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  • Writer's pictureJesse Ledbetter

The Perils of Classifying Appraisers as a Trade, Not a Profession


The ongoing debate about whether real estate appraisers should be classified as a trade rather than a profession carries significant implications that could potentially damage the very essence of this vital industry. Fannie Mae's clear intent would be to reclassify appraisers as tradepeople and not professionals. Here's why such a classification could be detrimental:

  1. Erosion of Credibility: One of the primary risks associated with labeling appraisers as tradesmen is the potential erosion of credibility. Professions are held to higher standards, often requiring formal education, rigorous training, and adherence to a strict code of ethics. If appraisers are seen as mere tradesmen, it may diminish their perceived expertise and the trust stakeholders place in their valuations. It is no secret that there is a nationwide effort to decrease the standards needed to become an appraiser. This is for the benefit of those who wish to make money fast and with no real hiderance from "professionals."

  2. Reduced Accountability: Professions are typically subject to stringent regulations and oversight, which help maintain accountability and transparency. Designating appraisers as a trade might lead to less regulatory scrutiny, potentially fostering unscrupulous practices and reducing accountability in an industry that plays a critical role in real estate transactions. Allowing appraiser's to be reclassified as a trade would open the door to less accountability, and greater ability for Fannie Mae and the lending industry to manipulate appraisal results.

  3. Inadequate Training and Education: Trades often focus on practical skills, whereas professions demand comprehensive education and training. Classifying appraisers as tradesmen could diminish the incentive for individuals to pursue formal education in real estate appraisal, resulting in a workforce with less knowledge and expertise. We see this taking place as we speak as quality/amount of education falls.

  4. Negative Impact on Quality: Professions are often associated with a commitment to excellence and continuous improvement. If appraisers are not regarded as professionals, they may be less motivated to invest in ongoing education and training, ultimately affecting the quality of their work and the reliability of property valuations.

In conclusion, classifying appraisers as a trade rather than a profession could undermine the credibility, accountability, and quality of the real estate appraisal industry. To maintain the integrity of property valuations and the trust of stakeholders, it is essential to recognize the profession's significance and provide the necessary support for appraisers to continue their vital work with the highest standards of expertise and ethics.

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