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How Much Should Appraisers Earn?

Panel session at GTS 2011

May 18, 2011

By MortgageDaily.com staff


LAS VEGAS -- Ask two people how much an appraiser should be paid for completing an appraisal report and you'll likely get two different answers. But panelists and audience participants at the Global Technology Summit 2011 did their best to put a number on it.

The session, Collateral Valuation, was conducted Monday at the GTS 2011, which runs through Wednesday.

During a question-and-answer session, an appraiser who runs a company with more than 2,000 appraisers asked whether two reports a day was reasonable in a metropolitan area. One of the panelists answered that one to two reports a day was possible on a diligent and competent basis.

He pointed out how over the past two decades valuation data has become much easier to gather.

The appraiser noted that appraisal fees are around $450. Based on 40 reports a month -- that works out to $18,000 a month -- or around $216,000 a year.

"Eighteen thousand times 12 is more than the president makes," he said. "What is, no offense, what is competent ... and fair compensation -- $200,000 a year?"

The appraiser said that he paid more than 2000 of the appraisers at his company more than $100,000 in 2010. These appraisers do one appraisal a day.

The panelist shot back, explaining that an appraiser would have to work 16 to 17 hours a day, seven days a week to complete two reports a day. She also said that expenses have to be factored in.

"Should an appraiser get paid more than $200,000 a year to have a non-doctorate degree," the appraiser asked attendees.

The panelist explained that while fairly priced appraisals in metropolitan areas might be reasonably priced between $200 and $250, rural appraisals might reasonable cost between $450 and $600.

Another session attendee pointed out that the fees to appraisal management companies need to be factored into customary and reasonable, while another questioned the notion of one appraisal a day for an entire year, adding, "I want to work for that company."

Another speaker said that customary and reasonable is what the market will bear.

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