Before you can borrow to buy or refinance a piece of farmland you need an appraisal but there aren’t many people interested in doing that business these days. Heather Malcolm of Montana is a member of the Ag Bankers Committee within the American Bankers Association.
“The time to get to be an appraiser is a very long time. You have to go to school to get certain qualifications and then you have to apprentice with an existing appraiser for one or two years,” Malcom says.
Malcolm says appraisals run 6 to 10 weeks. The bank and the borrower would like it down to 3 or 4 weeks. More frustrating she says, is when they’re getting ready to close and an email arrives from the appraiser saying he needs more time.
“You really can’t go to a different appraiser because you’ve already engaged them but then they extended the timeframe another three weeks so as a lender you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
Malcom says the ABA is working to resolve road blocks of getting more people into the appraisal business.