Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

The Mailbox is Full and Cannot Accept Any Messages at this Time. Goodbye.

I don’t have enough space in my voicemail anymore. I’ll clean it out and delete everything, but by the end of 1.5 days, it’s full again. My mother told me today that she called last night and was greeted with, ‘The mailbox is full and cannot accept any messages at this time. Goodbye.’ I get a few telemarketers’ messages. Rarely is there a message from a friend or family member. I would say about 90% of the voicemails that I receive are from an irate homeowner worried about a rate lock or a stressed out realtor wondering if they are going to close on time.

It’s no secret that appraisers are overworked. Turn times have exponentially increased over the past two years by over 300%. It’s no secret that AMCs and lenders have staffing and retention issues. The restaurant industry is not the only industry taking grenades in the form of understaffing. It is no secret that there is an underlying tension growing in the appraisal industry directed at appraisers, AMCs, and lenders. I do not have enough hard drive to write about all the compounding issues and possible solutions that could assist everyone in streamlining the real estate industry (call me, ASC), however, there is one major word that can decrease appraisal turn time as well as decrease the tension in the industry:


I know. This is such a broad topic that can apply pretty much anywhere in a real estate transaction and it probably seems I am phoning this article in…(Get it?… Cause ‘phone’…and voicemail from earlier?…I’ll see myself out). But proper communication throughout the transaction between all parties can ensure realistic expectations and streamline the process. Here are a few quick examples for each entity in the transaction:


Assuring that the appraiser has the correct contact information for an inspection is very important. There have been numerous instances in which I have not been able to get ahold of a contact for an inspection only to find out weeks later that the AMC gave me the wrong contact information.

Communicating quickly with the lender is an issue with the appraisal process. I’ve requested guidance on assignments from the lender in which the answer came after the due date. Most recently, I had a detached condo that was ordered on a 1004 which needed to be switched to a 1073. The closing date came and went before I got the go-ahead from the lender.

Have one point of contact for an assignment. Nothing is more frustrating than 17 people calling me on one revision because the employees of the company don’t research to see if I have been contacted or read the notes in the assignment.


  • Keep your end users informed and help them understand expectations. At least twice a week I have a realtor call me telling me that their closing date is coming up and I realize that the lender never communicated my due date (which is after the closing date).
  • I know that this is redundant but provide proper contact information. In my firm a majority of appraisal delays are because we don’t have proper contact information from the outset and then request the proper contact information and are provided with…wait for it…the exact same contact information.


  • Keep your AMCs and lenders informed of any delays. If you have issues reaching a contact, ask the AMC or Lender to reach out for you. If an inspection is delayed due to sickness or vacation, inform your clients.
  • If you have any questions or need more time due to a complex assignment, communicate with your clients. Most clients are forgiving and understand the stresses we have. They will understand more and are more likely to work with an appraiser who continues to have an open line of communication with them.

This was the easiest article that I have had to write because I believe that communication is the key to a lot of headaches in the appraisal process. If nothing else, if we communicate effectively throughout the appraisal process, appraisals will be completed more efficiently, loans will be closed faster, and I will have room in my voicemail for my mother to tell me that I don’t call enough…

Tom Armstrong, MAI

Is Commercial Work for You?

The Commercial Appraisal Path — What to Expect This article is for those interested in learning what it takes to add commercial and multifamily (4+

Read More »
Peter Christensen

An Inside Look at E&O

This article is featured in the 2023 edition of the Appraisal Buzz Magazine. Some other features we have in our magazine include funny Buzztoon comics,

Read More »