with the article, its content, or the author. It wasn’t about who was or was not offended. It was about a specific image and title word that carries with it a certain connotation.

              Those working on removing appraisers from the loan process are hard at it & using every trick in the book. Right now, the “appraisers are racist” narrative is their ammunition.

              We need to be aware that things taken out of context can seriously hurt us if we’re not careful.

              It’s not the “thought police” we need to be concerned about on this latest issue. If we’re not vigilant, we can be our own worst enemy.

              We don’t need to give the appearance that they’re right about us.

              We all know how easy it is for something like an image or article title to get spread around out of context on the internet. Then the damage is done & there’s no taking it back.

  6. Avatar ej says:

    I actually liked the original title and the article as a whole.

    • Avatar LaydeeTee says:

      The “complaint” had nothing to do with the article…it was the original pic used and the title…thats all.

  7. Avatar LaydeeTee says:

    Since I am one of those “complainers”, let me just say…

    Thank you tremendously for changing the pic and title.
    I sincerely appreciate it.

    For the record, I am not;
    *a snowflake
    *a person of color
    *easily triggered
    *or overly sensitive

    In fact, I usually land on the side of “chill out & get over yourself”.

    However, considering the current climate and the over-reaching attempts to label appraisers racists who don’t hit the “magic number” when appraising the home of a person of color, surely we agree that we don’t need to draw the wrong kind of attention and give the ones determined to do this, any evidence…no matter how small…that may be turned around and used against us.

    I sincerely feel like this “racist appraisers” approach will be used to do us in if they can. In my personal opinion, it has no basis in fact. But that doesn’t mean it won’t end up putting even more “appraiser regulations” in place that will be detrimental to us all.

    I won’t give away my age, but let’s just say I miss the days when you didn’t have to be so careful about saying the wrong thing that could be taken completely out of context. But we all know those days are over…and since Appraisers have a big fat target on us right now, let’s not help them load the gun.
    (There…now someone will have an issue with using the word “gun”, right?)
    Just kidding…we can all use a little “chill out & get over yourself” today.
    I know I can.

    Sincerely, Thanks again for changing it. That’s much better.
    And thanks to those that maintain this website and for volunteering your time and resources.

    I look forward to articles on Appraisers Blog and consider it one of the few sources that actually defends appraisers.
    Later guys…I’m outta here!

  8. Avatar ej says:

    When you compromise with evil, and that is what these race hustlers pushing the fake “appraisers are racist,” Kinard are. You can expect to lose every time. They play to win. Appraisers need to stop compromising.

    • Avatar Mark Skapinetz says:

      While we all know the narrative is not correct in the appraiser racism phenomenon, we cannot ignore what is being said and what is being done behind the scenes. If you are ignoring this than that’s on you. We have yet another complaint being made today that an appraiser is being racist and HUD has even asked for a monetary settlement on it to settle on the difference between appraisal and what they deem the value. Take the blinders off already and come into reality. Believe what you want and shake it off all you want.

      I have first hand knowledge of the mental and business issues this is causing appraisers. We all as appraisers know that this isn’t right but it’s happening and I will ask you this… what will you do when it happens to you? So yes. This is not the time to provoke or look as if. It’s a time of doing what’s right and being careful in what’s said and done.

      • Avatar ej says:

        First, they are making the accusations and need to prove that the appraiser intentionally lowered the value because of a person’s race. Good luck with that. They may prove incompetence, but that also opens another can of worms of who hires the appraiser.

        Suppose HUD files a complaint against an appraiser based on race and fails to prove it. They slandered the appraiser and thus opened themselves up for a defamation lawsuit.

        Right now, AMC’s are blasting orders left and right. HUD is responsible because they turn a blind eye and have done so for years, as have the GSEs.

        If it happened to me, you better believe I would file a defamation lawsuit against all of them. Who knows, retirement may come early after I win. Two can play this game.

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Well the problem with civil court is the cost blowback, you almost need to have nothing to lose in order to pursue defamation freely. Imagine if the amc industry was not in place, claiming to speak for all appraisers. There would be many more successful appraisers in mortgage lending, whom would have already put an end to the narrative. The separation from loan production rules have made the appraisers even more vulnerable than could have been initially imagined. The accusations should be naturally flowing to the mortgage bankers, underwriters, and realtors, on account of all of us being integrated into the exact same over all process. NAR should be mandatorily changed to National Association of Realtors and Appraisers. NARAA? We need better representation and broader membership opportunities. Amc’s do not speak for appraisers.

  9. Avatar Advocate says:

    I am the author of this article and honestly do not understand how this is offensive to anyone but amcs. There is nothing about any race, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Did any of you complaining actually read the article? People have used the expression of hanging themselves for years. A noose has been used for centuries in all countries around the world for punishment. Heck there is even a game called hangman! It has nothing to do with race. Appraisers have to have tough skin to survive and people have been unhappy with our values since the first appraisal ever completed. This is nothing new and not about race. The article is about appraisers being strong and moving forward from abusive amcs. Those that are offended need to take a step back and get a reality check. Just do your jobs and stop worrying about what others think!

    • Avatar ej says:

      It was an excellent article. Thank you!

    • Avatar Dan Stadnick says:

      If you don’t think it’s offensive then why did you agree to have the article censored?

