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Challenging Low Fees

According to appraisers, there are AMCs paying fair fees. To help appraisers through the appeal process against those who they feel are not, OREP.org/Working RE has established this Challenging Low Fees Blog as a place to exchange information. It is intended as a place for the trailblazers to share what they learn about the new processes so others can follow their steps more easily. If you discover a more efficient place or process to file a complaint, please post it here. You can also post responses from AMCs there and other related documentation. A number of appraisers have upcoming meetings with members of Congress to discuss the issue of customary and reasonable fees and have requested supporting documentation, especially from AMCs whose position is the status quo.

216 Responses to Challenging Low Fees

  1. greg Tompkins says:

    Just a thought,

    April 1st is coming up soon. This will mark 3 years since we were to be paid “Customary and Reasonable Fees”. On April 1, 2014 we should all stand up and start quoting fee’s at the rate we were charging before HVCC. This would send a message to the AMC and to the regulators.

    We have nothing more to lose.

  2. Retired Appraiser says:

    Great news from Gap today appraisers. They’ve moved forward with a $10 per hour minimum wage plan without waiting on Washington.

    What does that mean for appraisers? You now have an alternative to working at McDonalds PLUS you’ll get a huge raise from your current weekly check. No word yet on whether Gap will issue your check through a clearing house that takes 50% of your fee.

  3. Gary Terzyan says:

    Amazing! A group of professionals placing “MARKET VALUE” on property unable to evaluate market value for their own efforts / job. Anyone who thinks AMC’s set your prices are clearly not fit to be “valuation experts”. LISTEN! you are the only one who sets the price for any assignment. All you have to do is “SET YOUR PRICE” no one is holding a gun to your head. STOP the comments about low fees and do something about it.

  4. Thomas One says:

    I have an MAI designation as well as three other designations. In the past my core business was commercial appraisals of a specific property type.

    Typically my client was a bank but now the fees are so low that I rarely complete assignments for banks. I was considering dropping E&OE but at the renewal time time had some inquiries fro assignments but my fees are more than double the market rate. The market rate is about 25% to 30% of the fee charged when i started appraising 25 years ago. How is that for deflation. Fortunately, I do litigation related assignments, and international assignments that consulting work. Frankly i don’t describe my occupation as appraiser but as as consultant. The profession has been badly beaten back. I believe the banks have corralled our profession into a minimum wage profession I suppose at a level like their tellers. I recently reviewed appraisals for investor clients- and the quality was very poor with very poor judgments. I was very proud of the profession for most of the 25 years but now not willing to compete at the fee levels paid. 20 years ago i was blacklisted by a bank (my own actually) for criticizing their method of beating down the fees. I don’t work with AMC’s . We can blame our politicians for sacrificing our profession and our organizations for not having an effective lobby (e.g. like the Realtors) I would not be interested in joining any action group as I believe it is truly a dead profession. I do have sympathy for appraisers who have no option but to comply with the market condition. It is a life long lesson of where free market capitalism without any limits leads us.

  5. Angela Lee says:

    What about things from the home buyers’ perspective? We were just quoted $670 appraisal fee for a small, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home. The quote came from the mortgage company we intended applying to on this little house. While it would seem that (for whatever reason) investor purchasers must pay more for an appraisal than owner-occuupiers (even though there is, to my knowledge, no difference in the actual appraisal work) how can anybody justify charging $670??? The mortgage company says they have no choice – something about them being required to rotate through some appraisal company list per new federal regulations. Can anybody make sense of this for me please?
    Investment Buyer who feels chiseled by being told I must pay this amount.

    • Jack says:

      Only thing you can do is use another bank that charges less for an Appraisal fee, because the Appraiser would be getting less than half that amount so its the bank that is overcharging not the Appraiser.

  6. Karen M says:

    I’m real estate broker in Colorado doing a loan with a buyer who is using Wells Fargo in Utah. The loan officer told the Buyers that for an additional $150 besides the origianl Wells Fargo’s appraisal fee of $400plus, she would ask for a “speedy appraisal??”
    What is going on here??

