Those of you who desire to ‘read the minds’ of those players with direct bearing on appraisers will want to read the latest TAVMA newsletter. TAVMA is the Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association – a trade organization now with diminished membership (only 27 + 5 affiliates) from its heyday in the mid-2000’s.
The lead article is written by Jeff Schurman who use to be the Executive Director of TAVMA. While in that position, he often wrote articles not very complimentary to appraisers or to the plight we have in being paid fairly. At the time, he advocated the AMC ‘wholesale price’ model in paying appraisers, and lobbied against AMC regulation at the state level.
Now, he’s beginning to question that model and the viability of the appraisal profession.
Mr. Schurman has his own consulting business (associated with TAVMA), and has a Blog in which he writes about mortgage lending issues. http://www.mortgagethirdpartyriskblog.com/
In an entry on April 10, 2012 he states this:
“The current environment is not conducive to attracting large numbers of young professionals into the appraisal business. I doubt anyone would seriously dispute this claim. So if the appraiser population continues to decline it will one day dip below the relevancy quotient.”
That brings me to the AQB. While many appraisers were sleeping, or sitting on their thumbs, the AQB instituted new ‘requirements’ for a person to qualify to become a Certified Real Estate Appraiser – either Residential or General (Commercial). Existing state certified (licensed) appraisers will be grandfathered, but effective Jan. 2015, an applicant for Certification will have to have a 4 year college degree.
In practical application, due to time-in-grade requirements as a trainee, an applicant will have to have a 4 year degree by December 2013, otherwise will not qualify to become a certified appraiser.
The ‘licensed’ category does not have such stringent requirements, but FHA and many lenders WILL NOT USE a ‘licensed’ appraiser. Some states are moving away from, or have eliminated, the ‘licensed’ category.
Are there those among you who really believe a 4 year college degree is absolutely necessary to appraise a residential property? The fallacy of that argument is that somehow a sheepskin equates to quality work. That’s absolutely wrong. Quality work comes from within the person in terms of their own attitude, ethics and willingness to learn, and has nothing to do with a 4 year degree.
The result of the AQB action, and the AMC model paying lower than ‘real’ fees parallels the concern Mr. Schurman expresses.
These are the real threats to the appraisal profession viability long term, not the UAD process instituted by Fannie/Freddie or report data acquisition that I see so often expressed.