There's a long standing assumption in the housing industry that appraisal management companies are the cozeners of the business. They are believed to underpay their appraisers and employ staff that are under qualified, but results of a survey by Coester Appraisal Group refute that rumor. According to the survey, only 3% of appraisers have less than five years of experience in the industry and more than half have at least 15 years experience. Additionally, two-fifths of appraisers earn $250 to $350 per appraisal through an appraisal management company. Brian Coester, chief executive of Maryland-based Coester Appraisal Group, said the rumored consensus is much less than that -- about $180 to $220 per appraisal. “Quite a few negative misconceptions about AMCs have been getting a lot of media coverage, which is fueling undue distress among lenders and appraisers,” said Coester. “As an AMC, we knew those claims were unfounded, but just to be absolutely sure appraisers felt the same way, we set up a survey to get their feedback first-hand.” Still, most survey respondents said the majority of appraisers aren't getting paid enough to do top-notch work. About 52% said $350 to $400 is an adequate fee for the highest quality of work on a conventional appraisal and 45.3% said $400 to $450 is adequate for an Federal Housing Administration appraisal. Nearly 78% of respondents said the typical fees they receive are enough for them to do their highest quality of work, yet more than 82% believe appraisal management companies should keep 15% or less of the appraisal fee. Although almost 17% of respondents felt appraisal management companies are entitled to between 15% and 30%. The survey evaluated 5,384 licensed appraisers nationwide. Write to Christine Ricciardi.