  7. Fred says:

    I’ve watched my fees decrease while I have been working with AMC’S like every body else. However I have been working with AMC’S since 2005 long before the crash. I started working with them, as I got tired of having to go drum up new clients every month. As most every mortgage company I did work for had the same routine. Send over an order, need $150,000. Send over the completed appraisal with an $140,000 value, as that was all it was worth. Broker says hey yeah that’s ok, sends over another order. This was doesn’t meet his “number” and that’s the last you here from him. Out you go to find new clients again. Sound familiar? If it doesn’t then your either one of lucky few to have banks and credit unions who actually hold their own paper, or your one of the appraisers the broker went too to get his “number”. So I went to work for AMC’S, There was only a few of them then and they promised to not care about values and would act as a buffer between you and the home owner or broker. I took a $50-75 dollar loss for reports, but in return I got work regardless of the value, and no longer had to talk to angry homeowners and brokers whose homes did not appraise for the value needed for their loan. When the market crashed, suddenly there is AMC’S everywhere and my fee were suddenly dropped a $100. Not that I am defending AMC’S actions in the last few years, as I am feeling it too. Just wanted to point out they didn’t start out they way they are today.

  8. CA Appraiser says:

    You guys under estimate how many appraisers are out there doing $200 work with no issues. My work level slowed down recently so I started contacting AMC’s from the OREA website of approved AMC. I talked to numerous AMC and not a single one paid more than $250 for an appraisal in SoCal. Many were not taking new appraiser because they had so many willing to take the $200 fee. Now some other states might be different??? But these people that talk about boycotting??? #1 there are thousands of appraisers happy in todays economy to be making $1500 a week for doing 7 appraisal = $70k a year working from home. #2 no way could you get to the 100,000+ appraiser that are licensed in the united states to organize anything.
    also if you are truely making over $350 an appraisal and busy….be thankful you are and get off these message boards and stop complaing…. the people complaing should be the ones like me that feel forced to do this low paying work or try to get a job in the real world. i do $200-$250 work and make $70K a year. in this economy with over 10% unemployment in my area i dont have many options. what really bugs me is these amc’s are making millions of dollars a year skimming off our fees. again it would be great to say just dont do the work…but literary 10′s of thousands are for streetlinks, rels, pvc, etc….

  9. Angry Appraiser says:

    What has happened to our industry is a travesty. Initially I was furious at the AMCs (I still can’t stand most of them), but have since revised my views. What has become more clear to me is that where there must be an establishment of a required minimum fee (along with that for the appraiser), is that fee paid to the AMCs themselves! If all that is done is a minimum fee established for appraisers, but not for fees paid TO the AMCs . . . then this could put multiple AMCs out of business, leading to fewer, more monopolistic AMCs that will have too much power.

    Required MINIMUM fees, that is to say, base fees which may be added to, but not subtracted from, are an absolute MUST for both appraisers AND AMCs.

    I wish to GOD the appraisers of California would realize just how much power we have and focus on organizing work stoppages that would devastate the banks and AMCs, but not ruin the appraisers. What I believe would be the most effective along these lines would be to organize state-wide two week long boycotts of any substandard fees (below $450 minimum for SFRs/Condos and $800 for 2-4 Multi-units). The idea is to hurt the lenders/banks/AMCs who are taking advantage of the divided, weak appraisers and NOT hurt the appraisers . . . The vast majority of us can manage two weeks with no work out of a two or three month period of time . . . Further, the vast majority of us can manage this multiple times throughout the year. The banks/lenders/AMCs, on the other hand, would be crippled by this within one year. If this proves to be ineffective, then the work stoppage for substandard fees could be extended to a full month, which would certainly deal a series of devastating blows to these thieves.

    The main point is that there are no scabs in our industry (unless you consider newer appraiser’s willing to work for horrible fees) . . . they cannot go pull random people off the streets to do our job until we break and accept their crappy fees . . . we are not replaceable in any sense of the word!

    So my question is this . . . Why in the hell aren’t we doing this?!? Who are the people who are supposed to be representing our industry? Why haven’t they come up with a viable plan? Why haven’t they labored to coordinate appraisers statewide to this end? I believe the short answer is that they don’t really give a damn! It seems to me they are doing the bare minimum to collect their pay, offering little more than lip service to the Appraisers of California, and effecting little.

