The person who espouses this super valuable ‘advice’ does not have an appraiser’s license…
Appraisers, if you think I’m serious about the message subject line, please reconsider! It’s time to actually call out an AMC who’s encouraging appraisers to ‘lower their fee’: Valuation Connect
This outfit sent out a ‘newsletter’ to appraisers, part of which says this:
“My advice would be to make adjustments based on the market. Some examples in a slow market would be adding a new county or zip code to your coverage area, lowering your fee for a product, or adding a new product to your repertoire. Any of these changes could be made quickly and adjusted as the market changes.”
The person (a Regional Manager) who espouses this super valuable ‘advice’ does not have an appraiser’s license, which is a good thing because I would have mentioned that person by name if so.
But tell me Mr. Manager, why should an appraiser LOWER THEIR FEEwhen borrowers are still paying the same price for the appraisal (usually to their lender) as they always have in the current time and recent past?
This is the problem with our ‘industry.’ AMCs dictate what you the appraiser must do in order to get assignments, rather than just sending the assignment to the geographic appraisers on their panel on a rotation basis.
If you are only working for AMCs, bless you, because you need all the blessings you can receive. It’s clear that offering the proper fee for an assignment is not in the AMC’s process handbook they use to assign work out to their vendors.
Another way to put this is ‘You are a Fee appraiser, not a FREE appraiser.’ When you succumb to the “you must lower your fee” mentality you will never be able to rise above that. Well, maybe not never, but to break free you must find other clients who respect you. AMCs have no true respect for the appraisers on their panels.
PS: I don’t work for this AMC – thank goodness.
Considering the VA is thinking about rolling back/lowering their appraisal fees, it would seem even those with a reputation of backing the appraiser are susceptible to the thought that the appraiser is the problem. Additionally, with a history of our industry leaders saying the following ( https://theappraisercoach.com/never-had-a-raise/ ), it would seem there is no way possible that appraisers are not all getting raises every year.
Now would be a good time for Dave Biggers to release his second survey disclosing appraisal fees by way of with and without AMC involvement.
Seek the truth.
In Sept 1961 I was hired by a small Shop. FHA was paying $20.00, and VA was increased to $25.00. We measured, provided a floor plan, a cost approach, (We updated it from regional & local builders) addressed rentals, financing, and a market approach was verified by two sources including the County Recorder.
The only rule book then was Schmutz an economist & publisher (the predecessor of the AIREA, the Appraisal of REAL Estate).
The tools we used were the Assessor, The Recorder and The Planning office. Multiple listings were small local offices with different services and methods, they all belonged they both CAR & NAR. several of the local Title companies would sell or give information. The local Newspaper and the county library kept accessible information.
Today our tools are all based on memberships, leased data, leased software, and hearsay from UN Interested locals and salespeople. Many of the studies are based on school projects form students and professors with differing motives.
The growing corporations have taken over the drudge of research, by assigning drudge to leases, intelligent design and memberships from workers who come from all backgrounds. Some went to your church. The future of and from APPRAISERS is good as has it been in the past and will be better in the future.
That is odd indeed. I can remember in the mid to late 1970s when banks would rely on a 1 paragraph statement from appraisers to make home loans. I spoke with several appraisers around my community that were charging $100 (equal to $500 today) for those 1/3 of a page reports. I continue to believe the “profession” is, and has been, a dead man walking since 2009. If I was determined to continue the insanity of appraising (because of a foolish desire to be the last appraiser standing), I would do the following to diversify:
1. Appraise for attorneys only (too unreliable on it’s own)
2. Obtain a home inspection license (easy and pays better).
3. Obtain an independent insurance adjuster’s certification (even easier)
You now have a fully diversified company that would is neither dependent upon interest rates or AMCs.
I kept an old handwritten bill from an old boss of $5.00 for the appraisal of a vacant lot. The old boss was a reason I was hired, He went off to an elected position in government, and the business was, increasing and reorganizing.
