What’s an Inspection, 30 Years Later?

USPAP Trying To Determine What An Inspection Is 30 Years Later?USPAP Doesn’t Require An Inspection So Why Is It Trying To Determine What An Inspection Is 30 Years Later?

The ASB is struggling with the 4th Exposure Draft and issues of clarifying significant professional assistance and what an inspection means? Why? USPAP doesn’t require an inspection – never has. And good grief… a FOURTH exposure draft in an already over-analyzed two-year USPAP cycle?

The reason why Dave Bunton & Co. (TAF) has been emphasizing the Supervisor position is they are trying to retrofit USPAP back into the position. This is the same institution that felt it was appropriate to send this bat-shit crazy letter to their regulator.

Think about what has been said at every AQB meeting since Plymouth Rock – “trainees” are unable to find supervisors to mentor them to get their experience credits or banks won’t accept their reports and therefore they can’t get work to make a living. This is one of the biggest problems with the lack of diversity in the appraisal profession and it starts with the lack of diversity at TAF. This non-diversified institution, despite perhaps, the best intentions of those that are active are trying to solve the problem of getting more diversity into the profession. Yet the industry is aging and not diverse because the bureaucratic largess that TAF has created in the merry-go-round USPAP cycle gradually made it nearly impossible to join.

Incidentally, Title XI doesn’t require experience! Take a step back and look at other professionals like lawyers and accountants – they are required to take a comprehensive (hard) exam and do not have to have thousands of hours of experience. The public trust of these professions is not damaged by this practice. As a good friend of mine in Oklahoma has told me many times “appraising isn’t rocket science.”

Why is experience a unique requirement by the appraisal industry? TAF has constructed a gatekeeper mentality to the profession, that is manned by appraisers who are not largely diversified either. This is an epic fail and largely has resulted in a lack of diversity and an aging appraisal population.

And by the way, “experience” is always ongoing and appraisers must always continue to learn. The market will decide the value of your experience as an appraiser. Tagging an appraiser as a “trainee” is essentially tagging them as a liability and then artificially derived a number of required hours magically makes them a non-liability. I’ve known residential trainees in my market who were far more competent than experienced MAIs.

Incomes of supervisory appraisers have been squeezed by the AMC mentality of the mortgage industry and therefore most don’t want to take on a “trainee” and dedicate two years of training to someone who can’t sign a report for most clients, provides additional liability, and may leave to go on their own after certification.

Let’s try to focus on the bigger issues that impact the everyday lives of appraisers than on this insane &^&^%$#%^** busywork minutia that does nothing but reduce the wide-scale entry to all into the profession.

Let’s up the industry’s game to be at least as competent as other professional services. After all, the current gatekeeper mentality pushed by TAF on the backs of the supervisors is damaging the public trust. My goodness.

Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986. He is a state-certified real estate appraiser in New York and Connecticut, performing court testimony as an expert witness in various local, state and federal courts.

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4 Responses

  1. I wonder how this profession could have ever met the needs of banking in 1991 if everyone of us had to have 5 years experience before working for a bank…There wouldn’t be 300 appraisers in the US. And they’d have a mill set up to grind out thousands of reports using unlicensed and unexperienced non-appraisers whom they would not sign off on experience logs so that they remained slaves or quit and be replaced by other cubical occupants. That would have been grand.

  2. Avatar Guess Who says:

    Yeah let’s focus on the issues.

    What they are specifically whining about is: those who do residential appraisal lending work. Nothing else.

    So, let’s see what happened;

    when they required appraisers to all have college degrees, those appraisers actually took college level math courses.

    Before HVCC, there was lots of whining about too many appraisers being trained.

    There weren’t any diversity complaints, well, except against the orgs which made welfare programs available for lower membership fees for women and other people.

    Now the AMCs and GSEs are in charge.

    Now the minimum wage is going to be $15 an hour.

