An Appraiser's Christmas Wish List
It's a busy time of year. In our large family of 7 kids each year they fill out Christmas Wish lists. It gives us some gift ideas. Of course, not everything on their lists is granted but it is fun to see what they wish for. The lists have always been in a notebook but this year I put them on Google Docs. It was great. While looking at their lists, I began to think what would I put on a wish list as an appraiser. Here are a few things I would wish for: 1. Appraiser Independence - Dodd-Frank did give appraiser's independence and helped separate the direct pressure placed on appraisers to make values. The appraiser has to be an unbiased independent party. Currently, there is some discussion that Dodd-Frank will be eliminated and there is much to be changed. My wish is to keep appraiser independence. We do not need to go back to where appraisers are pushed to make value. 2. Customary Fees- Within this past year, much needed fee increases did occur in many markets. My wish is that they continue. I have been appraising for over 10 years and the cost to provide an appraisal along with the time it takes to complete have increased with only a slight increase in fees. 3. Appraiser Representation- Recently there was a Congressional Hearing, Modernizing Appraisals. It was interesting to hear all of the testimony and there were good points made but it was evident that appraisers do not have a strong, unified organization that represents us, like the National Association of Realtors is for realtors. They are many state and national coalitions. They are great. I am a member of the Association of Texas Appraisers and the National Association of Appraisers. Both are terrific. It is my desire that we have a stronger, more unified group. In 2010, the Appraisal Institute left The Appraisal Foundation and it just seems we have splintered representation. 4.Understanding- The reason I started this blog is to help others understand what an appraisal is, what appraisers do, and how we do it. It is still my continued wish for others to understand the challenges we face, the appraisal process, the importance of an appraisal and how to help make the process run more smoothly. 5. Appraiser Connections- Appraisers tend to be "lone wolves". In recent years, with the help of social media, I have been able to connect with other appraisers across the nation. It has been great to be able to learn from each other. There are appraiser Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and wonderful podcasts such as Voice of Appraisal. It is my wish that we continue to connect, grow and learn from each other. Appraisers, what do you wish for? What would you add to this list? Above all, it is my wish that anyone reading this has a wonderful holiday season spending time with your family and friends and that we all have a terrific New Year!