      AppraisersBlogs TeamAppraisersBlogs Team July 21, 2021 at 3:39 pm
      Because a few peers complained about the title and pic, we edited the article with the permission of the author.

      • Avatar Advocate says:

        I agreed to have the title and picture changed for one simple reason. The owner and administrator for appraisersblogs is an appraiser and personal friend. She was getting some very nasty profanity filled emails from a few appraisers and it was keeping her from appraising. Neither of us felt the picture or title were offensive, but the lack of maturity / professionalism of some was just too much. It truly shows that some in the appraisal profession do not view themselves as professionals. My agreement was for our personal sanity and not having to deal with the bad apples of the profession. Life is simply too short.

  10. John Gazsi on Facebook John Gazsi on Facebook says:

    It’s funny that there are those that complained to the blog about the title and don’t get the parody…

  11. Baggins Baggins says:

    Longer post, in response to Golfnut. This is an interesting topic to explore. Because the appraisal fee is hard cost out of pocket, there is more market resistance to fee increases. Where as with commissions based on points, the compensation naturally adjusts with inflation. The notion that despite home prices having increased two and three fold, the appraisal cost should remain static, a flawed logic. Instead, examine the proportional relationship of all fees then vs now. Obviously, the appraisal fee continues to be diminished.

    Currently I have a lender whom only charges $550 to borrowers, yet every order paid to me is $750 or better. The point when subsidies are applied is an obvious indicator of a departure from direct free market influence. Especially apparent with amc’s on account of operating out of a grouped pool of funds, creating the flexibility to rake more or pay more, without effecting the consumers individual costs. Somewhere in all those lending rules is a guidance point that there should be direct billing relationships, meaning that due to variances in difficulty and real world costs, not all billing will be equal, and one borrower should not be subsidizing costs of other borrowers. The room for abuse is obvious. Sadly, it’s become so common place that many outfits now even advertise a uniform fee for all despite the inevitable variance which will follow when orders are actually placed with appraisers. What ends up happening is borrowers dealing with average home stock still pay a market premium, the appraisers get far less compensation, and those cost margin gains are then re applied to subsidize borrowers whom participate in the upper echelons of market pricing elsewhere. The poor subsidizing the rich, courtesy of the departure from direct billing standards. In the early days of amc pilfering and the resistance to that, there were many proposals to demand a return to direct billing, and clear separation of fees for distinctly different business entities. With the injection of amc’s, the subsidy approach is now on a national basis. Appraisers and borrowers alike in entire states with less means, are now subsidizing the costs for appraisers and borrowers through different states, constantly draining the operational margin which just puts more pressure on those lessor means people whom pay the price elsewhere.

    Contingency fees prohibitions based on price and value were meant to inhibit a sliding scale fee approach where appraisers may be enticed to assign a higher value, in order to reach into a higher fee bracket. Traditionally, before unqualified tech and telecom people inserted themselves into the appraisal order distribution process, it was understood that a million dollar home should demand a higher fee than a tiny condo. Not anymore, as systems like Mercury, Scope, the myriad of amc software platforms, have all adopted a one size fits all. Now we’re supposed to apply a uniform fee across the complete value spectrum, as well as the complete client spectrum. There would be nothing wrong with a fee basis with a sliding scale, cost of service increasing with general price worth of homes, so long as there were clear rules and brackets, with the fee issued being firmly established so as to answer the concern that regardless of the final value opinion (either moving higher into the next general fee range block, or lower vice versa), that the appraisers fee would not change. The list of topics we could explore regarding how amc’s have set themselves up for failure with a flawed business model are indeed endless.

    In the time I wrote this post I received another amc fee quote; “Please help, & fee and turn time quote.” My response: What’s your best fee and longest tolerable out time? I refuse to quote in the blind. Previously when individual lenders performed in house fee surveys, the standard panel fee all panel appraisers enjoyed was established by considering the lowest fee, which the majority of all panel appraisers would accept. Because amc’s do not understand the process of fair distribution, they stack unnecessary future liability back to lenders which are additional concerns over and above the departure from fair and evenly balanced appraisal order distribution. The lions share program is clearly biased, enticing appraisers to violate the management rule and provide a thing of value to be the preferred assignee. Simple checks and balances solve this. Before an appraiser states their fee, the appraiser must be aware of what the consumer charge will be.

    Last day to comment and although few in number, the quality of the comments are very good. Suggested reading to look at every single one of them. Thanks.

  12. Avatar Julio E Sune Jr says:

    Please note the paragraph at the end,,,,,”no appraisal experience required”….

    Would you want to work for someone like that???

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Some jobs are better than others. It’s sad, the way the amc companies run a never ending stream of telecom workers through those infinite bid request positions. Cold calling with a very high probability of denial, every day of the week. Today I was looking at remote reviewer positions, there are several lenders whom are trying to ramp up appraisers for the pending wave of foreclosures and borrowers in default. $40 an hour, only administrative review, no value certs. Sort of funny because the same lenders hiring for that also use amc’s. It’s no coincidence they are turning to traditional hiring methods for the important jobs. Origination is fun and games, rather meaningless performance metrics, until the moment of default. Then things get a lot more serious. Volume discount appraisers are in for a sweet surprise when this dam bursts.


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Waiting for the Platform to Fall…

by Guest Author time to read: 2 min