I received this helpful advice as well. They also encourage you to get the assignment in prior to the deadline (usually 5 working days from order date) I really don’t have an issue with turn time if I am slow. I did lots of work for this company up until March 2022. There was a different “Regional Manager” who was a normal person whom you could have an actual conversation with, and I received “Reasonable fees”. That person is no longer there and I have not been awarded a “Bid” at a “Reasonable” fee since she left. I guess she was not cost efficient enough for the Company. Churn Baby Churn.!!! It’s Lowest Bidder Now.
I know that this is NOT going to happen. But in Hawaii, the appraisers said NO to lower fees. They boycotted the AMC’s. UNTIL the AMC’s realized THEY’RE the ones that need to take a pay cut. NO Bifurcation appraisals. Work harder not smarter is the way the AMC’s want your service. Race to the bottom…..$250 full appraisals. You’ll get work alright, lots of it. Just say NO and the prices will come up to $700 IF YOU HOLD THE LINE.
There will always be “that appraiser” who is hungry enough to take the low fees.
And that’s unfortunate! Around the end of ’08 we had a slow down in my areas and instead of accepting lower fees I dipped back into my previous profession part time. Made some great money, but after 20 years in that one I was tire, just stayed until the market picked back up with all the foreclosures and yes they paid my fees at that time.
AMC’s are the problem with the industry. We are getting fee back from 2007 or 2006. How can you run a business with no cost of living/ inflation costs built into your fees? AMC’s are running the appraisal industry into the ground year over year. Becoming a commercial appraiser if you can.
Probably a ridiculous observation but why is this direct, open violation of Dodd Frank not being addressed by government officials rather than the racist witch hunt going on of “white” appraisers. The evidence is mounting that some elected officials are in bed with the lenders and management companies. Even suggesting the appraiser lower fees to get work, if nothing more, is the appearance of impropriety if not worse. This guy may not be licensed however, someone is in the company is and should be held accountable for this egregious violation of the law by the company. That said, I’m kind of sorry I wasted my time in composing this since it, like everything else, will have a deaf ear. The longer this kind of nonsense is tolerated the more credibility it is given similar to the racist witch hunt everyone has jumped on board with.
Remember only white people area ALLOWED to be racists in this country. The world as a whole, whites are a minority. Go figure.
The AMC were complaining about a shortage of appraisers? Driving them out……er, starving appraisers out is NOT going to be a long term solution. The ship is sinking and the AMC’s are dewatering the ocean and fighting fires with gas.
I think one of the best starts regarding fees is a requirement, maybe as part of USPAP, that the appraiser disclose the actual fee paid to the appraiser along with any fees required to recieve or transmit the appraisal. I know that some will say that the borrower dosent care what we are paid just their bottom line, but I think this would be a start.
The New York State Requirement is the Appraiser MUST Disclose The Appraiser Fee and the Amc Fee in The Report. (Not the Transmission fee though)
I collected cash at the front door in the long ago past. I had printed out receipts, kept under my clip board and distributed them at the site.
Just think, bookkeeping streamlined and no collection fees.
Today your lucky to keep 50% post AMC haircut, net 50% of that 50%, and pay companies like Stripe 3% just to get your check direct deposited. The good old days of paying cash at the door.
Seek the truth.
Why am I not surprised? The sad thing is, nothing will come of this. They just keep doing what they want to.
Well, I terminated my AMC and mortgage lenders clients, 20 years ago. It was very obvious, that these clients were driven by the cheapest appraisal fees and the fastest turn times. These 2 criteria items, represent competent and quality appraisal service to them. LOL…. Sadly, it doesn’t appear that much has changed.
Trying to be proactive on appraiser’s behalf I have reached out to a nation-wide class action law firm. Preaching to the quire is not doing anything for us or getting us anywhere. I believe there is sufficient evidence to prove there is an all-out conspiracy against appraiser at the highest levels. I will continue my efforts in the hope it is possible to defend ourselves from this never-ending onslaught. I have submitted this blog as there has been some pretty eye-opening submissions supporting what is happening. I am hopeful the law firm will review it. I will keep all posted.
If there is interest, I think composing a list of all appraisers who contribute to this and other blog posts be contacted individually because there’s a whole lot more going on than is posted on public blogs.
Great idea and that will happen in due time as soon as anyone shows an interest in representing us collectively.
