The Title/Appraisal Vendor Management Association (TAVMA), based in Pittsburgh, has announced that its membership has developed ‘Standards of Good Practices in Appraisal Management’ – a set of guidelines for the appraisal industry. The standards outline best practices to help ensure that appraisal management companies (AMCs) and appraisers deliver quality, objective valuations, TAVMA says.
The standards attempt to codify long-time industry practices on a variety of issues, including local market knowledge and competency, distance appraisers travel, appraiser selection and communications, and dispute resolution.
"There has been a great deal of distortion in the press and on the Internet about the role of AMCs, the qualifications of the appraisers they work with, appraiser travel policies and the value that AMCs bring to the lending process," says Jeff Schurman, executive director of TAVMA. "Many of these stories are based on anecdotal complaints by third parties who don't regularly work with AMCs. In fact, AMCs are currently involved in over 60 percent of all residential transactions; over two-thirds of all licensed and certified residential appraisers work with AMCs; and preliminary results of a member survey suggest that the average AMC appraiser has 13 to 16 years' experience."
Developed over the past year with input from TAVMA members, lending institutions and appraisers, the standards address the following nine areas:
- supplier recruitment and coordination;
- appraisal order assignment;
- order tracking and workflow management;
- pre- and post-delivery quality control;
- appraisal delivery;
- customer service, dispute resolution and "client pressure";
- product and technology development and utilization;
- sales, marketing and administration; and
- training and development.
Other highlights of the standards focus on issues such as recruitment and qualifying appraisers; negotiating and setting service levels; quality reviews of completed appraisals reports; and developing a technology that permits auto assigning, tracking, reviewing and electronic delivery of reports.