What are Normal Appraisal Fees?
Ah, good question and one that is getting asked a LOT since the HVCC/AMC debacle of 2009 (and most of 2010) that skewed the fees appraisers receive to the ridiculously low while at the same time hiking the fees consumers were charged.
So the question really is, when the industry gets back to “normal”, what might be a typical fee charged by an experienced appraiser to perform a typical, single family residential appraisal?
Appraisal Fees, Researched and Presented
To answer this question, a la mode released the Appraisal Fee Reference (AFR) in February of 2010.
From the announcement:
“Using the data from hundreds of thousands of verified and validated appraisals, the AFR reports the median appraisal fees for each of the 3,221 counties and districts in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.”
In other words, the Appraisal Fee Reference is an incredibly detailed publication, much needed by the appraisal industry.
Appraisers need to be paid what the work is worth, based on the complexity of the assignment, the appraiser’s level of expertise, and the area of the country. No one can (or should) set industry-wide standard fees because that would run afoul of too many laws to list, but knowing what others charge for a service is a valuable piece of information. We hope that HR4173 (the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill) helps set the industry back on track and that it will be a win for independent fee appraisers.
You Rarely Get What You Don’t Pay For
If you are looking for an appraiser and are shopping for the lowest fee, be warned that if you shop too low, you may not get the quality of work that makes the appraisal worth ordering in the first place.
Do you want that question in the back of your mind? Do you want your client wondering if their deal went south because of a $50 fee differential that resulted in an out-of-area appraiser coming in from a less-expensive area to do the assignment? Experienced (and ethical) appraisers will pass (forgo) assignments that don’t compensate adequately for the work involved to assume the professional liability for the report.
I would love to open up the discussion on this topic, so if you have a rant, a question, or an observation, please post your comment and we can get the conversation going!