I’m In! We’re all in, every last one of us. It’s important that any lawyer trying to catch up to the last decade of industry mismanagement and collusive practices are aware of at least the summary details. Coincidentally, I took the time to write that out the other day. Link below. Great job PJTMC, that’s what it is going to take at this point, collective legal representation.
Yes, I agree, when I get bids, I state my standard fee and turn time. Of course, the order is declined.
I’m in for a class action lawsuit. If we can do it to Big Tobacco, Apple for slowing phone speeds and shortening battery time, Well Fargo for SO MANY INFRACTIONS and this company is still alive!!! Even adding a fee to our car financing without telling us.
The most important goal of class actions is not compensation but rather institutional changes to restrict what was causing the damage. In our instance that would be simply to rescind the fictitious CFPB safe harbor rule on C&R fees, apply the $10k/$20k back fees retroactively, or at least put those in place after a decade delaying the original spirit of Dodd Frank Reg Z, stop this industry wide collusion to restrict the independent appraisers ability to participate. On the consumer side, billions of unearned junk fees taken from them, basically the difference for every coerced appraisal discount over the past decade. What is a $20k per instance fine times every loan an amc has been involved with nationally, times the past ten years? Have you ever heard of the slogan; ‘Where is Erin Brochovich when we need her?” She’s not available, we’ll need someone else. I’d be fine with more lenders simply dropping the amc model.
Thanks I believe you are on the right track
Who would the class action be against? AMC’s are regulated by each state.
The thing is—– this Particular AMC DID pay me reasonable fees until March 2022. Most fees were well over 4 figures for High End Properties in My Market and I had no issues with them. Maybe they lost their High End Lending Clients?? Still- there is no excuse for that trash “Advice”
Cliff, they did not lose clients, as the amc is just a division of the lender. They use the same logo. The amc is literally in the same building as their parent lender company, where lending and amc departments were just one of many of their business facets, in various different spaces. Any appraiser whom would dare to call their valuation complaint hotline if there is a problem, the people upstairs will set those appraisers straight. Talk about playing with fire and promoting an exploitative business structure, working for an amc which is a division of a top 20 lender, that’s it. Other lenders simply set up in house appraiser management panels which is the more ethical and preferred appraisal assignment structure. The primary reason a lender would choose to go through the extra steps and hassle of getting national amc licensing instead of just hiring an appraiser and a dozen regular employees to run an in house panel, is the ability to rake junk fees and skim off the top of the consumers appraisal charges fee.
This review HAS to be from the Prior Regional manager from 5/2022–
Regional Manager (Former Employee) – Moon Township, PA – May 11, 2022
There’s a reason this place has an overall 1.3 stars. MANAGEMENT is really bad. Disorganized, unprofessional, lazy, greatly lacks knowledge and leadership ability.
I believe you, but I did perform appraisals for multiple large actual banks until 3/2022. I never had a client named “Mortgage Connect”. Are you saying that ABC Bank & XYZ Bank and others went through Mortgage Connect who then used Valuation Connect AMC?
Cliff, sorry, no way I could know. Have not even entertained an amc request in 5 years or so.
I was just doing internet research. Lender link provided above, hover over markets, then click valuation, and you get basically a mirrored logo, similar company name and such. It’s possible that the amc also functions as a way to possibly acquire borrowers info and data by also marketing the appraisal distribution services to other smaller lenders? Just speculating but you know, where the research takes you. The very first thing I research is company address associations, and it was that easy. They’re registered as a foreign company llc and the controlling person of the amc is a lawyer, if I’m recalling this mornings web surfing correctly. Search a few pages of address research and both the “amc company name” and the “lender company name”, you’ll find everything I did. Tried to research layoffs and business earnings report to see if there has been some event or down turm but did not find anything and just stopped looking. The employee reviews were just too entertaining and kept my attention.
