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Appraiser Survey Shows Challenges Remain for Practitioners

There’s been a lot of talk within the industry about appraisals lately, especially on issues like turnaround times, higher and/or “rush fees,” and the challenge of bringing new appraisers into the profession. The National Association of Realtors® just released fresh survey data from over 2,000 appraisers that offers some fresh evidence of what’s driving the conversation.  Here’s what NAR’s survey uncovered:

  • Training is a real issue. Few seasoned appraisers are doing it, and those who do often do so for no pay. One challenge highlighted is the unwillingness of lenders to accept appraisals performed in part by a trainee, as well as concerns with liability. Fewer than 20 percent of appraisers train others.
  • Appraisers are working to address turnaround time: But there’s less willingness to perform FHA/VA loans. Appraisers also complained of lower compensation from bank-owned asset management companies, or AMCs, as opposed to work done for law firms, lenders, and independent AMCs.
  • Dissatisfaction with the profession is high as challenges with FHA, others persist : The average tenure of an appraisal hovered around 22 years, but roughly 10 percent of respondents said they may leave the field within 5 years. Frustrations with regulatory burdens and insufficient compensation are the top two reasons cited for a desire to leave.

NAR has worked with FHA closely to address some of these concerns, and those conversations are ongoing. NAR President William E. Brown says improving the system is critical for to addressing challenges in the marketplace and noted that importance of appraisers in the broader home buying and selling process.

“The work of an appraiser is indispensable to our industry,” said 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.”

Brown added that reducing the regulatory burden is not only good for business, but may help entice new appraisers into the profession.

“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 full survey is available here.

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