Gaithersburg, MD (PressExposure) December 25, 2009 -- As we get close to the end of the year, itâs time to reflect on the appraisal industry from my perspective from 1993 â 2007, I was in the mortgage business and thought I knew it all when it came to appraisals and the valuation of property. When I interviewed for a career with Coester Appraisal Group and was hired, I personally thought the appraisal industry was going to be much easier than the mortgage industry. Needless to say, this has been a real eye opener. Coming from the mortgage side for the past 14 years has made me appreciate the trials and tribulations that both sides have to deal with.
On the mortgage side, the loan officer needs that one magic number- his value with as little or no revisions from the underwriter. To a certain extent, if the value is high enough nothing else really matters. However, on the appraisal side, there are 1,000âs of factors the appraiser has to deal with that do not have anything to do with the value of the report. This further emphasizes the need for the appraiser to be able to complete a report without the stress of being told what value is needed to make the deal work.
The accuracy of the appraisal should be the main concern and has been our focus at Coester Appraisal Group. The HVCC is, in effect, to keep a level playing field. The more appraisers can stand by their professionalism, timeliness and ease of doing business, the better it is for all. Is it perfect? No. But itâs new, itâs being tweaked, and it will get better as we move forward.
We now have a ârelearningâ of the industry intricacies. We, the appraisal management company receive the order, assign it to the best local appraiser on a rotational basis and follow-up and communicate until the report is received. Once received, one of our qualified review appraisers reviews it and looks for any inaccuracies. If they feel there are inaccuracies, they will require clarification from the appraiser before the report is sent to the lender. Unbeknownst to many of our clients, much care and work goes into these reports from all sides. This has been a real revelation. In the past, I used to think a loan officer ordered an appraisal, the appraiser goes out draws a sketch, takes a few pictures, and the appraisal software does the rest. Wrong!! This is a profession with so many rules and regulations and little situations that come up even with someone with years of experience.
A certified appraiser might not know what to do in a particular situation and reaches out to our staff appraisers for help. This becomes especially true for an FHA appraisal as the HUD appraisal handbook looks more like a phone book. I get calls every day from appraisers discussing reports with me on specific issues and once I think I have heard it all, there is something I never even would have thought of that comes up and needs to be addressed. On the mortgage side, I was a teacher but on the appraisal side, I am the pupil, at the feet of the new masters trying to catch up as quickly as possible.
From this experience over the past year with working with Coester Appraisal Group, I would like to tell all mortgage lending companies that the experience of their appraisal company and professionals does make a significant difference in the quality of the appraisals and will directly impact the growth of their business. To be the best company, you really have to work with the best, most experienced companies and hiring an âappraiser ownedâ appraisal management company for your HVCC Compliance, as well as FHA Appraisal Compliance, is your best bet.
I am asked often my views of the HVCC and new FHA Appraisal guidelines. I think it was a long time coming for no undue influence on the appraiserâs estimate of value. I believe the industry will come around and accept the change. It is very difficult for a mortgage professional to readjust from having control over the appraisal process, but the ones who are in it for the long haul will be just fine.