The owner or purchaser are not allowed to pick the appraiser. Mortgage brokerages use to pick the appraisers but now depending on the type of loan the appraiser is picked by a third party company or the lender themselves. VA loans the appraiser is picked by a third party company and you have no contact with them. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both planning to switch to a lender (not mortgage broker) picked appraiser. FHA is going to have to have two appraisals if you go I believe over 85%. Also I have noticed the price of appraisals has risen slightly which may account for the new rules.