    Go tell all those people paying those student loans for the STEM degrees that did not bring those “clean” high tech jobs here, that they can be residential “appraisers” for 1987 fees.
    And what a privilege that will be, to bear all the expenses of running a “business” that can’t function until it has been a business for at least 5 years and is able to actually win a bid on fee and TAT to get any “business”.

    They can carry all the expenses, including the ridiculous 2 year USPAP updated book and classes, license renewal classes and fees, wear out their vehicles, fund their self employment, retirement, health insurance, E&O insurance, oh and perhaps liability and disability insurance in case someone’s dog bites them, or they get carpel tunnel syndrome.

    They will be called racist, just for being an appraiser.

    On the plus side, they won’t have advertising expenses, but will have to pay for back ground checks for every new client who offers them the opportunity to submit a bid which may or not result in an order to perform some work.

    Meanwhile, everyone with an interest in the transaction tells them what to do/or not, and they will be responsible for the decision. Even those with “regulations” that say no one will interfere with the appraisal developing and reporting, yet dictate how the appraisal will be developed and reported……

    Did we mention the minimum wage for a “job” will be $15 an hour, doing any and everything other than being an appraiser?

    Maybe all the minorities quit the profession after the HVCC.

  3. Avatar JULIO E SUNE, JR says:



    “To help mitigate these pain points, Incenter Appraisal Management is offering remote BPO and remote inspection capabilities paired with AVMs. These virtual solutions enable lenders and servicers to get their eyes on a property, regardless of whether they can appraise it in person – as long as the homeowner has access to a cell phone.

    “Unlike any bifurcated or traditional ‘in-person’ inspection product, the inspector, agent or appraiser is able to see and view the images and video of the home by using the homeowner like a ‘human tripod,’” explained Mark Walser, president of Incenter Appraisal Management”.

    Incenter’s Remote BPO and remote Inspections don’t require homeowners to download mobile applications and take pictures on their own. The inspector attesting to the home inspection or the real estate agent performing the BPO Inspection is able to take the pictures they want via the owner’s camera. This process speeds the return of accurate broker price opinions and inspections to the lender, without borrowers or third parties visiting the property or manipulating the images, introducing a crucial “arms-length” component of the process previously unavailable in a mobile inspection performed with a homeowner”.

    1—as long as the homeowner has access to a cell phone.—-IS THE HOMEOWNER TAKING THE PICTURES?
    2—by using the homeowner like a ‘human tripod,”

    3—without borrowers or third parties visiting the property or manipulating the images
    4—The inspector attesting to the home inspection or the real estate agent performing the BPO Inspection is able to take the pictures they want via the owner’s camera.—-IS IT A HOMEOWNER’S CAMERA USED BY WHO?


    • Hi Julio, this is Mark Walser from Incenter. To answer your questions about Remote Inspections:

      1) -IS THE HOMEOWNER TAKING THE PICTURES? Nope. You are – you control it 100%. Think of a remote control car, it can’t go anywhere without you moving a stick on the remote control. Same thing here, our permission based tech lets our inspector take the picture when they see the image they want to see on the desktop via the live video stream. The inspector merely clicks their mouse and the picture is snapped, with geo/metatags as well. Homeowner can’t manipulate it.

      We also are able to use this technology to get CDAIR done very quickly as in less than 24 hours in most cases. When inspectors are barred from going to an area where a disaster has struck, we can reach the homeowner via this method and perform a full inspection via their cell phone.

      2) HOMEOWNER’S CAMERA USED BY WHO? By you. It’s a new class of technology

      3) DO YOU FOLKS SEE WHAT I SEE ? As in Incenter? No, we don’t monitor the inspections in real-time though you will be able to record sessions yourself and access them via our secure video storage.

      Tune in to us at Valuation Expo on Sept 8-10 in Las Vegas. I suspect you will be very interested in what we unveil there. Stay safe!


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What’s an Inspection, 30 Years Later?

by Jonathan Miller time to read: 2 min