    How about we fire these clowns and get representatives with guts and intelligence to fight for our industry? How about WE do the same on an individual level?

    Personally, I am moving in the direction of commercial appraisal, for which I am both glad and grateful . . . but this is simply NOT an option for the majority of appraisers out there (it took me ten years to finally get my foot in the commercial appraisal door . . . and it only happened then because I KNEW somebody!).

    If anyone out there has any ideas about how the appraisers of California can come together in some sort of limited guild or organization or etc., with the only purpose being to pull together in our struggle for fair fees, nothing more . . . please . . . put them out there! And please respond to me . . . I’d love to hear them!

  10. Edd says:

    Thanks New Appraiser,

    You’ve wrapped up the AMC discussions with one short statement. But OMG, what has become of our profession?

    “Appraising is an easy step up from flipping hamburgers.”

    We no longer need to ask why AMCs persist with their ridiculous and counter-professional demands. It is because we offer employment opportunities to those qualified at Hamburger U. I’ll bet the courses there on market analysis and H&BU were challenging.

    How this ever came to be is the real question we should be discussing and dealing with.

    Clearly the AMCs do what they do because too many of us are glad we are no longer working only at McDonald’s.

    Keep raising that bar!

  11. New Appraiser says:

    I am a new appraiser , been appraising 6 months.
    My prior employer was in fact McDonalds.
    I am very happy with what these AMC are paying me, try working at McDonalds.
    My cousins are going to school now and they will be helping me with orders.
    Anytime you can make 170-225 a day….it’s a good day!
    You people cry a lot.

  12. When I challenged one AMC, they responded that they were using a la Mode’s average fee for our area. I responded to them that they are NOT allowed to use any other AMC for their analysis of what typical fees are. OF course, most do NOT know that a la MODE IS an AMC. IF a company has AMCs and Lenders AND brokers as clients, AND has an appraisal processing service, THAT the appraisers pay for, THEN IMHO, it is an AMC.

    When I complained about this problem to a la Mode, who at the time was my forms service provider, they said they were sorry that I was unhappy with their service, disconnected my entire office and REFUNDED two years worth of payments.

    Why does a la MODE report such low typical fees for most areas? Because the fees that go through their ordering service are from AMCs and other people that offer low fees. NOT VA, FHA, or Banks that pay typical fees.

    BTW, I NEVER got even ONE real order from The Xsite service. Even though I paid for it for over 7 years. The three orders I did get were cancelled and It took me forever to get my pre-paid order fee credited back.

    Just my two sense,
    Susan Wolfson
    Azalea Appraisal Associates
    Wilmington, NC

  13. Verna says:

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both
    educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that not enough folks
    are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy
    I stumbled across this during my hunt for something
    regarding this.

  14. Bill says:

    I told Epic Real Estate to take a hike. They use the appraisers money to finance their operation, and I warned them 2 years ago about how they were stealing from appraisers 2 ways. They wanted the appraisers to lower their fees; but I never saw them raise their fees when the fair and reasonable thing surfaced. The other way they steal is to only pay twice a year.

    Everyone needs to tell these guys to go away.

  15. Retired Appraiser says:

    Linda

    Can you elaborate on exactly how you intend to “go down fighting”? The majority of appraisers appear to have the idea they are somehow fighting back when in reality they are doing nothing.

    Did you join the AMC boycott when the opportunity was presented to you a year ago? THAT my friend is going down fighting.

  16. Linda in Louisville says:

    Seems the latest strategy by AMC’s to get appraisers to work for even lower fees is to “hire” them and give them benefits such as health insurance, workmans comp, 401k savings plan. Problem with the fees they pay no one can save anything! It’s barely enough to live on. They say it is not “exclusive” so you can do appraisers for others. Unfortunately they require at least 5 a week and expect you to do theirs first, so who would have time to do appraisers for anyone else!! I have had DataQuick contact me. They pay $140 for a urar! Are they insane!!! The “benefits” they offer could easily be compensated with 1 or 2 of my regular fees for an appraisal each month. Also I have to pay my gas and at $4.00 a gallon, that is a lot. Also don’t forget about wear and tear on my auto and computer expense, internet, software, MLS, etc. I have seen a couple other AMC’s offering similar pay. They offer you consistent work load, but seriously…I could make just as much money working at a Walmart or McDonalds! I have put too many years into this profession to let them tear it down…I’ll go out fighting!

