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How to Handle Strange Assignments

by Administrator on Nov 21, 2015 Property Appraisal 1224 Views

It doesn't happen often but if you have been an appraiser for a while you know that you eventually get some strange requests.  There are always the phone calls about valuing British watercolor paintings or sword-cane walking sticks that are made by those who haven't read your ads closely on your website that clearly say "real estate appraisals" or they saw a yellow page ad and assumed that appraisers appraise everything, personal and real property.  Most do not.

Then there are the calls from people who want their barber shop, motel or their restaurant appraised, and they don't understand the difference between a business appraisal that includes a business entity and a real property appraisal.  Business appraisals have two segments, the real property and the remaining interests that are valued as the business entity, together they are called the "going concern" and while many appraisers are capable of completing an appraisal on a going concern some have never worked on those property types.

When I do get real estate calls or emails they at times those offering assignments want to to go to outlying areas including remote Nevada, California and Arizona.  I am located in Las Vegas and my preference is to work here in Nevada.  While I have at times held licenses in Colorado and Arizona I'm often not easily motivated to travel long distances to take appraisal assignments.  It takes a lot of motivation for me to make a 1,000 mile round trip drive or fly even to Reno, Nevada and I try to explain how much time it takes and extra work it is for me to travel when I talk to potential clients, usually I dissuade them from making me an offer by telling them that they should look for someone closer to the assignment.

When I get a call for an assignment in Las Vegas or Henderson (Clark County, Nevada) the property that they want appraised is at times a "special use" or a "special purpose" property like an; athletic club, a bowling alley, a church or a wedding chapel.  The assignment can be for a condemnation case, civil suit because of something like a faux brick surface that was represented to be or believed to be real, or it can be for a hard money lender.

As an appraiser you basically have to be ready for anything.  A call can be from the bishop of a church group, the real estate representative of a Fortune 100 corporation, a lender, local government or a Wall Street investment bank, they all need to know specific things about the market or a property.

It always amazes me how different cold calls can be, people ask for the appraisal of fast food restaurants, convenience stores with gas, auto service centers and retail plazas, and that is just a small sampling.

Appraisals become strange when an owner is trying to keep tenants out of their building or when they haven't finished portions of a building that would make them tens of thousands of dollars more valuable if completed.  You can't always tell what kind of motivations an owner has.  Assignments also get strange when owners have given huge rental discounts to their friends.  A $ 2 million building can have a $ 1 million value when the income, based on their lease or leases only supports the lower value.

Most appraisers have run across super adequate improvements, and when they are really over the top the appraisal of the properties can become strange.  I have seen industrial buildings finished with interior improvements that cost three to five times the norm and offices finished like palaces with imported marble floors and columns.  So much money had gone into some of the the improvement that it took considerable research just to determine the replacement costs.  Some specific improvements were one of a kind items that were outside of the normalcy range, the items could not reasonably be replaced.

When you do your first property with timber or mineral value, your first tank farm, your first golf course or your first earth sheltered home you can say that you have seen some strange assignments.  I find the ones that I accept to be challenging and interesting.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (http://www.appraiserlasvegas.com), or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/glenn-rigdon-ma-mrics-asa/1a/30b/879/

Article source: http://www.appraisalarticles.com/Real-Property-Appraisal/4585-How-to-Handle-Strange-Assignments.html

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