The typical fee for appraisers, whether working independently or through an appraisal management company, is $250 to $350 per appraisal, according to a recent survey.

However, said Brian Coester, the chief executive of Coester Appraisal Group, which did the survey, being part of a management company is a more rewarding financial proposition for an appraiser.

The survey of 5,384 appraisers found that two-thirds of those working with an AMC and about 40% of independent appraisers said they earned fees in the $250 to $350 range. This, Coester said, is above the $180 to $220 that detractors of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct have said AMCs pay appraisers.

Though the fees might be similar, Coester said, an independent appraiser might do 20 jobs per month. Those teamed up with an AMC could double or even triple that volume.

Furthermore, an independent appraiser has marketing and other client-related costs, whereas an AMC bears the costs of obtaining clients for its appraisers.

Coester said that at his company appraisal fees are set by agreements with client lenders. Several appraisers, however, who are salaried employees at Coester Appraisal, do not earn fees.

The study showed that more than half, 52.4%, of respondents feel that an ideal fee of $350 to $400 would allow for the highest-quality work on conventional appraisals, and 45.3% said that $400 to $450 would allow for high-quality appraisals on Federal Housing Administration-insured loans.

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