Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California

Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Animal Advocates, Los Angeles, California
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Thursday, July 20, 2023

PAREA Update from David Samnick - Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal , comment by Mary Cummins

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I haven't been following PAREA as closely as I should have but thankfully appraiser David Samnick has been following it. He attended an Appraisal Institute meeting yesterday about the program. It's disheartening to say the least. The purpose of PAREA was to make it easier, cheaper and faster for new appraisers to get the training and hours of real life experience they need to get their license. A main purpose was to help diversify appraisers by making it cheaper and getting rid of the mandatory mentor/trainee. Lower income people can't work as a trainee for free for two years. I wrote a few articles about this huge obstacle to getting a license. Here's one from June 2021.

This post below by David Samnick makes it clear that AI and others such as McKissock have used the issue of diversity just to line their pockets with money. The Appraisal Institute, McKissock make money selling education hours to appraisers. AI got a grant from the government to work on PAREA. May 18, 2023, the AQB approved the first PAREA program, belonging to the Appraisal Institute (AI). I wish I were wealthy and retired so I could train people for free. I'd only train POC if that were legal and not discriminatory.

"Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA) is a program that aims to revolutionize the real estate industry by increasing the number of appraisers. However, after listening to the Appraisal Institute speaker at yesterdays board meeting it quickly became evident that this initiative is a complete failure.

A) You cannot start PAREA until you have received all your real estate appraisal education. 94 hours = $1,700 per McKissock

B) Appraisal Institute speaker said that most AMC's/banks won't accept licensed appraisers work so he suggests going the CR route. Cost to become a CR appraiser through PAREA - $10,000

C) PAREA is a complete online course. Zero mentorship in the real world. No physical measuring. No driving. No real time experience. No true mentorship.

D) No discussion with the PAREA student about the pay to play. Multiple MLS services, E&O insurance, business expenses, accounting, appraisal software, computers, reliable transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. Total costs can exceed $6,000 per year.

E) The Appraisal Institute said that this would increase diversity into the appraisal field yet could not tell us the breakdown of how many applicants were minorities.

F) PAREA graduates will be scooped up by AMCS to sign off on Hybrid reports performed by third party data collectors.

G) PAREA graduates have no geographic competence.

H) Total cost for PAREA at the end of the day = $17,700 and potentially more.


The Average Joes argued several points in the board meeting.

A) A graduate of the PAREA course would be paid and treated like a trainee as they have no real-world experience.

B) We could have more appraisers back into the industry if banks/amcs would allow appraisers to use their trainees.

C) Reinstate Licensed appraisers to be able to mentor new trainees. This would introduce the next generation of appraisers into the business.

D) Petition FHA to reinstate any licensed appraiser who took the FHA course and had to pass the test.

E) More appraisers would hire trainees if the AMC model wasn't taking so much money out of the pockets of working appraisers. Work is slow. Most have the mentality that my bills come before your bills.


In closing PAREA launched in 2019. And the program has not been successful in diversifying the appraisal profession. In fact, a study by the Appraiser Qualifications Board found that the PAREA program has had a negative impact on diversity in the appraisal profession.

The study found that the PAREA program is disproportionately used by white appraisers. In fact, white appraisers are more than twice as likely to use the PAREA program than minority appraisers. The study also found that the PAREA program is not as effective in providing a more accessible pathway to licensure as the traditional apprenticeship model."

Below was stated May 2023 by AI. “Market research has shown that value proposition—what PAREA is worth to someone in the marketplace—is around $5,000,” DiBiaso said. “Our pricing strategy may be different than that and include scholarships and discounts and payment plans. We have a commitment to The Appraisal Foundation that we will give preference of our scholarships to minorities, veterans, and people who indicate a willingness to serve in rural areas. The scholarships will come from a number of different sources including AI.” 

McKissock stated their program will be ready June 2023. “We are investing heavily in the technology tools that appraisers use,” Nancy Gerome said, McKissock’s appraisal general manager. “Our hope is to have them consistently trained. You’ll get all different types of properties and scenarios because we’re leaning into the technology and experience. We’re trying to be thorough, that’s why we’re taking our time. We want to get it right.”  

McKissock staff is preparing their launch to accommodate thousands of trainees, over a staggered period. They estimate the average time a person will take to complete the program is six months. The cost for participating is not yet determined. Staff did confirm there will be a “buy now, pay later” option, as well as scholarships.  

“We are building a scholarship program because we know one of the goals of PAREA is to bring diversity into the profession, and we want to make it as affordable as we can,” Gerome said. Those interested in participating in a PAREA program of either McKissock or AI need to have already completed their Qualifying Education. "

Clearly when the government said there was a probably with diversity among real estate appraisers and the government would give money to help diversify appraisers all these companies heard was MONEY. They will just be training more appraisers for more money and the appraisers will probably all still be mainly older white men. 

Appraisal Institute talks about grants and scholarships for POC and women all the time. I tried to apply and they said I have to pay to join their organization before they'd even talk about it. What if I had no qualifications or were denied? I'd be out the membership fee which is not cheap. It normally costs $15,000 to become an AI MAI appraiser even though I have 40 years of experience and have taken every publicly available real estate appraisal class in existence over the last 40 years. This is clearly a racket when you consider the government gave them money for the program. Gate keeping with a membership fee to the Appraisal Institute before you can access government funding.

Mary Cummins of Cummins Real Estate is a certified residential licensed appraiser in Los Angeles, California. Mary Cummins is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate appraisers and has over 35 years of experience.

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