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Organize and Discuss Solutions for the Appraisal Industry

Boycott: Winds of Change?
Appraisers are known for their individualistic nature, which often thwarts collective action. But organizers take note: 68 percent of respondants to the Working RE/OREP HVCC Survey: One Year On, agree that “refusing to work for unrealistically low appraisal fees could be an effective strategy for raising fees back up to pre-HVCC levels.” And 62 percent believe that “a national appraisal ‘boycott’ could be an effective strategy for calling attention to and changing current industry conditions” that they consider unfavorable to appraisers. Surprisingly, 65 percent say they “would join and contribute financially to an appraisal ‘trade group’ to advocate for appraiser interests.”

This comment, posted to our survey is representative of many: “Because of the nature of our business, our need to be independent and objective, we need one organization to be able to call us together as a group to boycott the unreasonable fees. Either this or we should go to a panel style, get rid of the AMCs and be able to receive a fair fee for our work. Some of the fees I see quoted from AMCs, with everything they expect, are totally unreasonable and whoever is doing the work could not possibly be making more than minimum wage if you consider all the time involved.”

We have established this place for appraisers to discuss this issue and organize. Leave your ideas and support here.

26 Responses to Organize and Discuss Solutions for the Appraisal Industry

  1. Al Lansdale says:

    It’s sad that appraisers are the one’s that are expected to rise up and revolt. HUD should be doing some police work on activities that influence appraisers. Fannie Mae can now create a “blacklist”, but why is it up to the appraisers to ban together? A union isn’t the answer or good for the economy. The answer is making it illegal for a loan agent to make a commission, illegal for AMC’s to create their own “alternative valuation products” that undercut compliant appraisers by using appraisers who don’t care, illegal for a bank to have an in-house 3rd party or create an AMC under a different guise, and actively smash anyone who gets out of line.

  2. Retired Appraiser says:

    Appraisers have had the power to TAKE BACK THEIR PROFESSION since HVCC was 1 day old. They will still be accepting $200 orders long after new demands turn individual assignments into a 40 hour plus task.

    BOYCOTT AMCs you idiots. I did all of the work for you 3 years ago by creating a website for you to organize. All you had to do was pick up the phone and mention it to ten other appraisers. It could have snowballed into a national movement within a matter of weeks and attracted national news.

    On May 1st you will be five years into this cluster puck of a mess and just a clueless about how to resolve it as you were in 2009.

    HINT
    SETUP A NATIONAL AMC BOYCOTT
    Ask everyone to signup 10 appraisers
    Stage it for 1 week (May 1 /5 yr anniversary)
    Wait for national news to kick in
    Grow a set and then extend the boycott

  3. New to Business says:

    This article was written in 2010. 3 years ago. No one will do nothing!!! It is getting worse and worse. Stop complaining or do something! When i spoke to someone in OREA in CA they told me that there are two scenarios for what will happen to appraisers: 1. AMC will distinguish appraisers as a race, and 2. If everyone will take time off work (i think we all can afford to take 2 weeks or 1 month off) we will get back to what it is used to be like. But it takes EVERYONE to participate. Unfortunately, i guarantee, there always be those who will ignore this boycott and trash the whole thing.

  4. Edd says:

    Pax (posted on 10/22/2010) came the closest to hitting this thing on the head. Our leadership refuses to recognize the importance to the profession of discussing fees.

    What boggles my mind is that instructors, regulators and apparently the industry leadership continue to pretend that the fee the appraiser accepts and how fast the appraisal is done are “business decisions” unrelated to anything else.

    Because of abuse, fees AND turn times are both critically important items of the scope of work in a residential mortgage appraisal.

    What boggles my mind is that appraising aspires to be a profession and yet appraisers price their services as if they were selling widgets and apparently will undercut one another in a heart beat. And then to make the situation absolutely surreal most appraisers blame AMCs for the low fee situation. We got AMCs because of HVCC and we got HVCC because we bitched about mortgage brokers.

    When the majority of appraisers put professionalism first and base their fee on the amount of time estimated to a thorough job we may have the foundation to effect change. Until then those of us who advocate professionalism will be percieved as nothing more than “crusaders” and whining ineffectively about low fees will remain the appraiser’s hall mark.

    Pax, it’s interesting that USPAP is a required course and nobody even offers a course on how to do a professional job on a URAR for two or three hundred dollars. I guess the assumption must be that the services and opinions of a trained and qualifed professional is worth ten dollars an hour or less.

    Unfortunately it does appear that the temporary solution is a part of attrition. But, it won’t be permanent. Remember, it wasn’t the lenders who asked for residential mortgage appraisals to be law and it takes only money to convince a politician about what is right and what is wrong.

