I'm very troubled by this issue. I don't get paid when the clients are not able to close the loans. Does anyone of you have a similar problem? Any comments, suggestions or solutions are greatly appreciated.
Ditto what Brandon said, plus - unless they just opened yesterday, this is a big clue you are dealing with heavy duty sleeze balls. If they did open
yesterday, educate them to the fact that the appraisal business does not
operate in this manner, you get paid by the job regardless of a closing.
They should have already collected the appraisal fee (when the mortgage
application was made) - if they didn't and don't like COD at the door, find a new client. You can also check your state banking laws and threaten them and/or take them to small claims court for non-payment.
There was also a guy that posted in the Watercooler about this... he works for a collection agency that specializes in this type stuff. I've talked to one of their reps before, sounded like a pretty good deal.
You are known by the company you keep. A client who plays games with appraisers about fees for services rendered is probably also playing games everywhere else in their business, including the lenders' requirements. Do yourself a favor and find some good clients as soon as you can so that you can fire your bad clients.
Also, you should get into the habit of establishing firm boundaries with your clients up front, so that everyone knows in advance what you will and won't do. Assertive, rather than passive or aggressive. If you take the subservient position and allow them to walk on you about fees, they will expect it of every aspect in your relationship. You'll end up doing all sorts of non-productive comp searches, knee-jerk appointment schedules and unnecessary appraisal conditions on every assignment you get. You'll constantly be asked to hit their numbers. It'll be like being a puppet on a string. If you want to be treated like a professional, you have to act accordingly. Service is one thing; servitude is another.
I would write them a very polite letter advising them I will be seeing them in court if I am not paid. The judge will take your side, if it gets that far. The threat of small claims court will probably be enough of a threat to cut the checks loose.
I used to strong arm collect; I am getting a little older and this is not as appealing (I do have a little collection in George Hatch's area however, that needs to be handled soon). My handling fees are higher than the collectors.
Find good clients--their are alot of them. Hookup with some good appraisers and get overflow. In this market it is COD baby!
I have learned the only way to be in the real estate appraisal business is to GET IT ALL UP FRONT!!!!! My policy from now on is to credit no one. Fee at the door, that's the ticket.
Several wonderful things have happened. One is, I ALWAYS get paid. Secondly, no more pressure, I've got their money so Yours Truly has the power. Third, with all the time I save not having to call people that owe me money, or being on the phone arguing with some crooked dumba$$ about the rules of the game, I can prospect for listings, or do something else productive. Life is good again.
You all should try it. If they won't pay up front, let 'em call somebody who enjoys working for nothing. In Texas, it is the only way to go, because we have no recourse.
All the posters have good advice.....bottom line.....you get paid when you show up at the door. Tell them that since you cannot accept an assignment contingent on a value, you must collect your fee before delivering the report. When you set the appointment, tell the borrower that they must have payment when you show up. Don't be shy!!! You might also consider only accepting cashier's checks or money orders and, of course, cold, hard cash! If you accept a check, go immediately to THEIR bank and cash it!! OR, call the number on the check and go for "Merchant Verification" that'll tell you if the (personal) check is good.....any client that tells you they won't pay unless the loan closes is a bad client.........
Dude......this is your reputation we're talking about. These guys are paying for your OPINION not for a VALUE. Your OPINION is VALUABLE.....Educate them......They'll respect you more in the "morning." (if you know what I mean)