What to Look for in an Appraiser

Given that the appraisal is one of the most critical steps in the mortgage process, it stands to reason that the choice of an appraiser and an AMC is an important consideration for lenders. So, what should you look for when searching for an appraiser? Here are three factors to help you select more wisely.

1. Start with Qualifications. The appraisal process has only become more complicated over the years, especially since the 2008 financial crisis that spurred Dodd-Frank and other legislation. Keeping up with a seemingly endless stream of new compliance regulations has become essential for avoiding mistakes and potentially costly fines. Qualified appraisers have acquired a level of education, ongoing training and licensing that enables them to stay on top of the process. Beyond state certifications, look for an appraiser with a designation from an appraisal organization such as the Appraisal Institute.

2. Location, Location, Location. This real estate cliché applies to appraisers as well. Appraisers who really know the area based on years of experience and specialization are generally more likely to provide appraisals that accurately reflect the values in a specific market. Look for an appraiser who is geographically competent.

3. What Company Do They Keep? Often, finding an appraiser boils down to finding the right appraisal management company, or AMC. The best AMCs maintain pools of qualified appraisers who are fairly compensated, properly licensed and know the area. AMCs typically house a quality control department to ensure USPAP compliance. Working with the right AMC can give a lender peace of mind regarding not only the right choice of an appraiser, but the entire appraisal management process.

Do you have more questions about choosing an appraiser or the appraisal process? Contact Janus AMC.

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