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Why Are We Seeing Fewer Appraisers in the Housing Industry?
By Zoe Eisenberg
RISMEDIA, Tuesday, March 21, 2017— Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: In recent years, there's been a lot of talk about the importance of appraisers and all that they do for the housing industry. Despite this, the number of appraisers continues to dwindle and the turnover time between when appraisers enter and exit the field has slimmed. These trends beg the questions: Why are we seeing less of them, and is this a concern? To address this, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Research Division surveyed 2,000 respondents to learn all about the current appraisal trends.
 
"The work of an appraiser is indispensable to our industry," says 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."
 
Some of the main takeaways from the survey are below:
  • 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. The average tenure of an appraisal hovered around 22 years, but roughly 10 percent of respondents said they may leave the field within five 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. 
For more information about current appraisal trends, please visit www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics.
 
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia's senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

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