The Employee reviews were very entertaining. I know the logo is the same. None of it matters in the grand scheme. As I said: they WERE a reasonable client, better than some of my Direct Banking Clients (Even Though they are an AMC) and now they are Junk, Just another low Bid taking Typical
From the website: ‘Our technology leverages an intelligent appraiser selection algorithm based on experience, previous performance and loan type resulting in high quality and accurate reports in all 50 states.’ It’s another amc managed and owned by the lender. So as the origination income falls, subsidizing the management becomes the appraisers responsibility. They even have an app to schedule your inspection times for you. It’s like all the responsibilities of being an employee, less benefits. They recently hired someone to restructure things and reduce workflow costs.
Don’t miss this last link. Gotta love these companies when the many employee reviews literally advise others to run away. For the appraisers having to deal with these cut your fee communications; Who did you think you were working with?
In other news. A glimpse into how accusations of appraiser bias will tie into loan qualifications in the future.
‘Within the EVO admin set-up, lenders can choose a predetermined percentage level of accepted appraised-value variance along with a confidence score threshold. EVO users receive alert messaging as well as a Bias Alert report when a potentially biased appraisal hits their specified variance threshold, the release said.’
Isn’t that something? I think we used to call that applied lender pressure for not hitting the number. But now the appraisers failure to advocate for the lender is called appraisal bias, and it’s all automated.
Global DMS recognized the continuing trend of appraiser bias in America and felt it imperative to develop a solution to address it,” Vladimir Bien-Aime, Global DMS president and CEO. A statement w/o any proof or evidence. Pretty amazing…….then the set up a computer program to discover bias in appraisal. Quite Laughable.
Missing the IVPI proposal yet?
Here in Connecticut you can’t plow snow during summer and you can’t cut grass during winter. Like the change of seasons the housing market cycles. Those that plow snow during winter typically cut grass during winter. AMCs like appraisers must “weather the storm” of market cycles, too. Blaming AMCs for applying the principles of supply and demand for appraisers to compete on price during hard times is laughable. Dodd Frank determined AMCs are essential to public trust. Your argument about AMCs is with Congress. Take it up with them. Find a gig to hold you over during hard times. For advice; revisit your Boy Scout Manual and refer to the motto, “Be Prepared.”
Its more complicated than supply and demand. Given inexperienced recently licensed appraisers are taking work they are not qualified to perform with no real over-site while this financing of homes is generally guaranteed by the tax paying people of the US. At a minimum a disclosure of appraisal fees and recipients should have been made to the revised Settlement Statements. As a licensed agent and Realtor – I have to disclose if I pay $1 dollar to anyone, yet AMC’s are not even mentioned on the Settlement Statement. There is your crime! Now the powers that be can support the profession or suck eggs when the volume comes back up. Very short sided of them. There was a reason for the reasonable and customary fees.
On my old PC I used to have the several different ‘proposed updated settlement forms’ the CFPB reviewed circa 2012 period I think or around that time. Sadly, lost them and that kind of considered but passed over government material is quite difficult to find later on. As I recall that did have some special line item for ‘the amc fee’. Instead the hoodwink was to improperly combine the appraisers fee and the amc fee as a total one line appraisal services fee. Just one problem; The amc does not provide appraisal services because that by the governments own position requires occupational licensing of an individual appraiser completing the work. When the TAF & AI eventually come forth with certification of avm products, the betrayal of the public trust in valuation services will be complete. Retired Appraiser will be here any minute to remind us how futile of an effort it is to even bother to have an image pretending to protect the public trust or the valuation services ‘profession’.
My apology for taking 300+ minutes to do just that. It’s been what…14 years now and you guys are still bi-otching about the fees and how you can change things? The best thing that you can do is MOVE ON TO GREENER PASTURES!!! My God people…FOURTEEN years have passed. You could have earned a law degree, an MBA and a medical degree by now. MOVE ON ALREADY and put yourselves into careers where you aren’t being bent over your desk each day and raped by bank owned AMCs.
Was that hint too subtle?
Excellent. Except for the property ownership is a fundamental cornerstone of liberty argument, fighting against corruption, all of that. Accountability, who needs it? Don’t let the man get you down.
If fighting against corruption is your main reason for sticking to appraising, I recommend buying a Batman costume and a Bat Mobile. People will take you more seriously when you arrive at their door.
