By Jim Baumberger, CEO at First Choice Appraisal Management and Certified Residential Appraiser


State and federal appraisal regulators met in Seattle on May 4-6, 2018 to exchange information on the latest developments affecting the appraisal industry.  Appraisers, appraisal organizations – such as the Appraisal Institute (AI), the National Association of Appraisers (NAA), and several states’ appraiser coalitions – appraisal managers, and appraisal management companies (AMC’s) were also represented at the conference.

Attendees heard presentations from such dignitaries as James Park, Executive Director of the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC); David Bunton, President & CEO of The Appraisal Foundation (TAF); Mark Lewis, Chair of the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB); and Margaret Hambleton, Chair of the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB).  Jon Grace, Chief Appraiser, and myself (James Baumberger, CEO) were there from First Choice Appraisal Management (FCAM), so we could report back to Appraisers in the Western U.S. region.

Now that we’ve covered the alphabet soup of organizations present, let’s discuss the conference and the latest news.  The hottest topic of the day was definitely the forthcoming assessment and collection of the new AMC National Registry fees, to finance the creation of an AMC National Registry – similar to the Appraiser National Registry.  But while that is a monumental topic for the overall valuation services industry, it is not the most fascinating news for Appraisers, so we’ll defer that topic until Part II of this blog next week.

David Bunton shared some exciting news, which is way overdue in our opinion.  TAF is defining some industry Best Practices for Reconsideration of Value Requests (aka: ROV’s, Appraisal Appeals or Value Disputes).  While TAF’s Best Practices for ROV’s will be voluntary, they will set a high standard for Clients and other Intended Users to emulate.  It gets even better, because TAF is also developing a Uniform ROV form.  Widespread adoption of a standardized ROV Form will strengthen compliance, increase Appraiser efficiency, and – hopefully – lead to a reduction in the number of state complaints against Appraisers.

Mark Lewis explained the reasoning and support for the AQB’s recent lowering of the college educational requirements for Appraiser licensing and certification, effective May 1, 2018 as the new federal minimum requirements.  He also shared some of the many challenges with the PAREA (Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal) concept of creating exhaustive practical and virtual training modules to serve as a possible alternative to the number of experience hours required for licensing and certification.  Mark said the PAREA concept was not included in the recent AQB changes; however, the concept is still being explored and might one day replace some experience hours.

Margaret Hambleton provided a sneak peek at some possible future changes to USPAP.  Longer cycles for USPAP editions, instead of two years, are being considered.  The two Report Options are being revisited, as well as Scope of Work.  Other topics under consideration for possible future adoption include a Scope of Work for Reporting, incorporating Comments into the Standards Rules, and whether some of the Advisory Opinions need revised.  There were 13 new USPAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) issued in 2018 alone.

Please check back next week for Part II of this blog, when we’ll examine the new AMC National Registry fees, to finance the creation of an AMC National Registry, along with predicted impacts on Appraisers and for consumers, and the challenges ahead for state regulatory agencies and boards.  Thank-you for reading!