About this blog

This blog has excerpts from my FREE appraiser email newsletter, sent out almost every week since June, 1994. I started with 6 subscribers on Compuserve. Now it is up to almost 14,000 subscribers!! To subscribe to the free email newsletters and get them them when they first come out,, go to www.appraisaltoday.com and sign up in the big Yellow Box!!

I have been publishing a paid Appraisal Today monthly newsletter since June, 1992 with in-depth articles on topics important to appraisers. Click below for more info!!

7 Things an appraiser has to be thankful for



7 Things an appraiser has to be thankful for
Most Excellent comments By Tom Horne on his blog
I didn’t have time to contact Tom for permission to read his entire blog posting. It is worthwhile reading.
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative parts of our jobs, however I would guess that if we all thought about it we would find more positive Things an appraiser has to be thankful for things than negative. It’s always nice to have something like Thanksgiving to help us reassess our situation. Appraisers are no different than anyone else.
  1. Relaxed work schedule- The majority of appraisers work for themselves and enjoy a relaxed work schedule.
  2. You can pick and choose your clients.
  3. You’re in total control of your success.
  4. Good blend of working in and out of the office. I like my job because I don’t have to sit at my desk all day. I am able to work outside of the office during appraisal inspections which helps me to not get bored with what I am doing.
  5. You have control over how much money you make. A good part of owning your own business is that you are in charge of everything you do.
  6. Current trends in grassroots efforts. … some positive changes that have resulted from this is the trend in appraisers starting to take control of the situation and make themselves heard through the use of social media and state coalitions.
  7. Better tools for doing our job.
Read the details at:

Appraisal Today newsletter

Appraiser income and expenses


Appraisalport poll, 11-15, www.appraisalport.com
Considering all aspects of completing an appraisal (research, driving, inspection, writeup, etc.) what response do you think best represents your hourly wage?
My comment: Of course, this is gross, before any expenses, auto, insurance, MLS, software, etc. etc. I wonder about those making less than $25 per hour.
In the past year, have your operating expenses:
My comment: Expenses going up, nothing new. See above poll for hourly income. What is happening with your expenses?

Appraisal Today newsletter

Very funny appraiser commercial!!

  The podcast, The Wits End Broadcast, is very “off the wall”, including “fake” commercials. I suggested including an appraiser commercial. It is hilarious!!

Episode 4, the most recent, has the appraiser commercial – appraiser Candy Cotton, short – only 7 minutes long for the entire episode. Hits a lot of appraiser “hot buttons” ;>

You gotta listen to it!! Plus, check out her other 3 posted podcasts. Please post a comment on iTunes or Stitcher.


http://app.stitcher.com/browse/feed/75222/details Can link to social media, post a comment, get an app to subscribe on your iphone or android phone, etc.


https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-wits-end-broadcast/id1048415737?mt=2 The best if you use iTunes. iTunes has labeled the podcasts as “explicit”. Sorry, not much in them except for a brief very humorous reference to group sex in an early episode ;>  My iphone has Gigabytes of podcast from subscriptions, including this one. I gotta take off a week to listen to them!!


http://thewitsendbroadcast.libsyn.com/ – very easy to use but not many features such as comments, social media links and subscriptions.

About the podcast author: The podcast author and speaker is Lucinda Ryan, who edited my paid Appraisal Today newsletter for a few years when I first started it in 1992, and knows about appraisal issues. She is a former newspaper reporter and editor. Lucinda loves comedy writing and always wanted to do more, including writing for a few Famous Comedians and making lots of money ;> Maybe her podcasts will take off and I can say that I knew her “back in the old days”.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Fannie is tracking photos from appraisals

“(Bob) Murphy (Fannie Mae) does acknowledge that Fannie Mae is able to track photos in each appraisal, a practice many appraisers have long suspected, which means that Fannie Mae is able to detect when appraisers reuse comparable photos in different appraisals and flag appraisals which contain outdated photos as deficient.”

My comment: I have been hearing for awhile about appraisers who use the same smoke alarm photo in all their appraisals. Be careful out there. Fannie is watching!!

Appraisal Today newsletter

What are the most frequent adjustments that appraisers make?