Eugene, question; When do borrowing consumers got to experience the ‘benefits’ of the market cycles, when it comes to the appraisal fees they pay? Because when dealing with amc’s, the consumer will continue to pay full price, even if the appraiser provides a discounted service fee. You’re not observing the invisible hand providing market corrections, but rather imposition of parity pricing which is used as an additional profit raking tool for lenders and amc’s. You know, the activity which is illegal for every company listed in mortgage disclosure forms, except appraisal management companies, aka junk fees, unearned fees, non disclosed fee padding.
It’s one thing to gain efficiency in working efforts and pass cost savings to consumers. It’s quite another to with hold the benefits of efficiency and/or cost savings from consumers and still charge them full price. Imagine if the scale of industry did not provide any consumer savings and rendered the majority body of suppliers invisible to said consumers. That is where consumers are left in parity pricing scenarios of this nature. Also the argument remains that the artificially low vendor payout for appraisals by appraisal management companies also results in an inferior work product which has the ability to compromise all these other carefully implemented checks and balances within the lending arena, placing consumers at additional risk. Full price for discount service and you can only buy it here. Claim it’s a free market when 3 out of 4 appraisers are not even able to participate unless we were to willingly and knowingly compromise product quality and bribe our fees away. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why this industry shed something around 140,000 appraisers in the last 10 years despite record demand and historically low lending rates. But one may need to be honest about what’s happening to have a better understanding of the situation.
Appraisers are skipped over the trade turn, the fruits of our labor pilfered by middle men, our ability to engage with labor restricted. We’re excluded from this massive segment of the workforce if we insist on an earned income basis of compensation, and equivalent fair dealings applied to our peers in our own industry. If you’d rather have the technical economic principals argument. Post this again I suppose.
Baggins, why should consumers benefit from market cycles regarding appraisal fees? I don’t agree with you on this. I’m not sure how lenders benefit from the profit raking tool unless your insinuating they’re swiping some of the appraisal fees to pay their bills, too. The topic is AMCs taking advantage of appraisers during slow times. Do you have evidence AMCs and lenders are using appraisal discounts to line their pockets and cheat on disclosures? Or is this mere allegation? Doesn’t seem like a Lender turning over billions in mortgage loans annually would risk government penalties for chump change left over appraisal fees. You can also assume that low fee payout equals poor quality appraisals but there’s no evidence to support that either. I would argue even the best appraisers have bills to pay and are willing to take what they can get to feed their family. It’s my understanding the decline in the appraisal population has more to do with baby boomers retiring. None of my appraiser peers complained about fees for leaving the business. As I stated above, your argument against AMCs and lenders is with Congress. Convince them public trust is in jeopardy if AMCs are applying the principles of supply and demand. I’m all about maintaining the integrity of fees as long as it doesn’t result in regulations that prevent me from increasing fees when the market cycles in the other direction when demand is high for appraisals.
I conducted a marine waterfront appraisal a few years back. I charged under $1,000. The owner was hopping mad at me when I got to his residence. The AMC hit his credit card 3x’s what I agreed upon. I informed the owner that he had no contract with me and I didn’t know what he was a talking about since he didn’t give me any of his credit card information. I got on the horn with the AMC and fired them on the spot and no I didn’t complete the appraisal. I called the owner and informed him of the situation. That another appraiser was going to do this. I didn’t want my good name sullied.
Lots of little bankers years ago had to watch expenses and arrange for the future.
These independent banks would raise interest rates in the winter (a historically dead season), then they chose what kind of business they wanted (commercial, Agricultural, SFR’s or small business), from which they would control their future.
Most small bank failed or merged several years ago. Will we start another cycle?, are we?
Residential Appraisers have been p—–d on for decades. In part it is appraisers fault due to the high level of incompetence. Out of several dozen appraisers in the region, I would refer people only 2-3 appraisers (less than 5% of the appraisal pool). In my 40+ year career I have always been at odds with a buyer, seller, one and at times both sides of legal cases, irate relocation property owners and on and on – all for minimum wage (or less). Fees have never come close to reflecting the level of time and expertise required of my work and the level I demanded from my self. I know a few good appraisers that in recent years were smart. They left the fee appraisal field or appraisal all together, and dropped their AI designations and moved on to a more normal fulfilling life. Do likewise – instead of fighting an unwinnable war against massive and extremely abusive and oppressive power – from both corrupt political and business entities.
