As an independent fee appraiser (IFA), I was incensed by Don G. Campbell's article and have been personally suffering through the backlash of same for the past week.
IFAs do not write the guidelines for completing the appraisal form for lenders who sell loans in the secondary market.
The guidelines, prepared by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. and Federal National Mortgage Assn., are strictly adhered to by the lenders who hire IFAs. As independent appraisers, we are not given the luxury to improvise or deviate from the guidelines, without our clients (the mortgage loan originators) suffering.
Secondly, as an IFA, it is not my purpose to "kill" deals for realtors, buyers or sellers, but to work within the guidelines and complete an appraisal assignment in a manner for my client to sell that loan, if that is the intent, in the secondary market.
Joel Singer, CAR director of research, was quoted in your article as saying "there doesn't have to be this preoccupation with comparables." If Mr. Singer did say that, then he certainly has not experienced an appraiser's dilemma, after his appraisal was rejected by an appraisal reviewer, because he was NOT preoccupied with comparables.
Until the secondary market changes its guidelines and allows the IFAs more freedom in the preparation of FHLMC/FNMA appraisal report, articles similar to yours will continue to place the blame of "low appraisals" on the wrong shoulders.