Source: Corelogic

Using a national sample of approximately 1.3 million appraisal reports between 2012 and 2015, new analysis from CoreLogic shows which home features are being adjusted the most frequently, as well as which are being adjusted for the most money, thereby having the greatest impact on appraisal values.
So what is being adjusted and how often? CoreLogic analysis reveals that some type of adjustment was made on 99.8 percent of appraisal reports reviewed. Figure 1 shows the various features adjusted on appraisal reports in relation to how often that adjustment was made, as well as the financial impact, or value influence, it had on the appraisal report.
Differences in Living Area was the most adjusted feature at 96.4 percent. Other features that were adjusted on 50 percent or more of appraisal reports were Room, Car Storage, Porch and Deck, Overall Condition and Site Area. It is significant to point out that the frequency of an adjustment is indirectly correlated to the financial impact, as four of the top five most adjusted features resulted in relatively low average dollar adjustments. For example, Room adjustments were very common at 70.4 percent but had minimal value influence, recording an appraisal adjustment of only $2,246 on average. Conversely, a Quality Rating adjustment had the highest value influence, with an average adjustment of $14,748, but accounted for only 18.7 percent of all adjustments.
Although the adjustment features that result in the highest value adjustment levels (Condition, Quality and Location) are harder to quantify, appraisers are professionals who can do this and adjust their reports appropriately to reflect the most precise appraisal for the home.
My comment: Interesting results. The actual dollar amounts don’t mean much as they are aggregated from all over the country. But, the frequency of adjustments and their relative amounts are worth checking out. What I see is that too many adjustments are being made for items that don’t affect value much and are hard to support. Savvy appraisers are not making adjustments for items such as porches and deck. Many are putting 0 in the grid to indicate that no adjustment is needed. Some appraisers only make adjustments for market conditions and GLA. Other differences, such as condition and location, are considered in the reconciliation. For example, if the subject has superior condition as compared to the comps, a value on the higher end of the range of adjusted comps is selected.
Fannie is focusing on adjustments in the new CU 3.0. They have been focusing on Q and C ratings. I will be writing about what all this means in the November, 2015 issue of the paid Appraisal Today.
Click here to see the adjustments graph and full article. Very interesting and worth checking out.

Appraisal Today newsletter

Part time appraisers – how many and why?

Statistics from data on appraiser licenses from www.asc.gov, and other sources, do not identify how many are doing appraisals part time or not at all.

Why does it seem like there is an appraiser shortage in some areas? Of course, it is probably a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. But, this also spills over into non-AMC work as few appraisers are available as they are cranking out AMC appraisals and won’t accept non-AMC work.

I keep speaking with more and more appraisers who are no longer working long hours. There is almost unlimited demand from AMCs, but most of them do not work for AMCs. Or, work for a few AMCs that pay well and give them occasional work. Or, refuse to work for lower fees, so don’t get much AMC work.

Why do appraisers work part time?

– The median appraiser age is getting higher. Older appraisers (and non-appraisers) are no longer willing to work 60-80 hours per week. They often don’t need as much money as before. Children graduated from college, collecting social security, home mortgage paid off or have a low rate on mortgage, spouse retired, etc. I suspect that this is the primary reason.

– Fee appraisers are self employed. Many baby boomers that are employed want to work part time but their employers won’t allow it. One of my brothers started working in the printing business when he was 18. For the past 30 years he has been doing on-site printer repairs for national companies. He is 67 and would love to cut back to part time as he does not want to do a lot of driving, which his job requires. When he retires this year, there is no one to replace him. There are no new people coming into printer repairs, which requires expertise in computer software and printer hardware, and many years of experience. His employer says “no” to part time work.

– Self-employed appraisers, as we get older, can gradually cut back on how much time we spend on appraising. That is one of the best features of having an appraisal business. Also, if we start another business or get another job, we can often continue part time appraising.

– Not working but keeping license as a backup. Hard to get license back. Sometimes do an occasional appraisal. I always recommend keeping your appraisal license as long as you can. You never know when you will need extra income.

– Don’t work for AMCs and don’t get a lot of work from non-AMC clients.

I just look in the mirror. I limit the amount of work I accept. I don’t do any lender work and turn down non-lender work every week. I am 72, downsized my home, no children to support, collect Social Security of $3,000 per month since I turned 70. I worked very long hours appraising for 25 years, but 5 years ago I started cutting back on the hours I spend appraising. (I typically worked about 60 hours per week.) I get also income from my paid newsletter and ads for this free email newsletter. Most important, I need more time for my experimental music and videos, another big motivator ;>

I do appraisals and work on my appraisal business about 15 hours per week. My sfr fees are at, or slightly above, non-AMC C&R fees. I have little driving time as have been working only in my small city for the past two years – 10 minutes to go from one end to the other. I have an assistant that proofreads, invoices, etc. My typical time to writeup an sfr is about 2 hours. Total time is about 4 hours plus 1 hour for my assistant. There are few tract homes here.

What does this mean for you?

If you stay in the appraisal profession, even part time, you will have lots of work in the future. Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace, or cutting way back, in large numbers for all types of work.



Appraisal Today newsletter

How many appraisals per week and how much time to complete an appraisal report?


