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Archive for February, 2013

Optimism For Spring Selling Season

February 25th, 2013

The (Almost) Unanimous Verdict: The Real Estate Market is Improving in Most Areas

As this newsletter goes out, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index is about to be released along with other real estate reports later in the week.  We expect that they will continue to be upbeat about the residential and commercial real estate markets.

We have been highlighting many of these reports in recent issues and have little new to say about the reports from the past week.  They have been almost uniformly optimistic, including several reports we observed over the weekend indicating that real estate values were increasing in “Sandy” affected areas of the Jersey shore!

Time will tell.  This has been a difficult winter for appraisers who have had to deal with the aftermath of “Sandy” along with record-breaking snowfalls in many areas.  Not only are the valuation questions complicated but getting around in icy road conditions and trudging through several feet of snow adds physical difficulties to the cognitive ones created by “once in a century” storms and predicting the impact on the market appeal of waterfront neighborhoods.

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Appraisers Approaching License Renewal: McKissock’s 7 Hour 2012-2013 USPAP Online Course is Now Available in Most States

McKissock Education, the official provider of the Appraisal Foundation’s online 2012-2013 USPAP courses, is now available in most states. Last year, the Appraisal Foundation and McKissock announced their partnership and the online course is now available in most states. See if courses are available in your area and save up to 20% on course fees by going to our Online McKissock Portal.

Start saving up to 20% off of your continuing education course fees today with McKissock and Appraiser Help! 2012-2013 USPAP Courses Now Available!

CNBC Interactive Map: "Recovery Watch Map"

CNBC’s Diana Olick notes on Realty Check that “As the national housing market gains steam, CNBC is going local”. This link will take you to CNBC’s interactive map which offers quick summaries of major U.S. markets.

Taking the Real Estate Recovery Local

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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To help appraisers evaluate which AMCs are right for them, we have compiled this directory of over 200 AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete, up-to-date contact information and other details for each listing.

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

Start saving up to 20% off of your continuing education course fees today with McKissock and Appraiser Help! 2012-2013 USPAP Courses Now Available!

Preparing For Spring: Building Your Appraisal Practice

At a marketing symposium that I attended last week, the four panelists were asked to give their opinion as to the performance of social media sites in 2012, rating them as to best performing and most disappointing.

It is interesting to note that one of the experts named Google+ the best by far and the other named it the most disappointing.  Widespread differences emerged as to other aspects of social media but it was generally agreed by all that graphical depictions of information along with video were increasingly important.  Getting to the point quickly, 140 characters or less.  People (appraisers) are inundated with data. 

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A Few Suggestions

Do not forget the predictions of a declining need for mortgage appraisals as we reach the end of 2013.  Plan for this.

Place increased emphasis on building your private appraisal practice.  Start with appraisals for tax grievance and tax appeal, the season for this appraisal niche is just beginning in many parts of the country.

Engage in social media, experiment a bit.  Keep it interesting and relevant.  Don’t sell, tell.  Ask.  Listen.

Fire your least desirable AMC or least desirable client.  Find better clients in the time that you save doing minimum wage work for them.

Continue to learn.  Upgrade the technical end of your operation, both hardware and software.

Enjoy appraising! 

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Increasing Claims and Disciplinary Complaints Against Appraisers

In past newsletters, we have noted the increases in claims and actions against real estate appraisers.  While many appraisers are quite busy and take the attitude that “it can’t happen to me”, it is important to periodically review the “boilerplate” language utilized by many appraisers along with other risk management measures. wants to thank our sponsor the Landy Insurance Agency for providing a link to their newsletter which includes the article “Errors and Omissions Insurance and Claims Issues for Today’s Appraiser."

Landy Insurance Quarterly   

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Rates & Dates

On February 21st, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were up slightly to 3.56% from the previous week’s rate of 3.53%. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was 3.95%. 

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac is quoted as saying that: "Mortgage rates have been relatively stable, hovering near record lows, for the past four weeks which is helping to spur new home construction. For instance, new construction on single-family houses rose to an annualized rate of 613,000 in January, the most since July 2008. In addition, single-family building permits were up to the highest issuance level since June 2008."

In a press release dated February 21st, the MBA reported that the delinquency rate for one to four family dwellings declined to 7.09% during the last quarter of 2012, the lowest level since 2008.  Jay Brinkman, the MBA’s chief economist and senior vice president of research stated that “We are seeing large improvements in mortgage performance nationally and in almost every state”. 

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

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Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: California appraiser Carl Drake of Drake Appraisals in Redding California.  Carl covers all of Shasta County and part of Tehama County in northern California.  Carl was the first (at 4:16 a.m. Pacific time, up early working on an appraisal) to answer correctly that Maya Angelou was the author of the quote "If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love"; Blaise Pascal noted that "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing"; and Christopher Marlowe wrote that "Money can’t buy love, but it improves your bargaining position".

Today’s questions:

1. Who Said: "February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer."

a) Al Roker
b) William Shakespeare
c) Bill Korbel
d) Shirley Jackson
e) None of the above

2. Who said: "The really efficient will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure."

a) Donald Trump
b) Mitt Romney
c) Kevin Marshall
d) Henry David Thoreau
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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