    The solution is professionalism first and set the minimum fee for a URAR at $1,000.00 (that is about ten hours of work at a professional rate). If the thing can be done for less for some legitimate reason (which undercutting fees is not) then adjust the fee accordingly.

    We can fix this and nobody is going to do it for us. If you belong to an appraisal organization that doesn’t insist on professionalism first and won’t or can’t support appraisers being paid a professional fee then find another organization.

  5. raman says:

    I am so sick and tired of appraisers whining about AMC’s……We need to nut up, band together and fight back, stop the work nationally, honestly how long could it take, for people to notice.

  6. SANDU says:

    To Mr David F. Last ekk David B contacted me via personnal email, about ‘vulgar and indecent language, but it was not me. I suggest that if you realy expect any same appraiser to go to your website, you should first use the function ‘ Rename’ IT. Once done, I’ll be the first to look and lets’ see —About “occupy’ — it seems that does not work with inteligent people- I saw Brandon the bloodied young man – - I still do not agreee with his way of attempting to solve ‘social issues’-

  7. Retired Appraiser says:

    Yo u are wasting your time if your still writing letters and wishing that Congress will hand you back the keys to your business.

    For those of you who don’t realize it here is a bit of a shocker:

    BANKS OWN CONGRESS

    Appraisers have submitted hundreds of thousands of letters to these ARSEticrats over the past two years. They’re not stupid…theyhear what your saying. The problem is that banks contribute to their election funds. Appraisers contribute worthless letters to their staffs email boxes.

    Grow a brain appraisers. Stop whining and FIGHT BACK. You’ve had the power to shut down the mortgage market mid April through the NATIONAL APPRAISERS BOYCOTT.

  8. Sandu says:

    To Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick,

    We the Appraisers,
    The few and Proud and honest- I mean Honest
    We provide the fair market value estimate of each of the million of properties
    That are purchased/ sold in last decades
    Creating Huge profits to all bankers/ lenders/ middle persons, brokers,
    [ and in addition they got the stimulus money too ]
    Agents, investors and speculators, good money for all of those.

    Except for the person called Appraiser, Doing its job with high ethics
    And receiving the blames, and more blames, and more ‘guidelines on how- to – do ethical work’
    Yes, for decades,
    Excluding a deserving fair fee for his/ hers honest work .

    The mystical $300 fee for one family appraisal, for more than a decade,
    Was ‘given to every appraiser regardless of the appraisal complexity
    Just because was printed down of the mortgage originators’ form, decades ago.
    Free market free enterprise … it was moves the free people
    Except the American Appraiser

    Many appraisers are saying similar things in different ways, the bottom line is simple,
    Look at us, and see how un-ethical the American Appraiser is forced to conduct work, to make a living,
    While is being kept under the boot of ‘regulators, legislators, banks, politicians, presidents.

    I have believed long ago in very simple way to ‘regulate’ the appraisal industry,
    Before the state licensing days,
    Study, share your experience with the new appraisers, work hard and diligent,
    do your job well every day and sleep well at night,
    So you could enjoy life in America.
    Sad, but No – it is not an anecdote.

    God Bless America !

    Thank you Sir,
    Alexandru M. Pestesi
    917 650 3097
    AppraiserNYC@Hotmail.com
    aPestesi@gMail.com

    • FJG // Apr 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    ALL: IMPORTANT READ AND REPLY
    I will be meeting with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in approximately three weeks to ask for his support in stopping Banks and AMC’s from stealing our appraisal fees and to make sure the consumer gets what they are paying for.
    The Congressman is on the Financial Services Committee.
    It is my belief that this is the final showdown for our profession and I am not giving up on something I worked so hard to build the past 20+ years. Therefore I am personally taking action. Nothing will be Sugar Coated in this meeting.

  9. FJG says:

    ALL: IMPORTANT READ AND REPLY

    I will be meeting with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in approximately three weeks to ask for his supoprt in stopping Banks and AMC’s from stealing our appraisal fees and to make sure the consumer gets what they are paying for.

    The Congressman is on the Financial Services Committee.

    It is my belief that this is the final showdown for our profession and I am not giving up on something I worked so hard to build the past 20+ years. Therefore I am personally taking action. Nothing will be Sugar Coated in this meeting.

    You can help me.

    I have created an email address for you to voice your concerns. I will PERSONALLY hand your concerns to congressman Fitzpatrick to further support our position.

    Please do something for your profession. Be professional but direct with your opinion.

    Send to:

    ToCongressmanFitzpatrick@profapp.com

    AMC’s, Lenders and Banks are raking in Millions of dollars off the backs of appraisers. Take five minutes to help yourself today.

    Frank G.

