Sunday, December 3, 2023 | The Latest Buzz for the Appraisal Industry

Where Do I Start with Non-Lending Appraisals

Diversify your practice, strengthen your technical skills, increase the quality of your reports, and lessen your reliance on one type of client. Join us for our in-person CE Course, “Non-Lending Appraisals” with Josh Walitt. This course will be hosted in Denver on February 17th for only $149! We spoke with Josh Walitt to discuss all things non-lender he will be covering in this 7-Hour CE course.

Buzz: What is your background in the industry?
Joshua Walitt: Before becoming an appraiser, I was in retail branch banking, but I knew I wanted something different. I approached a friend who was an appraiser and learned more about what appraising involved. After training with him, I worked at his firm that was eventually acquired by a national company that had an appraisal firm division and an AMC division. I continued training appraisers and eventually worked up to a position of V.P. over compliance and operations. After leaving that company, my team and I provide mentoring, education, and other types of custom support to many segments of the valuation space, including appraisers and appraisal firms.

Buzz: What are some of the benefits to completing non-lender work?
Josh: There are two primary direct benefits from learning and performing non-lender work. First, appraisers gain a better foundational understanding of the appraisal process – what am I really doing when I perform an appraisal? In other words, if an appraiser only performed mortgage-related work (and there’s nothing wrong with that), the appraiser relies upon only certain forms and forms, solves for market value for the most part, and may not gain varied experience. Gaining a broader experience base in various types of assignments, the appraiser actually ends up providing a better service in all of his or her assignments, no matter the type. Second, it helps “recession proof” the appraiser’s practice. What happens when mortgage work slows to a crawl? Does the appraiser have clients in other spaces, like real estate agents, accountants, attorneys, and so on? One benefit impacts the quality of work and the second benefit impacts the financial side.

Buzz: What are some examples of non-lender work that will be covered in this course?
Josh: My Non-Lending Appraisal course covers a variety of types of non-mortgage intended uses, including pre-listing, pre-purchase, divorce, estate, IRS-related, and assessment appeal (sometimes referred to as tax rebuttal). We take a deep dive into the nuances, assignment conditions, and reporting requirements for each type, as well as broader discussion on questions to ask your client, engagement letter components, developing and reporting issues, and other requirements and best practices. Appraisers leave with their own engagement letter as well as a lot of excellent resources for each type of intended use.

Buzz: So who is the course really for? Who should attend?
Josh: Whether the appraiser has experience in non-lending appraisals and needs to fine-tune some details or the appraiser has little-to-no experience beyond mortgage appraisals, the course has something for everyone. I’ve had appraisers tell me they’ve been doing certain types of non-lending work for years, but they discovered new details which help them in their work. That’s always encouraging to hear. At the same time, though, it is appropriate for the newcomer. In fact, I believe trainees and newly licensed or newly certified appraisers should be required to have exposure to non-mortgage work. Again, it helps to round out the appraiser’s expertise and understanding what appraising is, because appraising is not just for mortgages.

Buzz: Why do you feel now is a good time for appraisers to investigate non lending work?
Josh: It’s a great time – especially right now – for appraisers to examine non-lending appraisal work for a few reasons. First, mortgage work is slower, so it helps to supplement the income. Second, and this goes along with the first, there is time to cross-train. It’s challenging to cross-train while you’re so busy, as many mortgage appraisers have been for the past several years. But now that it may be a little slower for some appraisers, why not take advantage and really solidify another skill? I always tell appraisers not to choose CE classes merely based on the number of hours they need for renewal, but to look for the particular topic that is most critical at that particular moment. At this moment, appraisers are looking to broaden their professional reach.

Make sure to join our in-person CE Course, “Non-Lending Appraisals” with Josh Walitt. This course will be hosted in Denver on February 17th for only $149. Register today!

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