Friday, December 8, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

What did appraisers learn?

The 2023 Appraisal Summit Recap

The Appraisal Summit embraced Appraiser Trainees and Supervisors with events specific to helping them in their roles. These types of events are critical to the success of trainees and those who supervise them. The George R. Harrison Scholarship Fund raised almost $4,000 for the Scholarship Fund and a little over $5,700 for the Appraiser Relief Fund.  Here are a couple of things that jumped out to me and that the appraisers in attendance really seemed to want to talk about.

Barry Phillips and Jason Covington had a great presentation on non-lender work where they touched on some simple steps every appraiser can do. One great point was meeting with realtors and setting up “lunch & learns” to explain to them some of the issues appraisers go through and how to refute the “dealkiller” stigma. Pam Teel and Heather Sullivan had a great session on Writing for your intended user. Their presentation touched on the “why” of the report, there is more to it than just the value. They need to use your report to evaluate the risk. She had a great line on supporting your appraisals, “This isn’t a mystery novel, you don’t need to surprise them with the value out of left field. Explain your thought process as you go through the report.” Heather Sullivan touched on over-improvements and how to handle homes where the homeowner overvalue their home.

On the afternoon of Day 1 Cathy Putegnat, Chris Shoemaker, and Jeff Morley talked about desktop appraisals and what is involved with those types of appraisals. The largest panel of the conference was “An Unbiased Opinion” Josh Walitt, Craig Capilla, Cristy Conolly, Byron Miller, Bryan Reynolds, and Gene Staples discussed the recent issues with appraisal bias and some of the different versions of bias. They touched on some of the things appraisers can do when writing their reports to be above reproach and make sure they explain everything with data-driven facts. Craig Capilla mentioned that subjective language is one of the first things that throws up flags on appraisals. Josh Walitt made a great point that appraisers don’t make the value they are at the mercy of the sales. There was a lot of discussion on “gentrification” which is not a term you should use in your appraisals. If there is a massive amount of improvements coming to the housing that’s increasing the value of homes in the area explain what is happening. While that used to be an acceptable term society has changed and that’s not a term to include in your appraisals.

On Day 2, Jessica Jenkins Tome discussed how appraisers can improve their own highest and best use by improving their technological processes to streamline their schedules, report times, and time in the field. Dr. Randy Flowers of RSDS highlighted some of the things they are doing to support trainees and bring more appraisers into the industry.

Lyle Radke and Scott Reuter discussed the new UAD and the market update. Lyle started his presentation by discussing how great it was to have 10 ADI scholarship winners at the Appraisal Summit. (One side note is that 3 of those scholarship winners were able to find a local supervisor at the event) A total of 550 ADI scholarships have been awarded so far and they have just launched the PAREA scholarship offerings. Lyle talked about some of the appraiser sentiment that Fannie Mae is trying to get rid of appraisers. He pointed out that Fannie Mae has spent millions on training new appraisers and creating the new UAD to improve the process for appraisers. That wouldn’t make much business sense to spend all that money, time, and manpower improving the process around appraisers just to get rid of them. Since FIRREA the GSEs have not been required to obtain appraisals but over the last 30 years, they have obtained over 200 million appraisals because they believe in the value they provide in risk mitigation. A lot of people will spread doom and gloom about the end of the appraisal. Don’t be afraid the future is bright. Technology and processes will advance and change how you do your job but we believe in the future for appraisers.

Lyle then touched on the subjective terms and showed some real appraisals that were submitted to the portal and some of the problematic language that was included. One of the interesting topics he touched on was the new AI recognition they are using to verify reports. They were able to confirm or dispute appraiser quality and condition designations. They found 157 reports where the appraiser was deliberately manipulating the rating to change the value of the home. Through AI they are also able to check for improbable daily values where it would be impossible for one appraiser to have inspected all those properties in one day.

Scott Reuter then took the stage and Lyle and Scott discussed the UAD Redesign. 11 different appraisal forms are being retired and there will be just one way to submit your appraisals now. The condition displays will change based on the values you enter. Appraisers will begin submitting appraisals through this portal in 2025 and all other forms will be officially retired by 2026. Scott Reuter also pointed out that starting next month all appraisals must use the ANSI standard. He touched on some of the Valuation Modernization policies and some of the changes they have for the different types of valuation.

Malinda Griffin and Hal Humphreys discussed navigating GSE and governmental websites and manuals. They offered real solutions for appraisers on where to find specific help on those. (And where not to look!) Peter Christensen flew back into town to discuss how appraisers can protect themselves from frivolous litigation. He also pointed out some cases that were going to trial and what appraisers needed to avoid in their appraisals. Mike Brunson finished the conference by looking forward for appraisers while glancing back at some recent stats. One concerning statistic was that 40% of appraisers are making less than $99,999 in annual total personal income. Combining that with his stat that over 75% of appraisers have been in the business for over 15 years it becomes concerning.

Overall, this was a great conference with a lot of great knowledge being passed around. It’s so important to network with those in the industry from around the country. It’s a lot of fun too. If you are interested in attending the next in-person conference it will be April 20th-23 in Colorado Springs, CO. Book your tickets for ACTS now and don’t miss out on the next chance to attend.

Mark Buhler

The Surfing Appraiser

Riding the waves of the appraisal profession can result in a range of outcomes and emotions over time. Appraisers, and surfers, have varying levels of

Read More »
Timothy Andersen, MAI, MSc., CDEI, MNAA

“Naked, Unarmed, and Alone?”

Question: “My state board recently charged me with authoring a misleading report. I got the client to write a letter to the state indicating my

Read More »