  10. I think a “sit-out” as some folks have proposed will only hurt appraisers trying to get full fees. When they are “sitting out”, the appraisers who regularly accept cut-throat fees will still be accepting those fees – but more of them!
    -And why isn’t there more talk about how the Federal Reserve legislated their own rules? Clearly the reason and intention of the Dodd-Frank law was to exclude AMC data in fee figuring; yet, the Feds actually wrote a specific provision that allows for AMC fee data to be a measure – a loophole. The lawyer at the Feds I spoke to claims they weren’t influenced by big banks, but any reasonable person can see the nose on the face.

  11. Retired Appraiser says:

    Online Petition:
    Is asks the very regulators who created the Dodd Frank loophole to consider paying appraisers fair fees. What will they do if they don’t get fair fees? The petition doesn’t say. I suspect they will cry.

    National Appraisers Boycott
    Demands EVERYTHING that was stolen from appraisers through HVCC. What will they do if these rights and fees are not returned? They boycott all AMC orders. What do they do if the government still refuses to put an end to the rape? Appraisers agree to shut down the entire U.S. mortgage market.

    Grow a set appraisers. Join at:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/national-appraisers-petition-to-boycott-appraisal-management-companies

    Designed to empower appraisers who wish to take back their profession.

  12. Nancy says:

    The “reasonable and customary” fee MUST be defined based on the current “market value” of the appraisal, i.e. the cost to the mortgagor/mortgagee for the appraisal, any appraiser who does not understand “market value” should get another job.
    For example (arbitrary numbers), if the mortgagor is being charged a “market value” of $500 for an appraisal, and the AMC is only paying the appraiser $250 of that “market value”, they are definitely in clear violation of the Dodd/Frank ruling, particularly when non-AMC fees have been hovering around $350 for the past 5 years.
    The AMC, or other appraisal service should not be allowed to pay the appraiser less than 10% lower than the appraisal’s “market value”. For instance, a $350 appraisal would cost the mortgagor $385, no more.
    I have signed with an appraisal database (not an AMC) that does just that, the appraiser’s fee, +10%, and I am looking forward to them undercutting the AMC’s “market value” and aquiring all the AMC’s business in my area. Again, “reasonable and customary” fees = current “market value”, the “market value” of appraisals has risen considerably in the past two years, and the AMC’s are skimming illegally.

  13. Federal Reserve Board to Clarify Customary and Reasonable Appraisal Fees
    —Read it, sign it, pass it on to everybody you know, this effects homeowners as well as future homeowners in addition, of course, to appraisers.
    There actually is something tangible we can do.

    This petition has been available less than 24 house and already has over 3400 signatures.

  14. Retired Appraiser says:

    How many appraisers have changed their tune about a boycott after this latest Appraiser Fool’s Joke (Customary & Reasonable Fees).

    I laughed my butt off when many AMCs actually lowered their fees on April 1st.

    If you’re waiting for the government to save your butts appraisers, you will be waiting until HFO.

    Face it guys, until you grow a set and organize you can only complain about consentual rape. Perhaps your mothers forgot to teach you to “just say no”.

  15. Retired Appraiser says:

    What about those of us who choose not to live in a county with 2,000 or fewer home owners?

    What the @%*@ is the big deal with appraisers and an AMC boycott? Over the past 20 months you’ve given up around 50% of your income to AMCs (let’s say it’s between $50,000 and $150,000.

    God forbid appraisers make a stand with a boycott and give up $5,000 in fees to shut AMCs down permanently.

    Embarrassed that I ever belonged to this sorry group of losers.

  16. Northeast Appraiser says:

    Most appraisers in my area are together and we are getting paid fair fees. There will always be a few who are going to undercut and work for less. One of the things that has happened here is the appraisers charging $250 are getting weeded out by our State Board. It appears they have bee taking short cuts to make up the difference in quantity which has caught up with 4 last month alone. Our golden rule is if the AMC request is under $300 for a 1004 single family we counter with $500 to $600. If the request comes through with a fee of $300 to $395 the fee is $450 to $500. If the request comes through at $400 to $450 we most likely will do the appraisal for that fee. It has been our experience that the more they try to beat us down on our fee the worse they are to work for and the more reporting requirements they seem to have. We have been doing this the last 3 months and in the last month only 1 request has come through for under $400. I should also note we are in a rural area and there are very few licensed & certified appraisers left. This week alone I have had 2 AMC’s complain to me that they can’t find anyone here to do there appraisal and that we have a monopoly. I responded the low fees and added requirements have chased all the appraisers out. Bottom line is the AMC’S did this to themselves in my area. We lost allot of good appraisers here in the last year because they couldn’t make a good living anymore or just got fed up with all the ridiculous request and requirements. Hang in there and get together with other appraisers in your area and things will change. I can’t express how good it feels when you see a request be offered to you at $250 and a month later and 3 different AMC’S later the same request comes to you for $400 to $500 with an AMC you enjoy working for. Every week I see low ball AMC’S losing work to the good AMC’S because they can’t find an appraiser. We have put ourselves back in the drivers seat and you can to.

