With fewer homes being sold, home appraisers have to travel far and wide to ply their trade. In the process, their work may not be up to your standards. Here are five “keys” to knowing whether it’s time to hire a new home appraiser.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than three out of 10 domestic home appraisers were self-employed, while most salaried assessors worked primarily in local government and for real estate firms. Lately, real estate appraisal firms have popped up on the scene, leading realtors to outsource appraisal work to such companies. Yet appraisal fees are in free fall as a result of the flailing economy.
Home appraisers don’t make a huge amount of money, either. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median annual earnings of wage and salary appraisers and assessors of real estate was $44,460 in May 2006 (the most recent measurement by the Bureau). The middle 50% earned between $32,080 and $64,460.
Unfortunately, with the downturn in the real estate market, and with big layoffs at real estate firms, fewer and fewer home appraisers are being forced to cover more ground. With the field stretched thinner, U.S. home sellers may wind up with a raw deal if the appraiser rushes through the job, or misses key criteria because they’re overworked.Further complicating matters are new regulatory codes from Fannie Mae (Stock Quote: FNM) and Freddie Mac (Stock Quote: FRE) that make it a tougher, longer process to thoroughly appraise a home.
But how would you know that an appraiser wasn’t operating on all cylinders? There could be lots of reasons, but these red flags would likely be at the top of the list.