National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys conducted in 2010 indicated that more than 40 percent of respondents said they previously had problems with appraisals. They charged that appraisers too often used bargain-priced foreclosures and short sales as “comparables” for valuing houses that were not in financial distress. In addition, the NAR membership complained, valuation professionals traveled far beyond their areas of geographic competence and inevitably were out of touch with local market conditions. Worst of all, critics lamented that too many poorly trained appraisers had flooded the industry during the boom years and were getting the bulk of the valuation assignments from appraisal management firms. Today, realty agents say the appraisal landscape has improved somewhat. In the most recent survey, NAR pollsters found that the share of members reporting major issues with appraisal results was down to 24 percent. While that is still almost a quarter of all agents in the sample, it is a substantial drop from just a few years ago. Pat Turner, an appraiser in the Richmond, Va., metro area, said the sheer number of appraisers has plummeted in the past few years “and a lot of the less-competent, poorly trained [ones] have left” the business in the wake of the Great Recession. | Read More