Not only are they encouraging lower fees. They state lower your turn times to get higher ratings and more work.
Automated software based performance grading metrics which supposedly supersede merit based and equitable human based decisions, are the mechanisms by which under qualified people can ‘manage’ senior staff.
Lenders and their various amc’s tech department personnel are two thumbs up on this one. We don’t need to pursue equity advancements in the valuation services industry, we’re the pioneers!
I quoted Suntender Valuations a very reasonable lower than my typical for an order in my back yard around $400, I was told they already have 40+ at $300 and less. In slow times desperate appraisers will undercut the market they probably assigned it to someone for $200! Who said 24 hr TAT!
Independent fee appraiser…….certainly means “independent” when it comes to dealing with AMC appraisal fees and TAT. Terrible…….I repeat ……the AMCs and AMC interest groups have taken control of all aspects of the appraisal process. Appraisers need to conform or leave.
Dont want lower fees? Make an appropriate quote to the AMC if you work for them and stick by your guns. Let them decline, let them search and search and search. It will be tough for a time. But, say NO to lower fees and you won’t have lower fees. That simple and that hard.
Jaykee, I tried that 21 years ago. I quoted reasonable fees and TAT. I found out that other appraisers, who needed work, who needed to capture a lender client, who needed to work nights and weekends make ends meet. After 18 years of doing appraisals for lenders I decided to seek other work clients. I never look back. It was a good move. There’s appraisal life after lender appraisal work.
What is the point of playing along with clowns? I was always like; Take notes because the numbers do not change; This standard turn time, this standard fee. And I’ll let you know if I need more in rare circumstances. Why do you guys keep bothering me with quote requests, I already told you, it’s not going to change.
These amc idiots don’t even know how to take notes what appraisers fees are in the first place. The panel management is abhorrent, purely incompetent, which is why they can’t even remember appraisers names from one day to the next, much less the fees.
Who’s brilliant idea was it to acquire 100 quotes on every order and maintain a list of 100 vendors in every possible location. Incompetent management. If I called a hundred plumbers every time I needed a pipe fixed, soon I would have no plumbers willing to answer the phone for me.
Same deal with the amc industry at large, so incredibly unprofessional and poorly managed, their own processes made the amc’s impossible to work with. The amc’s own initial trade group disbanded and the head guy walked away in shame. It was hardly a choice from the appraisers side of the desk, the amc industry begged every appraiser in this country to simply drop them or give up all hope on life and change our names to retired appraiser. I know at least some here whom can relate to that.
AMC cubicle dwellers DO NOT CARE. you are of zero importance to any AMC staff member. Its literally their job to get the appraisal yesterday for free.
I have seen $300 jobs come across my email. I just in the last 10 minutes had an appraiser tell me they took a $375 job that is a $625 job all day.
He also just told me $400 is his normal fee in town now where it was >$600 8 months ago.
My average fee for the last 5 years has been overall increasing for full appraisals from ~$700 to over $900. This is across 20 counties in 2 different market areas.
When things are slow-a quick turn time is a good easy compromise.
You want to work for peanuts and very little profit? AMC’s will hold out for as long as possible seeking the bottom of the barrel ssabumd (backwards) appraiser that will quote pre-1999 fees ($250-350). They’re waiting like predators for the starving that will take on these assignments. OR you’ll also do the hybrid appraisals for $100. NOTHING CHANGES APPRAISERS ARE THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY.
Equity by way of unnecessary government imposed ‘management’.
I’m starting to get a better more thorough understanding of what this equity term is all about.
We’ve been living it ahead of the crowds.
We all have an equity in our society, good or bad. I’ll always feel this as a responsibility to take a part in or not.
Some want to be controllers, some think all should be controlled, some want everybody controlled.
The WOKE are a Suttell group, NETFLEX bought a children’s authors work’s and has republished them with a rewrite for the those like “Charlie and the chocolate factory, etc. but not his wirings, of bombing and strafing in WW-1.