The Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association (TAVMA) says tech provider a la mode inc.'s recent analysis of independent appraisal fees is misleading, because it excludes appraisal management companies (AMCs), thereby omitting two-thirds of all of the appraisals done in the U.S.
a la mode, which markets appraisal-related technology and services, released its Appraisal Fee Reference (AFR) analysis last month. TAVMA says a la mode's report caters to the company's customer base, which TAVMA describes as individual appraisers and small appraisal shops.
‘The a la mode analysis attempts to redefine what is reasonable and customary using this analysis that cherry-picks results and implies that a small sub-group of the industry should dictate industry-wide prices,’ says Jeff Schurman, executive director of TAVMA.
AMCs provide a more accurate standard of what constitutes a reasonable and customary appraisal fee, Schurman adds, saying the a la mode analysis "distorts what is happening in the market and what fees should prevail for FHA work."
"As in any business, only the person performing the actual work would be able to say what is reasonable or required for a specific request," a la mode Chairman Dave Biggers said at the time the analysis was released. "In real estate, that's especially true, since every property is different. The key is that the AFR provides lenders and appraisers alike a logical, legally defensible starting point for that fee discussion and for [good-faith estimate] estimation."