Washington State may Eliminate Appraisal Board

From Appraiser News Online, the Governor of Washington has introduced legislation that would eliminate the state’s appraisal board:

In an effort to trim the state’s budget, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has proposed legislation that would eliminate the state’s Real Estate Appraiser Commission. According to a fiscal note prepared to accompany the bill, H.B. 2151, eliminating the REAC would save the state about $8,000 per year in administrative costs. If the legislation is enacted into law, licensed and certified appraisers in the state will still be fully regulated by the Department of Licensing and there will likely be no impact on the status of their licenses or certifications.

However, the DOL is also responsible for the licensing of real estate brokers and salespersons. According to an Appraisal Subcommittee policy statement, the ASC strongly urges that “state agency decisions, especially those relating to license or certificate issuance, revocation and disciplinary actions, not be made by state officials who also are responsible for realty-related activities. State officials should accept and implement the actions of the appraiser board unless they are inconsistent with the public interest and trust.”

While it is not likely that the ASC will consider decertifying Washington’s licensing and certification program, the elimination of the REAC could bring some added scrutiny from the ASC. Further, if the REAC is eliminated, the state’s appraisers will lose the only peer review group that is responsible for examining proposed rules affecting the profession, reviewing new education offerings and overseeing the operation of the state’s licensing and certification program.

I’m most surprised by the fact that this will only save the state $8,000 a year. The Washington Appraisal Board must run a pretty lean ship. From a cost benefit analysis, this seems like a huge mistake.

  1. David

    Simply one more story to illustrate how laughable our profession has become. No representation on a national level, willing to work for 1992 wages, willing to complete the 1004MC for free, and willing to take a 50% paycut on May 1, 2009. Is this becoming laughable or what?

  2. First…who ever wrote the headline above has it incorrect. We don’t know yet if the REAC WILL be eliminated. The REAC is merely one of dozens of boards and commissions the state MAY eliminate if the legislature approves the bills, and the gov. signs the final bill passed by both houses.
    Legislators may choose to keep some commissions active by amending the bills. All hearings have not been held yet, so we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.
    Second…the REAC and the Appraiser Section of DOL are largely self-supporting from licensing fees and disciplinary fines with appraisers. That accounts for the low amount quoted in the article.

  3. Justin Morton

    Thanks for the info, Dave. I corrected the headline to make it more accurate.
    the REAC and the Appraiser Section of DOL are largely self-supporting from licensing fees and disciplinary fines with appraisers. That accounts for the low amount quoted in the article.
    Do you know where the licensing money would go, if the state eliminated the appraisal board?


    Dear DOL,
    As a new realtor, (4year) my time is coming close to
    re-new my Real Estate License, I would love to know what is the best method and more efficiant to re-new my Real Estate
    Thank you,
    I will greatly appreciated to respond to my request.
    Karo Babaian

  5. Justin Morton

    Karo, this is an appraisal blog from the National Association of Realtors. We don’t have any afilliation with the Washington State Appraisal Board.
    For questions about regarding renewing your license you’ll want to contact the Washington Appraisal Board at:
    (360) 664-6504

  6. Tim

    Again, more insanity for appraisers to contend with. As far as the annual dues, fees and fines for appraisers supporting the oversight at the state level it has been my experience most of that money goes to the general operating fund for the state. More cost and less representation. As far as the “peer review” aspect, the state appraisal boards have never been a true peer reveiw. Most states are made up, on the appraisal members side, of those designated by the Appraisal Institute. Interesting to note that almost every large AMC has a Chief Appraiser who is designated with the Appraisal Institute. These appraisal board memebers represent a minority percentage of the total appraisers out there. Knowing this its pretty clear which appraisers are going to get fines or revocation at the state level. Any appraiser should do a little research to find out how many Appraisal Institute members have been sanctioned by the state boards versus state certified appraisers with no affiliation. The percentages are revealing.
    The only true peer reveiw panel would be the proposed IVPI (Independent Valuation Protection Institute). That would be true equal representation for all appraisers and level the playing feild between independent appraisers versus the AMC discount appraisers and those small percentage of Appraisal Institute designated appraisers.
    State appraisal boards seem to have one clear goal in mind; preserve the HVCC and AMC businbess model which in turn slowly rids the industry of independent state certified appraisers. Outrageous for sure in that the last mortgage crisis the country faced, the S & L meltdown, the only appraisers that existed were Appraisal Institute members. This current debacle resulting in the AMC model going forward was the result of an AMC, with a designated chief appraiser, being sued for collusion and fraud with one of the largest AMC’s in the nation. How can this be ?

  7. Brad Meahl

    something to think about, like they did in arizonia. take the appraisal boards money, but left the board in tact, board had over $500000 in the account.

  8. Is that a typo, or are they seriously considering eliminating their Appraisal Board to save a whopping $8,000 a year?

  9. FWIW, Christine Gregoire IS NOT related to Frank Gregoire

  10. Has someone fogotten all the “Perks” the State Senate & House are rewarded every year. It’s a No Brainer how to recoup millions of dollars in the budget, hey? I only have a high school education & I can figure this one out & I’m only 83 years old & a native from Los Angeles, CA.

  11. Peter Pavenick

    In reponse to Justin Morton’s article of February 2009: I have investigated the number of sanctioned appraisers in the last 3 years in the State of Oregon- off their 2008 Newsletter and cross checked it with the Appraisal Institute of Oregon membership. There is a total of 76 sanctioned appraisers and I came across only 1 institute member. I totally agree with Justin that the appraisal boards are “gaming the system” by attacking the most vulnerable group- the independent appraisers. The civil penalty’s extracted by the boards help maintain the budget and allow the hiring of more investigators and increase salary’s. The head of the appraisal board overseeing the sanctions of appraisers in Oregon is an SRA. Bob Keith, the administator is a former Institute Member whose wife is a MAI. The investigating member of the ACLB Chuck Fisher and prior to him Larry Green are both SRA’s. I believe, they have been protecting the Institute Members from sanctions. The administrator Bob Keith claims 40% of complaints are dropped. It would be interesting to see how many Institute Member complaints have been dropped as only 1 member has been sanctioned. Oregon is one of the few state allowing anonymous complaints to be filed creating a feeding frenzy of complaints as there are no repercusions against the filing complainer and severe penalty’s for those being complained about.
    Peter Christiansen, a lawyer with Liability Insurance Administrators- the largest insurer of appraiser- revealed in a recent IFA meeting that Oregon now leads the nation in complaints filed. This undoubtably will cause the business insurance rates to go up for all appraisers in the State.He also revealed to me that he believes the ACLB is prompting these complaints by prompting appraisers file against other appraisers anonymously. This is really sick stuff and could be cause for a class action suit by independent appraisers.