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Appraisal Turnaround Time

by Administrator on Feb 12, 2015 Business Operation 2280 Views

Requests for appraisal services generally fall into three categories with regard to turnaround time, average (typical turnaround with no imminent need or pressure), fast, quick or expedited services (as fast or a bit faster than that of competitors) and rush, (or as fast as reasonably possible).

I am always surprised that some consumers of commercial appraisal services have absolutely no idea about how long it takes to complete a commercial appraisal report.  They call me with an assignment that would normally take 3 to 4 weeks for most appraisers to complete and they tell me that if I want the assignment I would have 5 days to complete it. 

It's my opinion that if you know that you are going to need a narrative commercial appraisal report you should plan ahead, get bids if you need them from multiple parties and find out how long it's going to take for the services to be completed.

The definition of "appraisal hell" is being pressured into completing an appraisal assignment with a pressure cooker timeline.  My preference is not to have to work 16 hours a day through weekends and holidays to complete an appraisal for litigation or for a tax filing.    

There are times when I will accept appraisal assignments with a "short fuse," when I am well compensated for my time, but I don't accept assignments that have impossible, absurd or unreasonable deadlines.  Some potential clients think there are no limits, they contact me when I would have 10 days to complete their assignment, an assignment that would typically take 20 days, then they want me to wait 3 day weekend for them to decide whether to make the order.  Some are surprised that the 3 day decision loss may make the difference between the assignment being reasonable and unreasonable with regard to time.

There are exceptional times when an appraisal assignment can be competently completed by an appraiser in a timeframe that most other appraisers would consider unreasonable.  It happens when the appraiser has recently appraised a property similar to the proposed subject property and the research and analytics will change little, or when the appraiser already appraised the subject property and is familiar with it.

Quoting a turnaround time is difficult for appraisers at first, especially if there are other people involved in the production of the report.  You don't want to promise a report and then not be able to deliver it on time.  The worst situation for an appraiser would be to take an assignment when someone is depending on it and not deliver it timely.

It's become my habit to provide appraisal bids with a range of delivery dates to potential clients like "between 10 to 14 days" unless the report is required on a specific date.  If I can deliver the report in 10 days I will, but it's better to have some extra time when you need it.

Appraisers have just one thing to sell, it is their time or the time related to preparing appraisal reports, so if a client wants big blocks of your time at the expense of other clients or potential clients, it’s important to be compensated for it.  If you become too exclusive you won’t have time for any other client and that could potentially damage your business.  

It's my experience that appraisers have been decreasing their appraisal turnaround times over time due in part to slow market conditions, lower volumes and increased competition.  Gone are the days when a 30 day turnaround was the norm for a commercial report. 

For more appraisal information contact Glenn Rigdon, MA, MRICS, ASA a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada appraiser via email at 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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