  17. B Stuart says:

    I have been discussing the problems freely on well known Appraiser blogs – I guess THAT was wrong if I want to keep working. AMC giving me most of my biz has cut me off, will not return emails or speak on phone – but I did get the hint before the cold shoulder, they didn’t like appraisers who bad mouth AMCs. All I did was discuss the problems we all face without names mentioned in open manner and in an appraiser to appraiser forum. Ah well.

  18. Working Appraiser says:

    Data quick, http://ls.dataquick.com, sent me an email the other day saying they are looking for staff appraisers who can work for them and still do your normal course of business. All they wanted was for me to complete 8 appraisals for them guaranteed. I was like great send me over some information and I’ll get back to you. The guy sent me an attachment with there fees they paid. $170 on a 1004URAR. I couldn’t believe it. They also only pay a trip fee if the borrower doesn’t show up if the lender pays. So you basically have no control over anything. Sad thing is that appraisers do this work because they are guaranteed 8 jobs a week. As an appraiser I’m not asking for an enormous fee. I get paid an average of $300-$375 for an appraisal. If the home is complex or larger is square footage say 4000 square feet I get $450-$550. If it’s over 1 million $600. $250 or lower is crazy. Especially when the AMC is probably getting atleast $400-$450. I know for a fact a lot of appraisers are doing work for Streetlinks at $250 because they are first ones to get the orders.

  19. Kamikaze Appraiser says:

    Georgetta

    It’s a pipe dream. Only a handful of people who have access to 60,000+ appraiser email addresses exist:

    Alamode
    AppraisalBuzz
    Working RE/OREP

    I wasted 3 years trying to coax these groups into helping appraisers by sending out emails so appraisers can organize and boycott. All refused.

    Note: Working RE/OREP was kind enough to provide this space for appraisers to complain to each other however. Unfortunately that doesn’t go far in solving the problem.

    Best of luck. Keep dreaming!

  20. georgetta says:

    Creating a day once a week for all suffering from low fees and sticking to that same day may have an impact. The problem is getting this message to all of the folks at once. There is no real coordinator to do this because you must be organized for anything big to happen. I see Chris Pearson’s name are you the blogger or are you associated with appraisers? Is there anyone that is willing to be in charge? If not then I guess we have a serious problem and it will continue unless someone is willing to put in a lot of work because it will take much work to organize something that will have an affect. There are still lots of low paying AMC.

  21. John Pratt says:

    I wrote this a few moths ago, since that time I will only accept assignments which pay $ 400 or more, reviews $ 350 or more. May fees for the last 3 months have average over $ 425 and over $ 8,000 / month. I turn down request every month for a variety of reasons. Just think if no one responds to those request ( and I don’t) for any request under $ 300, the AMC with have to up their price. If they offer $ 300 just reply with a fee of $ 400, 80 % of the time you will get the assignment. Also I do not let the AMC set the due date. There are 60% less appraiser today then 4 years ago and the work is increasing. This is the time to raise our fees and only the appraisers can do that.
    Open Letter to Appraisal Blogs
    Every appraiser in the U.S. knows the negative impact that the AMC’s have had on income of appraisers over the last 3 years. The appraisers and the appraisal industry have done several things over that period to get appraisal fees back to reasonable levels with little success. There has been an enormous amount of time and effort to get the government to solve the problem. Let me tell you, if you are waiting on the government, hell with freeze over and you will be in the poor house before things get better.
    All appraisers know that the requirements and pressure put on us have increased over the past 3 years with additional forms, types of report (forensic, expanded, enhanced and others), turn times and other requirements. Additional educational requirements to become a Certified Appraiser, 2 year degree required to upgrade in addition to require more basic and continuing appraisal courses and longer training periods. I am not saying these are bad or unnecessary things, just that the fees paid to appraisers have not increased to correspond to these changes. In addition there have been several increases in the cost to produce an appraisal including but not limited to E & O insurance, software cost, MLS fees, travel expenses and many others.
    I was getting $ 375.00 to complete a standard SFR in a suburban area 5 years ago, more if it was in a rural area. Today I get request, broadcast, from AMC’s for as low as $ 225.00(I don’t even respond to these) and sometimes they will increase the fee slightly and send it the following day and continue this process until some appraiser accept their fee. It is time to change this process and the appraisers are the only ones that have the power to do it.
    Appraisers need to realize that we have the Hammer. The AMC’s have agreements with their Lender clients (appraisers are not part of that agreement) to produce and deliver appraisals, they NEED appraisers to fill this commitment therefore the appraiser has the hammer if we stick together. It is time that the appraisers band together and call a Holiday or 2 or 3 or even a week if necessary. NO appraisals will be accepted, worked on or completed during this time frame. After this date (pick a date Feb 1st,March 1st or whatever day) the minimum fee for a SFR 1004 will be $ 500, more if it is out of town or additional forms or requirements, $ 800.00 for multi-family, 2-4 units. If the appraisers stick together the AMC’s will have no choice but to pay the fee, they need to service the needs of their clients and produce an appraisal and they can’t do it in house.
    I realize that not all appraisers will stick together but if we could get 75 % to band together it would work. The other 25% could not handle all the work that is out there and the turn times would be unacceptable to the clients. The appraisers got over 16,000 signatures on a petition to send to the government which produced few results, we need to take matters into our own hands.
    NOTE: I do not accept assignments with reduced fees, my fees for 1004’s average over $ 400.00 and for reviews form 2000 over $ 325. and multi-family over $ 650.
    John Pratt, Certified Residential Appraiser

