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Aberdeen Appraiser: Federal and SD Regs Protect Public

Governor Kristi Noem has tried to distract from her intervention in her daughter’s real estate appraiser application process by claiming that she’s trying to streamline a certification process that’s holding up economic development. Watertown appraiser Brad Johnson wrote last week that Noem can’t do much streamlining, since appraiser standards are set at the federal level. Now Aberdeen appraiser Amy Frink tells KELO-TV the same thing—the feds set the standards, and the one extra step South Dakota requires protects the industry and the public:

Frink stressed all but one of the requirements to obtain an appraiser credential in South Dakota are federally mandated. South Dakota’s program required a trainee level exam, in which trainees could “take it as many times as it takes” and “very few people don’t pass it.”

“It’s more of an aptitude and basic concepts test,” Frink said. “If you don’t pass it or you find it difficult, then maybe this isn’t for you and you get to find out right away. I don’t see it as a stumbling block to get people in; it’s more to protect the public, competency-issue” [Eric Mayer, “Is It Too Hard to Become an Appraiser in South Dakota?” KELO-TV, 2021.10.07].

Frink says that South Dakota already cuts new appraisers slack in a way other states don’t:

Frink noted unlike many other states, South Dakota allows appraisers with no experience, known as “state-registered” credential, to appraise. To reach the second level of a licensed appraiser, a new appraiser needs six months and 1,000 hours of endorsed work by an “appraiser supervisor.”

“We can change the market if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Frink said. “You can sway how the market could go” [Mayer, 2021.10.07].

Even if Governor Noem wants to further deregulate appraiser training and licensing, there’s not much she can do at the state level. Given how much is at stake in appraising real estate correctly, it seems there’s not much she should do, either. With irrational exuberance driving buyers to offer unusually high prices for South Dakota property, it is more important than ever to have experienced appraisers who can temper that frenzy with rigorous, rational, reliable appraisals.


  1. Loren 2021-10-08

    Look how low the bar is set to be governor. Why make it difficult to be an appraiser? ;-)

  2. sx123 2021-10-08

    We’d probably have more professional engineers too if PE exams were ‘streamlined’ too…

  3. mike from iowa 2021-10-08

    Does anyone with a single working brain cell expect Noem Nothing to know what she was whining about? Seriously?

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-08

    Loren, we can see the cost of lowering our standards every day in Noem’s poor management. SX’s mention of engineering offers another concrete example of how “streamlining” leads to higher costs and lower quality of life for everyone. Higher standards for engineers mean safer, longer-lasting bridges.

  5. Yvonne 2021-10-08

    It’s all about privilege. Those that are so arrogant and proud believe they are above all. Each appraiser, alongside licensed realtors, are required to have insurance coverage.
    Standards are set for a reason…to establish one is qualified.
    If the young lady is not qualified go back and study more. Obviously she needed to. But along comes the self indulged to the rescue. What type of parenting governance does that say to the undisciplined child?
    History repeated itself along this generation line.
    The first debotched claim/lawsuit against this young lady’s appraisal skills will result in dropped insurance coverage.
    Who will pick up the pieces then?
    The same scrupulously deficient parent?

  6. Misty 2021-10-08

    Those in charge make it difficult for new people to enter the field. With new young aggressive college graduates entering the field they had to do something. Let’s make the test so difficult that it can’t be passed. When you have a highly competitive market something has to be done. Young appraisers might get competitive and undercut their high fees. Let’s make all the current appraisers test the test too. I’d love to see how many passed. It’s corrupt. It’s wrong, it must end.

  7. RST Tribal Member 2021-10-08

    The 2008-2009 housing bust was caused by several parties, one of which were appraisers who over valued property to the delight of the seller. The other party benefitting were the banks. It all came crashing down.

    Wonder what Queen Gov aka American’s Governor aka Bully Gov has up her cowboy shirt sleeve? Is there an international or national group needing appraisers for some price fixing skim on property somewhere in the galaxy? The inept, inbred Republican legislators will be waiting in the wings to pass any bounced off the wall legislation that might enrich them and theirs. The inbred’s zenith will double if there is a pipeline right-a-way involved.

    Just think the Bully Gov’s kid will be the poster image for appraisal licenses as the aged, competent ones are going away.

    I had dealings with many appraisers during my tenure with tribes, federal gov’t and private foundations. Thinking back, some were stupid enough to be related to the Bully Gov. I wondered then, as now, how they squeezed through the rigid qualification process… at least one got caught trying to squeeze through, but at the end she was ordained and certified for a few hundred thousand dollars.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-08

    Good point, RST. It seems to me that good appraisers help protect us from housing bubbles. They keep buyers and their bankers from getting swept up in housing crazes and ending up underwater on houses.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-08

    Misty, Frink says the test isn’t really weeding that many SD applicants out. Most pass, and they get multiple tries. Is that really the barrier you are talking about?

  10. Misty 2021-10-08

    A 30% passage rate means 70% failed. It’s all a game the fat cats need to keep the competition down. I would say Gov Noem’s daughter would be tough competition.
    We need to review all the boards and licensing requirements. It’s gone on way to long.

  11. Porter Lansing 2021-10-08

    As with any accreditation, I’m sure there are expensive tutors that know the actual answers and teach from the test.

  12. ArloBlundt 2021-10-08

    Well…the Governor is on a comprehensive campaign to dumb down South Dakota to the point that the incompetent and over indulged can easily qualify for professional credentials.I hope the Appraisers hold their ground. There are Barbarians at the gate.

  13. O 2021-10-08

    Misty, if there is a 70% failure rate, is that a problem with the accreditation process/testing or a problem with the applicants?

    Using the universities as an example, SD has made it easier and easier for admission — that brings in more students, but more importantly, more money. Then the universities complain that the freshmen don’t know . . . I’m not convinced that reducing competence — the easy answer — is the right answer.

    Is this something that requires on-going certification? Are the currently licensed ever asked to meet the scrutiny of the new applicants?

  14. mike from iowa 2021-10-08

    Magats already dumbed down entrance exams to magat law schools. Same with teachers for magat schools, or so it seems. They aren’t the best and brightest, to be sure.

    dumbass dubya scored the absolute minimum to be enrolled in flight school in Texass during the Viet Nam era and yet he jumped 500 other candidates to get a chance to get in.

  15. Richard Schriever 2021-10-08

    Misty, from whence come your claimed pass/failure rates? Real data – or are you merely floating a purely speculative figure to support your argument? I.E., what’s the basis for your “appraisal” of the difficulty of the test?

  16. Bob Newland 2021-10-08

    When only about a hundred people in SoDak can properly use “its” and “it’s” properly (even after allowing for the damnation of “spellcheck”), how can we hope for reasonable [whatever this thread is about]?

    That’s not to say that I don’t understand that almost no-one understands almost anything about anything.

  17. Ben Cerwinske 2021-10-08

    Aren’t Republicans the ones always complaining that our public school system is lowering standards and dumbing us down? Yet as soon as poor Kassidy can’t pass a test “Mama Bear” steps in…

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