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If the Appraisal Groups are not doing the job, then what?

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Elite Member
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
O.K. I've seen the War of the Words between AGA and others. This amounted to a raising of temperatures and voices and did not solve our problems. The AI is only interested in the commercial side, as is reflected in its trends to benefit the commercial appraisers while providing no support to the residential members. The other organizations appear to be virtually invisible except as a social club and local meeting group.

So, if no one out there is acceptable to the vast majority of appraisers, now what?

The bottom line is that there has to be a unified front for appraisers. If all the residential appraisers joined one organization, no matter which one, we would have some clout. However, there will NEVER be enough appraisers to make a difference without support or adjuct membership with another organization, be it NAR, Mortgage Association, whatever. 90,000 people nationwide in a country of appx 275 million means nothing to Congress.

I don't have an answer. I do know that the AI is not the answer unless it is taken over by the residential people. However, the bylaws and costs are such that it will never occur. But there needs to be a unified front, a unified organization that looks out for the residential appraiser. Because, as our founding fathers put it, if we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately. And I'm too old to go changing professions now.

By the way, Bill and Steve. Let's not start this into another yelling contest. We need answers, not volume.

Roger Strahan, SRA
Denton, Texas

Residential Appraisal Ser

Sophomore Member
Jan 26, 2002
Roger: Thanks for your thoughts.

The Guild started its 4th year in March. When we were first formed we thought that we had a no brainer. We were interested as a organization to cover the bases that the "Professional organizations" were unable to cover. Not that they didn't try, but just didn't have enough juice to get it done in the political arena. We also wanted to give benifits that were established through the AFL-CIO. We want to supply jobs for our members and education to consumers. AFL-CIO is a made up of Consumers that have no self interest in the Real Estate Field other then protecting it Pension Funds.

As far as politics, we have been very active in both states that were can handle and on a federal level.
If you will note the activity that is taking place in congress and the senate became intense in the last year and 1/2. Prior to our becoming active with the AFL-CIO lobby, no new bills were introduced that ever got out of committee that was in favor of the appraiser. All bills that were passed were in favor of the lender.

We have worked the Congress and Senate for the last 3 years. Rome was not built in a day and we spent much of our time educating our congress and senate about why it is important to the consumer, that the appraiser is part of the loan process.
It is difficult to undo damage that has occured over the past 10 years. We have begun. Many of our brothern poke fun that labor backs Democrates. A little fact know is that about 40% of the AFL-CIO backing is also Republican. The fact is also that Democrats as a whole are better to labor then the Republican Side.
When the Democrates took control of the Senate, things began to happen for us in a Good way in the Banking Committee. This will continue as well as moving forward on several bills backed by another Democrat Rep Jan Schakowsky. I was with her last Friday and she will be guiding and sponsoring bills that are good for the appraisal industry and the Residential Appraiser.
If the back of the Residential appraiser is broken( they account for 70% of the industry), the lender rules.
We are working in a federal level and speaking with large lenders trying to change methods of doing business that is bad for the appraiser, consumer and investor. As an example AFL-CIO has 3/4 of a Trillion invested in the Maes.

On state levels we fought hard to get bills passed concerning presure on appraisers, we have yet to get co-operation from other appraisal organizations.

In Ill and now CA the AI has sponered and signed off on bills that make BPOs appraisals if done under the deminimus or not federally related.
We urge you to contact Governor Gray in Califorinia to veto this bill. or contact our State President Jim Morgan at 916-624-9424 or Leglislative Director Norm Orr SRA at 415-663-8044 to help defeat this bill, before it passes the Senate.

We will continue to fight for the appraisal professon and while we don't always win, we will always try to level a playing field that has become filled with Greed and Special interest at the expense of the appraiser.

William Sentner
American Guild of Appraisers OPEIU AFL-CIO
[email protected]

Brad Pack

Junior Member
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public

Are you referring to Norman Orr, IFAS, SRA?