  22. AJ says:

    You guys all talk about these great AMC’s. I took another job rather than keep appraising because the only work I was getting was the $200 range. If you idiots weren’t so afraid of something stealing your secrets, the AMC’s would not be a problem. You have forced out so many good appraisers-they have to work for peanuts!!!! If you’re getting more than $250 for an appraisal now days stop griping!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Maria says:

    Reply to “Richard” March 20 – appraisers who accept these low fees and brag about it? You are ruining this profession (which I have been part of since the 1990′s). I hope the quality of your work doesn’t reflect the fee you are being paid. I feel that I my experience and appraisal quality are worth more than these ridiculous AMC-generated fees. It is people like Richard who are perpetuating the problem by giving AMCs and lenders this option – fastest and cheapest, they’ll get what they pay for.

  24. Dave says:

    Shame on You richard.

  25. richard says:

    go ahead and not accept the work, I have no problem doing them for 200+. I get work all the time and now am in a position of financial stability. DO I STILL WISH FOR DAYS OF $350, sure but then again I dont have to deal with the loan officers anymore or have to do those comp checks. The home value is what is it now and no more bs adjustments to help hit a value . As for the reviewers conditions that they sometimes ask for, I ususally just send the report right back without any changes and they just send it on. I even get conditions for stuff that is already in the report. The reviewers have a real hard time reading I guese. The more of you leave the business the more work I will be getting. Off to the bank with another check from my lovely AMC that HAVE ALWAYS PAID ON TIME.

  26. Taylor says:

    I have refused to do the cheap volume AMC appraisals and stuck with banks and small inhouse type management companies. Have been able to maintain a reasonable fee structure. One of these small co’s is hiring another peroson in the management and trying to cut the appraisers fee to compensate for the new hiree. What is wrong with passing this on to the consumer/borrower. The new hiree does not lihhjten my load any and I am expected to pay for it? I’m tired of being at the bottom of the food chain.

  27. Jim says:

    As far as appraising is concerned, I am just hanging on until I reach retirement in a few years. No trainees, no staff. Cutting back on serving underserved areas, as no one pays for driving 3-4 extra hours, gives me time to take local work and relax a bit more. As a real estate broker, I can go back to selling real estate. Appraisers should bill more like lawyers for time. That would probably backfire and the banks would get the rules changed to eliminate field work. I think that is more likely than paying the real costs of field appraisals.

  28. Riick says:

    Anyone here remember reading about the young woman who stopped Bank of America dead in its tracks on charging a $5 or $10 fee per month to use ATM card?
    If I recall correctly, she tweeted and passed around (via the WWW) a petitiion to complain & stop BOA from assesing that fee.
    Same sort of steps should work for killing the banks relationship to AMCs.

