Automated Appraisals, AMCs Worry Appraisers

March 16, 2017

Most appraisers today are satisfied with their work, but they’re worried about the rise of automated appraisals and they’re not happy with appraisal management companies.

Those are findings from NAR research, released today, to provide a picture of the state of the appraisal field and to see if more needs to be done to bring new appraisers into the profession.

“The work of an appraiser is indispensable to our industry,” said NAR President William E. Brown. “Appraisers provide the credible, outside opinion on a property value that agents, lenders, and ultimately the consumer depend on to guide them through a transaction. If the regulatory burdens holding appraisers back go unaddressed, the challenge of providing that timely appraisal will only get worse. We have to work together as an industry to clear the way for appraisers to continue doing their good work while building an environment that encourages talented newcomers to get in the game.”

The survey culled through responses from more than 2,000 appraisers, including some who are no longer working in the business, and found that appraisers are largely satisfied with the amount of work they have and with the particulars around their work—like how much time they have to get appraisals in and how much they’re compensated.

Among other findings, almost 81 percent say they have a good amount of work, almost 79 percent say they have enough time to get their work in, and almost half of all appraisers say they’re satisfied with their compensation.

A bit more than half say they don’t make enough money, regulations are too much to comply with, and it’s too hard to build business through relationships, presumably because of the dominant role of appraisal management companies in commissioning business.

And while most appraisers say they plan to stay in the field for at least another five years, of those who say they’re getting out, most cite the regulatory environment they have to work in, insufficient pay, and increasing costs.

Looking to the future, about four-fifths of appraisers said they don’t train new appraisers, mostly because they don’t get compensated for it. But they also avoid it because clients rarely accept appraisals conducted by trainees and there’s liability connected to training. About half of appraisers who say they don’t train say they used to do it, which suggests the downside to training has increased in recent years.

Of the remaining appraisers who do train, three-quarters typically trained three or more people in the past year; the remainder trained just one or two.

—Robert Freedman, REALTOR® Magazine