  17. phil says:

    I’m tired of being treated like we don’t count, when they need us I say lets organize. There are some groups already started we just all have to get together

  18. LEE says:

    Whoever is best organized…wins! Doesn’t matter if they are right or wrong. While Appraisers love our illusory independence banksters and other lenders are actively maximizing computer management of appraisals. No need to divide and conquer, we choose to remain divided…and and therefore are exploited. So far “they” haven’t decided that on site inspections can be performed by any thing but a person. I applaud this “blog”? Hopefully someone smarter than me will think up ways for us to infiltrate the new technology and insure our evolution/survival…as a “species”.

  19. LEE says:

    who ever is best organized

  20. Pax says:

    Like sheep we go to our USPAP course and the first thing the instructor usually says is “we can’t discuss fees here”…..Screw ‘em, it’s time we stop being our lil islands in the middle of nowhere and begin to do the things we were told not to do–organize and discuss, OPENLY. Who are the folks behind this? the lending industry most assuredly, those of us appraisers who’ve been going to war this past few years– we need to become the squeaky wheel and less like sheep.

  21. L.A. says:

    To Anthony S. I don’t know what area in the country you are from but here in the midwest Rels/Wells Fargo is charging the consumer $500.00 for SFR non complex & $6- $800.00 for 2-4 family. I know this for a fact. The fee’s in 2004 for SFR. non complex here was $350.00. 7 years later and we are not there….we are no where. Just as gas, the cost of living & the cost to do business rises so should our billable hour & flat fee. At 6-7% raise a year we would be right around $500.00 to $550.00 SFR non complex. Talking about fee’s is not price fixing. No one is telling anyone what they have to charge. Don’t let congress or the consumer, THE BANK!!! price fix our fee’s.

  22. sandra kirkpatrick says:

    Check out http://www.cacap.org California Coalition of Appraisers which is more like a PAC for appraisers.

  23. Reggie Bonanno says:

    I stopped working for AMC’s this year. Subsequently I have been on “vacation” from appraising and income. I have kept my license and CE current hoping for a turn around. Could the Dodd-Frank Act signal the the demise of AMC’s as we know them? I pray so.
    The AMC’s are making way too much off of our sweat, knowledge and expertise. I have no empathy for these Philistines. It is time to put a stop to them and make appraising an honorable and viable profession again.

  24. ANTHONY S. APPRAISER says:

    NY; bkly, queens, kings, richmond, nassau, suffolk,

    LSI and Corelogic:
    1fam & condo/coop $275.00

    2-3 fam- 425.00

    4 fam- They try to push 425.00 -450.00

    Exterior- 250.00

    Landsafe:
    1 fam/condo- 285.00-295.00 depending on area bkly usually the higher

    1 fam/condo- over 500k- 340.00-375.00

    multi- 495.00-520.00
    over 500k – 570.00-595.00

    Exterior- 240.00

    FHA +50.00

    Here are actual fees accepted by these companies. Any appraiser currently accepting less is an idiot…any appraiser currently accepting and getting more is an idiot for keeping it to themselves and not sharing this info as part of the solution to low fee hardballing in this industry… These fee’s by all means are yet not enough to keep us in business, but we need to stick together as one!

    with some exceptions such as complex properties etc. , minimum customary and reasonable fees to stay in business, cover slow month and time off, pay insurance and expenses, without antisipation or any retirement savings should be as follows;

    1 fam 350.00

    2 fam 500.00

    3 fam 550.00

    4 fam 600.00

    FHA +75.00

    Exterior 275.00

    OK, to those of you whom are getting less

    By the way…I just tried to refi with citibank(mngt co are LSI, rels etc)….the loan officer told me I would be charged $425.00 for a 1 family appraisal… this tells you how much we as appraisers are being shaken down.

  25. We, individually and collectively, are responsible for our future. Wishing for something impossible to be accomplished (abolishing AMCs) is a unproductive use of time and energy.

    As business people, we are responsible for the determination of our professional fees. Each of us has the freedom to say yes or no to each and every offer of an assignment. No chain is around our neck, hands or ankles.

    Rather than make an attempt to create a new organization in what we consider to be the perfect image, how about working with an existing organization from within, to mold it into the organization you envision?

    Here’s one suggestion:

    http://appraiseractive.blogspot.com/2010/05/appraiser-representation-represent.html

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