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Surveys Debunk Appraisal Industry Misconceptions

A new survey conducted by the ""Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association"":http://www.tavma.org/ (TAVMA) and the annual appraisal industry survey recently released by the ""Coester Appraisal Group"":http://www.coesterappraisals.com/ shed light on ""what is really happening"" in the appraisal industry.


In its survey, TAVMA, a nonprofit organization that represents 45 of the largest appraisal management companies (AMCs), found that on average, an appraiser working with a major AMC has more than 15 years' experience appraising residential properties. In addition, the survey showed that 87 percent of appraisers used by TAVMA members are ""certified"" appraisers, a designation that require more experience and an additional level of testing above the state-licensed level.

""We surveyed our members to answer the allegations that brokers and realtors have been making in the media, regarding the experience levels of AMC appraisers,"" said Jeff Schurman, executive director of TAVMA. ""Our member survey clearly shows that not only are AMC appraisers experienced, the vast majority hold the higher, certified-level, appraisal credential.""

The Annual Vendor Survey by the Coester Appraisal Group, a nationwide AMC, set strait one of the more popular misconceptions in the industry. Many believe AMCs earn a huge margin by paying appraisers $150-$200 while charging the borrower $450-$500. However, Coester's survey of 1,559 licensed and certified appraisers proved that to be incorrect.

Although appraisers quote lenders $350-$450 for appraisals, they net $250-$300 for a conventional appraisal and $300-$350 for an FHA report. This translates into appraisers receiving more than 70 percent of their original quoted fee and the AMC retaining the other 30 percent. Contrary to mainstream data reports, Coester's survey also showed that 64.65 percent of appraisers charge the same amount whether contracted through an AMC or directly by the lender.

Many do not agree with the changes that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) has brought to the industry, including the proliferation of AMCs, but Coester found that 71.1 percent of appraisers work for one or more AMCs. Coester said this appears to be a ""necessary evil"" in order to continue their career. Overall, appraisers rate their AMC experience as ""average."" Those surveyed cited the demand of quick turn times coupled with reduced fees for the average rating.

Some critics of the new HVCC guidelines also believe that appraisers are being sent outside of their neighborhoods to complete appraisals, but both TAVMA's survey and Coester's survey found this to be untrue. Coester said one-third of respondents travel an average of 15-20 miles, and an additional 31.4 percent travel 10-15 miles. This was consistent with the TAVMA survey, which indicated that the average travel distance for an appraiser is 13 miles.

About Author: Brittany Dunn


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