    We need to let the public know that
    (a) They are being grossly overcharged for appraisals by the AMCs, and
    (b) ***As a side issue*** appraisers are being grossly underpaid.

    Opinons!?

  29. Ed Carrillo says:

    Low fees = low quality. The idea of informing lenders of how little AMC’s are paying their appraisers (below the norm) can go a long way toward making AMC’s more competitive in terms of their fee structure.

  30. Jim Plante says:

    You guys are amazing! Complaining that the AMC’s won’t pay you $300 for a 1004 is shortsighted. My base fee is $600–and that’s for the simplest of the simple. When it takes 25-30 pages to meet the analysis and support requirements desired my today’s lenders, the fee has to be higher. I won’t do a $1MM+ house for less than $1,500.

    And while I agree with the complaints about PCV, Rels, and CoreLogic, I did get an order for diminution in value on 250 acres of land for $2,500–from an AMC! They’re not all bottom-feeders.

    I summarily reject any AMC that has a 20-page contract. Period. I won’t even read it. On advice of counsel, I neither admit nor deny carrying E&O insurance. Turn time? I can’t forecast that until I see the property (rural area, no zoning, no permits; could be anything.) Background check? You’re free to do that–at your own expense.

    Take control of your professional lives. Quit quoting fees that were standard and customary ten years ago. And be worth what you charge.

  31. Jorge Velarde says:

    This thing about the AMCs paying low fees has become a puzzle to me. I can not understand how is it that the “PROFESSIONALS” as we appraisers are called, would take whatever fees the AMCs decide to pay. I don’t ever remember going to a professional (Physician, or a CPA etc.) and paid what ever I wanted to pay. Why? because they are the “professionals” and they set thir fees and are rendering the services. So,…. if you are a proffesional appraiser, then you decide what to charge! When the economy crhunch down came to, I lost most of my clients, and had to start soliciting work from AMCs like anybody else.
    I went through hard times, I couln’t get work because of my fees, but I did not sell myself out, nor did I prostitute myself for whatever fees the AMCs would pay. I declined a lot of orders and I let them know how much my work was worth. To this day, I don’t do 1004s for less than $375.00 for not complex appraisals. I take pride in what I do. I can call mysself a “professional” I do good work and I charge for it. I know some of the answers to this;
    I charge $200.00 because “I have to eat” …….
    yeah? well … if you have to eat go to some governmental agencies and they will feed you for free, in the mean time refuse to work for peanuts! simple as that. When ALL Appraisers do that, then we all be just fine and will eat a lot
    more than ever.

  32. JAMES says:

    WHY DO WE NOT JOIN THE UNION. THEN WE CAN LEGALLY STRIKE. THIS WON’T HAPPEN WITHOUT UNION HELP. WE CAN SHUT IT DOWN…

  33. Mike Ford says:

    When people start thinking that a $300 fee is ‘adequate’ for a 1004MC/UAD Compliant 1004 URAR, complex SFR over a million dollars, then something is seriously wrong. When people tell me they regularly do two or three appraisals a day, then something is ‘wrong’. It cannot be done (and still be fully USPAP compliant).

    (1) Start telling clients how long a GOOD job takes on ALL assignments. (2) Start charging for your time. IF a simple URAR PROPERLY completed, takes only 8 hours, then charge for 8 hours! At $50/hr that is $400. Our overhead is a minimum of 25%. My SSI is 15%, My adjusted tax rate is usually 28% to 35%. At the low end, that reduces the 50/hr fee down to around $22.95/hr. I did not get into this business to earn $22/hr.

    I base most of my own fees on $75/hr for routine production work. I have raised my expert witness fees from $150 an hour to $300 an hour after two attorneys laughed in my face at how low they were at $150 (low enough to raise creibility questions).

    ANY and ALL AMCs offering only $195 (LSI) to $210 (CoreLogic & others) for SFR assignmetns should be shut down immediately. The 97% deficiency findings (75% egregiously deficient) by FHFA in recent lawsuits involving both the aforementioned should be all the proof one needs about the negative impact of low fees.

    In Southern California, I cannot imagine anyone doing a non complex SFR, within conforming loan limits for less than $450 (what I charged over two years ago), yet AMCs keep saying they have pleanty of appraisers who will work for less.

