The booming home sales market in Wichita Falls has created a dilemma – a backlog in property valuation. Lenders need an appraisal before they finance a sale or refinance a home. That has kept the limited number of professional appraisers scurrying into Wichita Falls.
“There is definitely a lack of reviewers,” said Cheyenne Key, president of the Wichita Falls Association of Realtors. “It creates a kind of bottleneck effect and they work as hard and as fast as they can for us.”
Key said she waited weeks for appraisers to pick up her orders before a sale could close.
“It’s usually seven days and now it’s almost a month. We traditionally don’t close on time because we’re waiting for experts, ”said Key.
Just as other companies are struggling with a labor shortage, the number of reviewers is falling nationwide. Bill Enlow, a Wichita Falls appraiser, said booming sales in recent months have overwhelmed local appraisers.
“Combined with the historical rates, there is a lot of refinancing,” said Enlow.
Business is booming, but the number of reviewers is not.
“One recently retired, one gentleman died and another moved away,” he said. “We didn’t have any new people. I speak nationwide.”
Enlow said his surgery usually takes two to three weeks to complete an assessment. He prefers working with local lenders and will try to get their jobs done quickly, but he and other appraisers also work with large national lenders who hire third parties to find appraisers.
“I got three times what I normally could have got. They offered it – I didn’t ask, ”he said.
“I wish the younger generation would get into this field,” Key said. “We don’t have very many people entering this professional field.”
61-year-old Enlow works with his 29-year-old son Brady. “He’s a new generation,” said Enlow
Appraisers must be state-certified, which includes training requirements, experience with a certified appraiser and the submission of work samples.
Enlow noticed a slight cooling in the real estate market in the fall, which could give him and his fellow appraisers a chance to catch up.