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Accepting Payment via Credit Card

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Doug in NC

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
I know one of the simplest methods of accepting credit cards for appraisal service is by opening a Paypal account. How does this work and are there any transaction fees involved?

I have been asked 2-3 times in the past 6 months if I accept credit cards and it seems like a good alternative to asking for cash or certifiied check.

PS: Once account is set up, where do you send customers to pay, or how do you bill them using this method? I know AppraiserUSA has an option for this. Thanks.
 

Thomas Fiehler

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Ohio
You might do a search on this topic. What happens when the person requests a refund from the credit card company because the appraisal came in "too low". I will NEVER accept credit card payments. If they can't come up with the $$, they can get an advance from the credit card company!
 

Scott Kibler

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Take it from the husband of a former bank merchant services officer; you don't want this. Charge backs and disputes you cannot win will drive you crazy.
 

fritzvogel

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
New York
I've only had 1 problem in 9 years accepting plastic. Borrower had 3 appraisals all done by my office, for 3 different lenders. No lender would close the deal, so borrower wanted his last fee credited back. I sent the CC company (my bank) a copy of the 3 appraisals (done 60-90 days apart) and a letter stating WHY borrower could not get a lender to close his refi. I WON, kept the cash.
Accepting plastic has eliminated 98% of my collections and bad check charges. I do pay 2.75% per transaction, and setting up the system was free and easy from my local bank.
MB and lenders on my "watch list" must pay in ADVANCE by CC, I've heard from the borrower too many times "Appraisal fee?, nobody told me" or "it's all in the closing costs". NOT ANYMORE.
 

Billie Hiser

Sophomore Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
I use the freebie account from Paypal. It's a "wizard" that installs on MS Outlook. You send them an e-mail with a paypal button on it, they click and it sends them to paypal to input their cc info. Money goes into your account and you can transfer it out of paypal into your bank acct. You have to have a merchant account for it. I have cya statments on the email I send them to avoid the chargeback stuff, but I haven't had a problem yet. we have similar cya statements on our engagement letter/order form so I figure if I can't get it from one, I'll surely get it from the other. Anyway, it's easy to set up and use. I wish I had gotten sooner.
 

Dean

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Doug, i use paypal, i send people to a link on my website so they can pay. Only have one issue in 4 years, and i have accepted a lot of credit card payments.
 

GCJim

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Wouldn't a signed credit card authorization with a statement to the effect of something like this:

'It is understood and agreed that the appraisal fee of $__________covers the cost of the appraisal inspection, is due and payable at time of inspection, and is non-refundable upon or after inspection. The appraisal fee does NOT guarantee any particular value, value conclusion or outcome. Your signature below acknowledges that the property has been inspected on _________. Signed, homeowner/credit card owner'

be good enough / sufficient for a credit card company?
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I tried to use pay-pal to pay for a USPAP class that I'm taking tomorrow (using my credit card). What a PIA. I ended up sending the hosting organization a check and now I have to delete the pay-pal charge (which wouldn't process but shows as a pending and is charged against my account).

Here's my advice (and you will obviously weigh it against those who use pay-pal issue-free): If you are going to accept credit cards, get a merchant account. There are pleny of on-line companies that will do it for you. The ease (from your payee's perspective) and quickness of payment (from your perspective) will be well worth the merchant charge.

We have a merchant terminal in our office and process our CC payments that way; our volume probably warrants it. If I were a solo operation, I'd sign up with an on-line CC payment vendor.

My 2-cents. Good luck!
 

hastalavista

Elite Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Take it from the husband of a former bank merchant services officer; you don't want this. Charge backs and disputes you cannot win will drive you crazy.

Scott-

That's a risk, no argument.
I've only lost one charge in the 7+/- years I've taken CCs, and that's because I thought the payee had a legitimate dispute and I didn't fight it. The other two we received payment on (how many total transactions? I don't know, hundreds for sure).

It seems, however, that the majority of posters on this forum agree with your observation that it isn't worth the hassle.
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
PayPal has served me well.

I use PayPal. I have links in my price list for appraisals on my web site. I use different links for each basic type of report and use a separate page for FHA appraisals, but sometimes I send an invoice from PayPal. It has worked very well for me. There are fees, but they are inline with most credit card services. There are no fees except when you receive a payment.
 
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