    Frankly with 1004MC (when PROPERLY researched and actually analyzed as opposed to auto populated software); and the new requirements under UAD for far more explanatory comments on items that used to be self explanatory in a grid (at least it was self explanatory to those familiar with appraising), even fees of $450 are inadequate. I feel $600 is more reasonable.

    I routinely charge from $750 to $3,500 for complex, or especially complex and difficult, or very high end housing appraisals; and have quoted up to $8,500 for estate complexes in the tens of millions ranges.

    Real professionals understand when higher fees are warranted. They may negotiate these in good faith, but usually understand that they are not going to get ‘amc range’ fees for quality work.

    I urge boycotts of all AMCs.

  34. angry at jvi says:

    JVI is not making payments which are overdue. Just to alert others who are hard working appraisers. It doesn’t matter how much work you get and at what fee. If they don’t pay , it doesn’t count. To make matters worse we have to accept and deliver the reports thru appraisalport. We are losing money from the gitgo. What shame to a company owned by appraisers.

  35. Jim Davis says:

    When I get a request for less than $350 for a 1004 I tell them that $350 is our R&C. If they are not willing to pay that I tell them to call me back after THEY have received a 40% pay cut.

  36. Lynn Kerchen says:

    As of 1/1/2012 I will lose my best customer to an appraisal company/AMC. At best they are offering 65% of the fee after 90 days. 60% for the first 90 days. I am not willing to work $210 or $240. I have no respect for the man who owns the company and has never been a licensed appraiser. Boycott MI FHA Appraisals, Synergy and MI Credit Union Appraisals.

  37. Laura says:

    CoreLogic, RELS and iMortgage…are CRIMINAL. I have reported to the States Attorney. These companies should be boycotted 100%. I cannot comprehend why appraisers do not STOP taking work below C&R. I hear “but I need the work” however if no one would take this low ball work, then you would have to be paid full fee. Full fee here is $350-400 1004/FHA. There are AMC’s who pay this.

  38. SoCal Appraiser says:

    Greedy old appraisers are all the same. Can’t wait for you old farts to die or retire. You cry about AMCs and about only earning 80k vs. the good old days of 100k+. A typical appraisal takes a few hours to write. At $200 a pop you’re looking at $66/hr. Most of you have no other option but to appraise. At $400 you’s be earning around $133/hr. I’ve seen many of you in my CE courses. Where are you going to earn that much in the real world? There is a new breed of appraiser out there that isn’t so much concerned about earning 5 times more an hour than his neighbor. $66 an hour works fine for me if forced to. Fortunately I have some good clients and don’t do the $200 jobs. Also, data sources and running the “shop” are minimal. Crying over a couple of grand yearly that is deductible make you look like trivial fools. Keep crying while I take your money to the bank. Oh yeah, I don’t like AMCs but have to work and am not bitching about not being overpaid anymore. Go out in the real world and let me know how well you fare.

  39. MARC SEIGLEMAN says:

    oh sorry forgot about CLEAR CAPITAL- probably worse than PCV MURCOR- while PCV doent pretend to be anything other than what they are Clear Capital staff act like they are your buddies- fellow appraisers- i spoke with one regarding a question on an order and he was “clueless” – I had to ask him if his parents had any children that lived… yuch

  40. MARC SEIGLEMAN says:

    Although I am sure there are plenty of them out there, by far the worst offender is PCV Murcor. These “bottom feeders” routinely offer $200 fees from Citibank on orders that they are in fact getting paid $450.00 which had been told to me by several homeowners. They also have the unmitigated gall to deny fee increase requests by stating that they are not getting paid enough to give them and when asked what they are getting paid they say they cant discuss that.

  41. Don says:

    I have worked directly for US Bank for several years at 390 for URAR which was the lowest fee I accepted from clients. Now with UAD, MISMO, extra photos the fee is no longer reasonable. The manager of the fee panel told me tough #### when I complained about fees. He has daily requests to join the panel at those fees, take it or leave it. Unless other US Bank appraisers complain too nothing will change.

    Also I think Baron Kelly T above is right, if they tell you how to dress, when to work, report,check in etc they may be violating California State law for contract employees.

