Where Did All of the Appraisers Go?

I’ve been in the industry for 37 years and, until recently, have not ever had an issue with finding appraisers for assignments. But, boy has that changed, especially in rural areas!

There are several reasons, and they are intertwined. Did you know that the average appraiser’s age in 63? If that’s the average, the past years have seen more and more appraisers retiring. Their shoes haven’t been filled and for a good reason. The number of appraisers nationally has shrunk over 20% since 2007, and it will continue to drop. Some estimates are that there will be an additional 25 to 30 percent drop in the next 10 years. If we think it’s hard to find an appraiser now, it will only be worse in the future!

In the past 10 years, the requirements to become an appraiser have greatly intensified. Required to become a Certified Residential Appraiser is a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 200 specialized education hours, and 2,500 hours of training under the supervision of a Certified Appraiser.

Part of the challenge is economic. For almost 10 years, the Supervisory Appraiser has had to complete a physical inspection of the subject property, in addition to the Trainee. There just isn’t enough fee for both to be paid adequately. In addition, there has been increased concern over the liability to the Supervisory Appraiser. In the end, there isn’t enough incentive for an experienced appraiser to take on a Trainee.

There are rumblings of change happening. The Appraisal Qualifications Board, they set the national training standards for appraisers, has started reviewing options for change. That’s good. The GSE’s (Fannie and Freddie) are moving to allow trainee’s to inspect without the Supervisor if they have enough experience. All this change takes time, but in the end, the shortage of appraisers will balance out.

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