Advice on Finding Banks that Engage Appraisers Directly


Some appraisers seek alternate ways to find work outside of appraisal management companies (AMCs). One strategy is to pursue opportunities to be engaged directly by financial institutions and banks by being included on their fee panel. To help you get started, we asked our appraisal community, “What advice can you offer on how to identify financial institutions and banks that engage appraisers directly, without involving AMCs?” Here’s what they said.

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Top tips on how to find banks that engage appraisers directly

Below are helpful tips on how to find financial institutions and banks that engage appraisers directly on fee panels. In a nutshell, our survey respondents recommended that you should:

  1. Look for small, local banks and lenders.
  2. Network to build relationships.
  3. Join the Mercury Network.
  4. Simply ask around!

Look for small, local banks and lenders

“Typically, small, local community banks are the clients that do not go through AMC companies because they don’t want additional fees for their customers that are unnecessary and they want to approve the appraisers doing work for them.”

“Approach local, small bank lending officers. Often they provide ‘portfolio loans’ and do not involve AMCs or Fannie Mae.”

“In my experience, most banks that would engage an appraiser directly are going to either be local lenders without a national presence or hard money lenders where the end user typically pays the appraiser directly.”

“Most ‘savings’ banks do not use AMCs for residential appraisals. Appraisers can inquire with local savings banks [to learn] what the savings bank’s process is to be added to their appraiser rotation list.”

Network to build relationships

“Network, network, network! And make sure to show people that you can go above and beyond in terms of market knowledge in person. This is what makes appraisers stand out.”

“Visit your local banks in person and ask to speak to the VP of lending or a mortgage loan officer!”

“Grab a flower bouquet or if you have swag such as coffee cup, notebook, make a personal visit, introduce yourself, ask if you can be put on the list of potential appraisers. Follow up with glad to meet you email. It’s pretty easy to gauge if you hit it off with that person or not.”

Join the Mercury Network

“We have many lenders engage us directly via the Mercury system. Make sure that your profile and fee are set up there. Reaching out directly to your local lenders is also a good idea.”

You can visit the Mercury Network website to set up a free account and get more information about the benefits for appraisers.

Simply ask around!

“Contact them directly and ask.”

“Look at the engagement letter.”

The above insights are just a few ideas on how to identify financial institutions and banks that maintain their own appraiser fee panels, as well as how to secure work through such channels.

Do you have other advice on how to find banks that engage appraisers directly? Join the conversation! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, sign up for our newsletter to get a new survey question in your inbox each month.