Clarocity May Have Gone Dark…
VaCAP has learned from one of our members the Appraisal Management Company, Clarocity Valuation Services, may have gone dark. The VaCAP member has invoices for their services over 30 days old and Clarocity has been unresponsive to numerous emails and phone calls over the past several weeks. Additionally, new orders are being assigned through their portal, Appraisal Scope.
Virginia passed a 30 day prompt payment law that went into effect July 1, 2017. The statute is very clear that an AMC must pay an appraiser within 30 days from the initial delivery of the report. VaCAP members initiated this legislation to protect appraisers from exactly this type of abuse. See the statute here. Clarocity may be in violation of Virginia Statute and we encourage all appraisers that have past due invoices to file a complaint with DPOR. This can be done here.
As an FYI, Valued Veterans merged with Clarocity recently and Valued Veterans was found to be operating in Virginia without proper licensure in May 2016. See the letter sent from DPOR to Valued Veterans below or here.
VaCAP has also learned Atlantic1 is past due on paying some appraisers. Atlantic1 could not be found on DPORs website as a licensed entity in Virginia, but with some research we learned the owner of this company has a history of not paying appraisers. Mathew Moore, the principal of Atlantic1, has operated AMC’s under the name Newtown Appraisal Management, LibertyOne, Maverick, Atlantic-West and Palm Beach Appraisal Management. Lots of information is found by simply Googling any of these names. There is a complaint on the website RipOff report for his operations. See it here.
VaCAP cannot encourage enough to do your due diligence before accepting work from anyone. There are numerous groups on Facebook that you can get peer feedback on everything and there is one group specifically designed for AMC feedback. Take advantage of these great resources.
“Appraisergate” Scandal Uncovered
All appraisers need to listen to the Voice of Appraisal E182. Phil discloses an “Appraisergate” Scandal. AMC’s have gotten caught adding appraisal requirements that the lender did not request, nor does the lender endorse; one of which is the use of Appraiser Trainees. It is time for appraisers to communicate directly with the lenders. The lenders are being blindsided by what is in the engagement letters of their AMCs and they are not tolerating this abuse. Listen to the show here.
Have You Heard About Prohibition?
AppraisersBlogs published an article on how an AMC prohibits the use of third parties. The article is rather humorous, but it does make a point of how clueless AMC s are in what appraisers actually do and the resources we use to provide valuation services. This may be related to the “Appraisalgate” Scandal talked about on Voice of Appraisal, but the article suggests talking to your legislators about what is going on and supporting your state coalitions, as they are gaining traction. See the article “Prohibition is Back!” here. There are lots of other great articles on Appraisersblogs as well.
Let’s Talk Fees!
The 1004D form is a dual purpose form. The first part of the form asks has the market value declined since the original appraisal report and the second part asked if the construction is complete/repairs have been completed. The scope of work for these two options are quite different. The first section requires market research, analysis and a new USPAP compliant work file. The second option is merely verifying the work has been completed and references the original appraisal.
A recent waive of these Appraisal Update Forms are asking for option 1; has the market value declined since the original appraisal report. Your fee for these assignments should correlate to the amount of work necessary for credible results. Many AMCs do not understand the difference and will attempt to low ball your fee to the option 2 fee.
If you receive a request for an Appraisal Update, option 1, verifying if the market value has declined and you were not the original appraiser, think long and hard before accepting that assignment. If you choose to accept it, make sure your fee correlates to the scope of work and your liability in putting your signature on that certification. By completing that assignment you are certifying you agree with the original appraiser and the value; AKA, an appraisal review with a complete USPAP compliant file and certifying to any change that may or may not have occurred.
The Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals Participates in Giving Tuesday. We accept monetary donations as well as volunteer commitments. To volunteer your time, click here. To make a monetary donation, click here, or mail to:
P.O. Box 42314,
Richmond, VA 23242.
To join VaCAP, click here.
Thank you for supporting VaCAP
Coalition of Appraisers in Virginia at Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals
Coalition of individual appraisers working together to unite, promote and protect the collective interests of all appraisal professionals in Virginia; to promote needed changes in laws, rules, regulations, policies and standards affecting all appraisers in Virginia; to observe and report the actions of regulatory, legislative, oversight, and standards-setting entities of the Commonwealth.
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I am not “JUST” a residential appraiser!
There is no doubt that moving to obtaining a certified general appraisal license opens doors to varied and interesting work. If it is in one’s capacity to obtain this level, it is a great idea. That said, the idea of being “just” a residential appraiser has got to stop. A good professional residential appraiser who studies the market, knows how to analyze and solve a problem, and can communicate effectively and succinctly, is a very valuable appraiser at that!
As professional residential appraisers, we constantly work at honing skills. We work at becoming better appraisers every day, realizing that learning never ceases if one is open to it. As professional residential appraisers, we exceed minimum qualifications and minimum education requirements. Many of us have earned designations that take significant study and testing. Many of us spend a lot of time, money, and resources honing our skills and trying to improve every day. We work with most people’s largest single assets, and we are aware of that. We must be aware of nuances in buyer preferences, and how they change and evolve. We must be very aware of what is happening in our markets and pay close attention to changes as they start to occur.
Homeowners hire us because they have a real need. They need to have someone who is independent, impartial, and objective help answer questions they have. They need someone who knows the market, knows how to analyze segments of the market, and who can present their findings in a way that makes sense and is usable, regardless of the opinion of value. Homeowners hire us to answer questions as varied as “what will this proposed addition add in terms of value” or “what will my value be after I split off five acres from my seven-acre tract of land” or “will it be cost effective for me to complete the list of improvements recommended by my REALTOR prior to listing my house for sale”? There is a myriad of reasons a homeowner would want to hire us directly to answer questions.
Attorneys hire us to answer questions as well. They might need to know what the value of a property was as of the date of a marriage in 1992, and what the current value is. They may need to hire us to address what a property would be worth if there was no construction defect, as well as with the defect indicated. They need someone who is not only independent, impartial and objective, but someone who is knowledgeable about retrospective valuation, or understands construction properly, and can complete a report based on both the as if value, and as is value.
As residential appraisers, we often come under extreme pressure. Pressure to ignore issues with a property, pressure to turn in assignments too quickly and to cut corners, pressure to meet sales prices that are too high, pressure to appraise lower than market value to accommodate some interest or another. For someone who is proud of their work ethic and quality, and is independent, impartial, objective and knowledgeable about the work they do and how to support it, we will never be “just” a residential appraiser. We will forever be standing up for doing our work the right way and not bending to pressures. This is the mark of a professional. This is the mark of someone who takes the profession seriously and understands how important our work is.
For those of us who treat being a residential appraiser seriously, and as a significant responsibility, we will never be “just” a residential appraiser. Think about that next time the word “just” crosses your mind. We must change this narrative from within. Be professional, be the best you can be. Be proud of being a residential appraiser. I know I am!
Image credit flickr - Eugene Peretz
Rachel Massey, SRA
Certified Residential RE Appraiser at Ann Arbor Appraisal
SRA, AI-RRS, in the real estate field in the Ann Arbor area since 1984, 1st in sales, & full time appraiser since 1989. She has a Bachelor's degree from Siena Heights University with a real estate concentration, & is an AQB Certified USPAP instructor. Rachel was one of the original members of the Michigan Council of Real Estate Appraisers & has a passion for helping other appraisers through writing, teaching & with peer review. She has expertise in lake appraisal, Relocation appraisal work & other residential work in Washtenaw County and surrounding communities. Rachel Massey on e-AppraisersDirectory