  42. Baron says:

    KellyT-

    When they start treating you like an employee it is time report them to the IRS and state employment tax authorities. The amount of control over an individual worker determines employer tax status.
    I do it and I love the results. Some of those control freaks need tax audits. It helps them think straight.

  43. Baron says:

    Don’t blame the AMCs. The exploitation would not be possible if it were not for weak-kneed appraisers, especially the newer ones who think of themselves as form fillers as opposed to traditional Professional Appraisers. Two things are needed at this time: one, learn to say no: two, solidarity within the ranks is important.

  44. Rob says:

    IF you are serious about getting better fees, then you must set a minimum fee you are willing to live with and STICK with it. When you get calls you must state the minimum fee our company will do an appraisal for is ?? I have been doing this for several years, now I have over 20 clients, one of which is RELS and none pay less than $300. I currently have a $450 order from RELS, I had to explain the reason for increase fee and it was accepted. I currently have over 15 open orders all over $300. There is also a key to getting better fees – QUALITY, I consistently have review appraisers say I receive top marks on my reports. At least once a week some company calls (credit unions, AMC, banks) asking to add my company to thier approved appraiser list – most of the time it is they have seen my work and know the quality of the reports. Do quality work and become known for it and stick to your fee schedule, the work will come! Life has never been better for my company! Other companies are trying to steal my apprentices, inbox is full and I have great clients! But it started 10 years ago with quality and integrity!

  45. Mike Ford says:

    DS and JE above are both right. STOP WORKING for sub par fees! Get another part time job outside appraising if you have to, but stop accepting inadequate fees. We have already proven we can force fees back up ‘partly’. It is those who keep accepting $300 or $350 for what should be $400 to $450 jobs, or even more, that are perpetuating th elow fees.

    Give up mortgage transaction work completely if you have to! Set your fees based on assignment complexity and the time it takes to do them RIGHT and in full compliance with USPAP. The number of complex assignments I see that should be done by certified appraisers, being done by lower licensed people leads me to offer the following: Complex as a term may be arguable, but USPAP compliance is not.

    Dont risk your license and reputation for insultingly low fees. Turn the work down unless you can spend the time it takes to do it right! My website offers some free (copy as you like) fee analyses.

  46. KellyT says:

    An AMC I have done some business with not only pays below CR fees (which has limited the amount of work I will accept) but now wants higher coverages on my E & O insurance and auto insurance. My responces was for them to use better appraisers that are better drivers. The cart is leading the horse again.

  47. JE Phillips says:

    I work in rural areas and set my own fees. If an AMC says the will pay only $250 for a 1004, I tell them that they have to pay reasonable and customary fees, and since I am the only appraiser who will go to these rural areas, my reasonable and customary fee is $425 to $500. I would guess that I get 90% call backs with fees approved.

  48. Street Links in Vegas pays between $263 – $290. Normally we would charge $350 – $400.

  49. D.S says:

    I’ve been an appraiser for over 40 years and the current fees go back almost 25 years. It is really foolish to accept fees that are going to force you out of business. You younger/new appraisers need to face the facts and just don’t except these low fees. You will never be able to make a living at these low fees. All appraisers need to join forces. We should be paid for our hard work, as we are normaly the ones being blamed for all the problems in the mortgage industry.

  50. L.A. says:

    Wake up appraiser’s. The year is 2011 & soon to be 2012. I have been an appraiser for 10 yrs. & the fee for a non-complex residential appraisal has stayed in the $300.00 dollar range since day one. Ever heard of giving yourselves a cost of living raise. Well I have no doubt that the appraisal fee the consumer is charged $500.00 as reported on the HUD statement in our state is every bit mine & yours. Since 2006-2007 it would be a $30.00 per year raise! Come on! The amount of work, dedication, experience & education dictates that. Reading the blog we seem to be happy to make $350.00. Blah!!!The AMC does not provide a service to me. We should not have to pay for an assignment or pay to deliver one(Appraisal Port). Absolutely Ludicrous!. More over there is not one other profession where fee’s or billable hour is dictated by the gov’t. Please! My damn CPA charges me per page. My attorney charges me for every phone call & cereal is $4.00 a box soon to go up in a grocery store in your area.

    L.A.

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