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Are You Qualified For My Appraisal Assignment ?

by Administrator on Nov 19, 2010 General Appraisal 1164 Views

I have been in the appraisal business since the late 1970's and there are specialty appraisal areas, like the appraisal of casinos, in which I have little experience.  I do not represent to a potential client that I am qualified to complete offered casino appraisal assignments and I try to disclose my lack of experience as soon as I can in a conversation.

There are however other specialty areas that I do feel competent taking assignments having completed a number of them in the past.  For example I have completed a number of golf course appraisal assignments over the years.  While I have completed only a few over the past few years the methodology has not changed, and I am confident that I could produce a credible golf course appraisal.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Standards (USPAP) notes that appraisers should recognize whether they are competent and disclose to clients when they are not.  Times are however changing and some clients have decided that they can make a better determination regarding appraiser qualifications than an appraiser can.  I was told by a potential client recently that I was unqualified to complete an assignment on a small stand-alone office building because I had not completed one in the same area of town within the last 6 months.  So after nearly 30+ years of experience doing office building appraisals I have become unqualified to complete an office building appraisal because I haven't done one within a few miles radius of the subject office building in the last 6 months?  Who is out there making up these new rules, aliens?  Geographic competence in my opinion extends to all properties of the same type within the same city.  If you are an expert appraising hi-rise office buildings on one side of town, I really doubt that you are unqualified to complete an appraisal of the same type of hi-rise office building on the opposite side of town.     

I have talked to residential appraisers who have experienced the same situation, their Appraisal Management Company (AMC) told them that even though they had appraised residential homes in a number of small towns for 15 years that since they had not completed an assignment in one particular small town within the last year (due to there being few sales being transacted there) that they were unqualified to complete it today.  

I am hoping to hear that these are just isolated incidents, and that appraisers are not going to have to deal with a new group of individuals who decide whether or not they are qualified to complete assignments.  It should be obvious to customers whether or not their appraiser was competent base on the appraisal report itself, and appraisers who complete assignments they are not qualified to run the risk of complaints and lawsuits.

Update 2014: I find it amazing that an AMC or potential Client will throw out any requirements that they may have in place if they don't have anyone to complete it, because it is close to the holidays or the assignment is in a remote location.  Even AMC's I have worked for over the years come out of the woodwork around Christmas time.  You have to be able to make your own decisions about your competency and disclose to potential clients when there is a problem.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn Rigdon, MA, MRICS, ASA a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada appraiser via email or via his business website Horizon Village Appraisal (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website.  

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