Don Clark

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser

Truth is that no one organization whether it be a union with 400+- members or a large professional appraisal organization with several thousand members can accomplish what we want or need for all appraisers. Even if all appraisal organizations joined together and affiliated with the NAR and the unions, we would still lack the political clout and money that would be required to make effective changes. And, no disaster like another S & L Bailout(this times, world banks) will make a difference either. If the events of 9-11-2001 did not cause our politicians to pull together to do what is right, then certainly no collapse of the banking industry will do so either. Grey Davis, Governor of California is not going to look out for appraisers in his state. There are not enough suit cases of money coming from appraisers to do that. No U. S. Senator will do that either, Democrat or Republican. We simply cannot muster enough money to even get them interested. What is the solution? I wish I knew. But, I suspect we can do a lot on our own. I was successful in getting changes to the number of appraisers on our appraisal board in my state, along with some other administrative changes. The local politicians are more likely to listen to individual appraisers than they are larghe groups. Particularly delegates to the states legislature. I suggest that if every appraiser were to write, call, e-mail their local and national representatives and members of the senate on appraisal related concerns and issues, at least once a month, we could do an awful lot.

I did not join a professional appraisal organization expecting that they would have the clout to cure all our ills. I joined for the affiliation with other appraisers that I have come to trust and respect over time. I joined for the ability to express ideas and accomplish personal goals. I joined for a respected designation that did not require 5-15 years of going to $450.00 classes out of state. From your designation I assume you did the same. Unfortunately your original organization of the Society of Real Estate Appraisers was much more inclined to look out for it's residential members than they do today. Back in the mid 1980's the AI split away from the NAR due to being snubbed in meeting before congress re licensing & certification. That was a great mistake, for both organizations. Licensing and certification has diminished all our numbers as designations carry less clout today than they did in the years previous to licensing and certification. That may change. There are move underway by states such as Georgia, to scrap the ASC and I would assume the AF as well. Only time will measure that success.

These are just thoughts, not solutions. I don't know that anyone has any real answers.

Don Clark, IFA
Virginia Beach, Virginia where "Life is a Beach".


Jan 16, 2002

In CA, are you referring to SB 1866? It is the only bill I have heard about- and it is a very bad one. Lots of wrong and outdated info- and it would move the OREA to a lower level department under the Dept. of Corporations. Here is an excerpt that would apply to BPOs:

11302 (b)

" "Appraisal" means a written statement independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser setting forth an opinion in a federally related transaction as to the market value of an adequately described property as of a specific date, supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.

The term "appraisal" does not include an opinion given by a real estate licensee or engineer or land surveyor in the ordinary course of his of her business in connection with a function for which a license is required under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 6700) of Chapter 15 (commencing with Section 8700) of Division 3, or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 10130) or Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 10500) and the opinion shall not be referred to as an appraisal. This part does not apply to a probate referee..."

1. This bill- currently pending would certainly exempt BPOs.
2. This Sen. (Figueroa) does not understand the difference between an appraisal and an appraisal report.
3. The bill would then exempt any oral report from state regs- since an "appraisal" would have to be written.
4. It would also exempt any appraisal not seeking market value. But some ARE FRTs- such as those for just compensation (not necessarily market value) in federal eminent domain cases.

Now, if there is another bill besides this one, what would happen if they both get passed? I'm guessing that this is the one you refer to and it does NOT- clearly- make BPOs appraisals.

Better get your ducks back in a row. But take heart, I'll help in opposing this bill, too.

While you are at it, can you give us the number of the IL bill making BPOs appraisals that you say has been introduced? I'd like to follow it because in IL, NAR and the bankers are the biggest contributors to campaigns- it's published- and I suspect that neither of them are going to just lay down and let this happen.

Bradx Ellis, IFA, RAA

Residential Appraisal Ser

Sophomore Member
Jan 26, 2002
Brad: Thanks for your words. The senate bill that you are refering to is the bill I am refering to. It has been brought out of committee without a dec enting vote. I just found out about it 2 weeks ago. Hard to fight the bill now as appraiser organizations can't agree. IE AI who is pushing the bill. We need protest from appraisers.

