Posted by Jonathan J. Miller -Monday, August 22, 2011, 9:14 AM
actual AMC (car) factory
AMC Factory For a year and a half, our firm tangled with the bureaucracy of Landsafe, the poster child for the appraisal management company (AMC) industry. While not all AMC’s are bad, their relationship to the mortgage process is fundamentally flawed. The estimation of market value of mortgage collateral to enable lenders to make informed decisions has been commoditized to the point where most mortgage appraisals are generally not worth the paper they are written on. This series is from an appraiser’s perspective, about a profession left to die by the side of the road.
Incidentally, some may view this series as providing cheap shots since it is always easy to pick out unflattering examples of misconduct in a large industry. You bet it is. After what good appraisers have observed over the past several years, the AMC industry deserves nothing more than that.
River Views Less Valuable Because of “Smelly Fish Boats”
Here’s one broker’s experience:
…client in [Manhattan] (urban market) could not buy the 10th Floor river-view apartment he wanted because his bank assigned an appraiser from Suffolk County, Long Island, (suburban market several hours away) who appraised it at less than the recent sale price of a 3rd Floor apartment in the same line, which had no river-view, and the client was short $20,000 cash which he did not have; the appraiser explained that where he comes from residences near enough to the shore to have a water-view, always have lower value perhaps because of the smelly fishboats. The bank would not do another appraisal because of the belief that all appraisers in a state are equally able to appraise any property in that state, no exceptions. So the client had to move into another rental apartment.
Local market knowledge is the primary qualification to hire a specific appraiser for an assignment. Merely having a license in the same state as the subject property to be appraised does not make someone competent.
A continuing refrain among real estate agents is that the appraiser came from another market, often 3-5 hours away. Not something that was the status quo in prior years.