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What's Confidential About an Appraisal Report

by Guest on Mar 2, 2012 General Appraisal 1930 Views

One way of thinking about the confindential nature of an appraisal report is to ask yourself, how many clients would want the interior room pictures of their home or photos of their business inventory posted on the web?  Most people, including your clients, would consider those photos confindential.  While appraisals generally don't include social security numbers, tax id numbers or tax returns, many appraisers are supplied with income information and other data that their client would not want leaked or published.  If you have to ask yourself, would my client want this released, then its probably something that should not be released to anyone.

USPAP 2012 - 2013 notes that confidential information is information that is either; 1) identified by the client as confidential when providing it to an appraiser and 2) that is not available from any other source; or classified as confidential or private by applicable law or regulation*.  Since the government has entered the picture as the privacy interpreter of las resort, why even attempt to decide whether some specific piece of information related to a subject property is protected or not?  Why try to remember which specific items that a clients considers confidential?  My answer is to just protect the appraisal report in its entirety. 

Most appraisers understand that general data regarding the market is not confidential information.  If you complete a study on the real property market specific to small apartment buildings and use it in an appraisal report that information is not confidential.  How do you think that the banks and AVM's are getting all of that data off of appraisal reports?  Not by taking anything that can be remotely considered confidential, they just take the raw data.

Appraisers benefit from completing appraisal reports because they can build on their knowledge of general and specific real property markets and use that infomation in assignments that follow.  You will realize just how much that you have learned about a specific market when you talk to your next potential client about appraising a different property of the same type in the same market.  The more recent the experience the better your conversation will go, but your memory will let you go back in time to those properties that match your current conversation.

If you have looked at enough appraisal reports you will realize that income and expense data and other information is used by appraisers for comparisons and noted as "appraiser file" data.  Its impossible to tell where for example the income and expense information came from for comparison to the subject you are appraising if you don't reveal its source.  For appraisers this data is valuable, there are few sources of information within a specific market for a specific property type if you haven't already completed assignments on similar properties.

Appraisers must consider the confidential nature of appraisal assignments, but also realize that each assignment provides a learing experience and often valuable information that can assist them when the analyze their next property. 

For more residential or commercial 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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