 How many appraisals per week and how much time to complete an appraisal report?
Source: Steve Costello at www.fncinc.com. Published 8-4-15
This month I want to discuss three recent polls dealing with how much time it takes to complete appraisal reports and how many hours you end up working to get them all done. In the first poll, we asked “On average, how many “interior inspection” appraisals reported on a 1004 do you normally produce in a week?” This poll was very popular with 4945 responses. There was a clear winner with the response of “4-6 appraisals per week” pulling in 44 percent of the vote. The next most popular answer of “7-9 appraisals per week” took quite a drop and only pulled in 20 percent vote. The last two available answers were those at either end of the scale and they were almost tied. A few appraisers really crank out the orders because 16 percent responded that they do “10 or more” appraisals per week. On the opposite end were those representing 17 percent of the vote who only complete “1-3” appraisals per week. My guess is that many of the people in this group may be semi-retired but like to keep active in the profession while making some extra money. Of course, any individual’s volume is going to depend a great deal on their specific geographic area and general complexity of their assignments.
In the next poll we asked: “On average, how long does it take you to complete a 1004 interior inspection appraisal report including inspection time (excluding driving time)?”
This was another popular poll with 4836 responses. The winner here was “4-5 hours” with 39 percent of the vote. Not far behind was “6-7 hours” with a 29 percent share of the vote. From here the numbers dropped substantially with 13 percent of appraisers going with the response of “8-9 hours”. That is really getting to be painful when it’s taking that long to finish each assignment. The most extreme answers both received the lowest number of votes. “More than 9 hours” was the choice of 8 percent of the appraisers with the final 10 percent going for the answer of “2-3 hours”. My guess is that the appraisers in that final group really have their system down to a science and fully utilize all the available technology.
Finally, we asked “On average, how many hours per day do you spend working on appraisals and appraisal related business?” This poll was the most popular of the three with a total of 5451 responses. The winner was “9-10 hours” with 37 percent of the vote. The second most popular answer with 23 percent pushed the level up to “11-12 hours”. The old standard work day of “7-8 hours” came in a distant third gathering only 17 percent of the vote. Not far behind were the 15 percent who really “burn the midnight oil” working “13 or more hours” per day. Only 9 percent work “6 hours or less” each day with most of these appraisers reporting at least 5-6 hours worked per day. It’s clear, and not at all surprising, that most appraisers are working very long hours there days.
My comment: Appraisers are working long hours now because appraisal volume is way up. If you are willing to work for low AMC fees you can get as much work as you want. I would have liked to see how many hours per week. I suspect many appraisers are working 6-7 days a week. I did, during previous boom times. These polls do not include time spent on revisions. I have some data below on that. Plus, the amount of time returning update requests – answering phone calls and emails.
How much time is spent on revisions?
 From the November 2014 Appraisalport newsletter
On average, how much time do you spend making and delivering requested revisions on any given appraisal?@ We had a total of 4870 responses to this poll. Nearly half (48%) of those chose the response of A10-30 minutes.@ This would seem about right for most minor to moderate revisions. Many must be making pretty minor revisions because the second most popular response with 24 percent of the vote wasAUnder 10 minutes@. Another 18 percent are having to take a bit more time and went with the choice of A31-60 minutes.@ A smaller group of 7 percent is having to invest some real time to make the revisions and picked the response of AOver an hour.@ The final 3 percent selected the answer of AI don=t make revisions.@ I=m not sure if that means they are doing an amazing job on every report and never get a request or if they just refuse to do any revisions!
My comment: Lots of appraisers complain about excessive revision requests, but this poll indicates that appraisers aren’t spending much time on them. The time may have increased since 11/14.
How often have you received revision requests that have no contributory value to the report, or were already addressed in the report commentary?” Sept 7 poll – www.fncinc.com received 3,273 votes

Appraisal Today newsletter

Why are appraiser phone numbers and email addresses so hard to find online?

I set up my web site at http://www.appraisaltoday.com in 1998. Every page has my name, postal address, phone number, and email address. If anyone wants to contact me to give me an appraisal assignment, or for any other reason, they can find me. I get a lot of work from my web site.

When working on an article for my newsletters, I often need to contact appraisers. Also, I give out a lot of referrals, as I am very busy and turn down a lot of appraisals. For more information on my appraisal newsletters, click the banner ad below.

My assistant spends a lot of time trying to contact appraisers for my newsletters. When she googles a name, such as Janet Johnson appraiser new mexico, sometimes nothing comes up. If they are on an old directory web site, the postal address is available. Asc.gov only has postal addresses. Some state regulators have phone numbers. Some appraisal association member data comes up, such as the Appraisal Institute.

Email addresses are hopeless. They are very seldom available anywhere.

Often the appraiser has no web site, even a simple one page with name, address, resume, and contact info. If there is a contact link, you must fill out a form to contact the person.

I guess they just want to work for AMCs that contact them. Not interested in any other clients, I guess.

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