BPOs as interperted would be considered appraisals. If you will note the ILL law that was pasted last year has the same basic wording.
This was done to give the opportunity for the Fannie BPO network to operate legally under the state laws.

Ohio, Mich, Ill now Calif. The pattern is there that doesn't bode well for the apprasier.

Best regards

Bill Sentner

David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002
<span style='color:darkblue'>AppraisersForum:

CNBC's "Capitol Report" on TV last night featured guest interviewee, John J. Sweeney, National President of the AFL-CIO. The segment was titled:

"How Labor Unions Can Participate in Reform"

I found Mr. Sweeney to be well spoken and credible -- clearly the program's hosts did too. This national organization has stepped up to the plate to exercise its collective influence (i.e., Financial Might and Vote Might -- POWER) against errant corporate governance on behalf of those who have no voice on their own (e.g., that's us).

It appears John Sweeney and Bill Sentner are on the same page:

"We are working in a federal level and speaking with
large lenders trying to change methods of doing
business that is bad for the appraiser, consumer
and investor." -- President, AGA OPEIU AFL-CIO

See for yourself:</span>



David C. Johnson,
NC State-Certified General
Real Estate Appraiser

Leon Stewart

Jan 15, 2002

With the Appraisal Profession crumbling all around them, many Appraisers are still trying to prop up the Appraisal Organizations as a viable entity when it's mostly a relic of the past, and this business needs new leadership and direction for the future. Otherwise a turnaround of the Appraisal Business is not possible. Since the idea of Appraisal Organizations haven't been able to prevent the decline in the Appraisal Profession in recent years, why not give the Guild a chance.


David C. Johnson

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2002
<span style='color:darkblue'>Leon,

Good timing on your post. I joined today.

Included in this post is an email I sent to Bill Sentner today (first time I have contacted him). He called this afternoon. Good chat. I'm even more sure it is a good idea. Easy decission.

I am including the email to help others with the questions that I had (even though they are probably obvious to everyone but me). There is no "approval process" -- don't work that way at all. Everyone who wants to join can do so. I will be getting something back in the mail soon showing that I have joined and am a member.

He was not familiar with PayPal and does not do the maintenance on the site. So, printing out the form and Snail Mailing it with a check for $175 is a simple enough way to go.

Also included are the pertinent hyperlinks to maybe make it more convenient for people here on AppraisersForum.


David C. Johnson</span>

Click Here For the AGA Website

[url=http://www.opeiu.org/appraisers/Membership%20Application.pdf]<span style='color:red'>Click Here For the "Application" FORM (PDF)</span>


Subj: David C. Johnson on: Joining AGA...
Date: 8/6/02 12:46:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Appraisco

Hi, Bill.

David C. Johnson here from AppraisersForum.

I am a little unclear about the "joining process" for the AGA. I have gone to the site and printed out the PDF Application for Membership. I do not know if there is an "approval process," which appraisers are very use to seeing. Perhaps not. Probably not.

A specific question is: "Do I include my check with the Application?" This may not be clear to me and others (just based on quick perusing the site just now with the intention of joining real quick).

My guess is:

"Yes, of course you send a check -- if you are an appraiser,
you can join, we do not need or have a process for approving
those who join."

But again, this is not what appraisers are use to with any other organization, and there is always a hesitancy to send money, even a check, without being 100% sure of what one is doing.

It could be that this is an area that should be "worked with" on the website to make appraisers feel more comfortable in knowing they are going about it correctly. It probably needs to be dirt simple -- with conspicuous, specific instructions.

Also, PayPal maybe something to consider such that the application process can be completely done online, and is very quick.

We can talk about this if you like. Once I am a member, I do not mind posting on AppraisersForum some instructions to others regarding "the joining process."


I will be sending in both my application and a check today. I will not take it to the post office for about 4 hours, so please let me know today if I am doing anything wrong.


David C. Johnson,
NC State-Certified General R.E. Appraiser
[email][email protected][/email][/color]
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