Appraisal Overload

Appraisal Overload

In our slowly recovering market, home appraisers are receiving demand like never before. Areas like Portland have received a 70% increase in demand for an appraiser; many are even booked out 2+ months. Here in Utah, we are also seeing an increase. But why, if the market is only improving slowly, are appraisers receiving such requests?

Several reasons contribute to this rush. The first being that the requirements to become an appraiser has become more and more encompassing over the years. Currently, to become an appraiser, a person will need a Bachelor’s degree, two years of apprenticeship (also called assistants and trainees) and have curriculum dedicated to obtaining a State Certified Residential Appraiser license. Previous requirements have been tailored differently.

In addition, businesses are finding it hard to justify paying a trainee. The market has called for already certified and prepped appraisers, many working on their own and not as part of a company. Therefore, lenders tend to deal with a few appraisers directly, and generally each person can only handle so much of a load. In other days, lenders would give applications to an entire business who would portion requests as the team had time, and many more people could be seen to. This older system also allowed for the simple training of assistants.

Since appraisal businesses have gotten smaller and the fees have not increased over the years the admission and growth into the appraisal business has become uncertain.

Appraisers too have hit a rut. With so many jobs and so few appraisers, countless appraisers working in the business tend to snatch up the jobs with the best paying rates and least requirements.

So where does this all go exactly? As the need for appraisers rises, the situation becomes apparent – hire more trainees. This may also lead to a surge in appraisers coming “out of retirement”. The requirements to become an appraiser likely will not change, but hopefully, the interest will pique, and current trainees will be allowed to inspect properties alone, as current practices have not entirely dictated it.

There has also been a call to improve the relations between appraisers and rule makers –which many believe is the root source of the dying appraisal industry–such as the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform bill. Relations with real estate agents, lenders, and appraisers are likewise improving with a fee increase and bonus incentive to get all appraisals done and completed within a reasonable time. Now is the perfect time to move in on the Utah appraisal industry as major reforms and demand skyrockets.

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