Can an AMC Tell Appraisers How to Dress?

Can an AMC Tell Appraisers How to Dress?I recently saw a Facebook post where an appraiser was quite upset and offended that an AMC asked him to dress professionally for an appraisal walkthrough. Now, this was a request that was made up front as one of the conditions for accepting the order. Reading the post, it sounded like this appraiser was upset for two reasons. One, he was offended that the AMC was implying that he does not take his job seriously enough or dress professionally enough. Two, he felt like the AMC did not have a right to tell him how to do his job (i.e. how to dress).

First let me say that I personally do not think it was the AMC’s intention to imply that this appraiser is not professional in any way. I simply think that they were taking extra precautions to make sure the borrower was extremely impressed by the service they, and the appraiser who they hired, provided. Now, on to the real question. Can an AMC tell an appraiser how to dress? And the answer is yes.

I have several employees. Now I do not do this, but if I hire an employee, I can have them wear a uniform or stick to a dress code. They may choose to ignore that dress code, but they may also lose their job. In other words, an employee is not really empowered to say no to a boss’s request without risking their job.

Now, you may be thinking, “Well Dustin, appraisers are not typically employees. They are independent contractors and business owners. Sure you can tell W4 Employees what to wear, but you cannot tell us what to wear.” You are right. It is a slightly different situation.

The client is the one hiring you. They are giving you a paycheck. They are paying your bills. They have a right to ask you to do certain things when you complete work for them. But guess what; you also have a right to say no, and if you say no, you are not going to lose your job as an appraiser. You may lose an order, or a client, but you ultimately are not going to lose your job. That is the difference. You have a choice.

I do a lot of work in the Jackson Hole area, and I often appraise estates that belong to high profile individuals. I have had AMCs call me and ask me to do things a little differently while appraising these properties. Some common requests are dressing up and wearing a tie, keeping the owners confidentiality, and being careful when taking pictures to not reveal who lives there. Yes these things require more effort, but I also get paid a lot more for these types of assignments. It is personally worth it to me to go the extra mile and respect the client’s above and beyond wishes. However, if I felt the client was asking for outrageous things, or if I felt it was not worth my time, I could always say no.

Folks, you have a choice. If you feel a client is asking too much of you, then simply say no. It does not make any sense to complain about it or assume a victim attitude. No one is forcing you to do these things. If you do not want to do them, move on to a different assignment or a different client.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode below:

Dustin Harris
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Image credit flickr - Dominic Salvucci
Dustin Harris

Dustin Harris

A multi-business owner and residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers. His principles and methodologies are also taught in an online, Mastermind group. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children. Dustin Harris on

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Kim DeFilippis says:

    As adult professionals, we don’t need to be reminded how to comport ourselves. Do you ask your attorney to wear a tie to court? Of course not. He already knows this. Asking him to comply with something he already practices IS insulting. These types of AMC directives are in place for the lowball fee appraisers, or possibly trainees…you get what you pay for.

  2. Avatar BoB says:

    An appraiser should dress appropriately as a simple matter of pride and professionalism. Further the appraiser represents two entities: their company AND the lender. That’s how the homeowner perceives it. However, if added motivation is needed I always tell my colleagues that if they don’t think they’re being evaluated via periodic post inspection homeowner interview calls they’re naïve.

  3. Avatar Koma says:

    Dress professionally?? Don’t see them going into a 200 year old attic/cellar or a 70 year old crawl space or walking a 30 acre wooded lot in the middle of a fall rain storm. Why are they still working for these AMC’s?

  4. Avatar EJ says:

    I have the same problem when I ask the homeowner to wear a mask during the inspection, 90% of the time they never do.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      You have no business injecting your own personal beliefs or personal fears towards other peoples personal health management choices when you are a guest in their home. Do you also harp on them to stop drinking and smoking? In the real world for people not captured by fake news, well over 9 in 10 individuals do not wear masks in their homes, and they’re not comfortable with guests wearing them either. Testing testing! Cases Cases! Ignoring the fact that over amplification recycling of the test results in something near 16 out of 17 ‘positive cases’ actually being false positives. They’re amplifying the test over 30x. Even the inventor of this test came out publicly and said the test is being misused and the results are subsequently worthless. This is the big illusion which will supposedly confirm the vaccine is effective. But how effective? These companies have not yet landed on a stable effective rate percentage, because in terms of the baseline of testing, it’s the wild west with absolutely no uniform standards. You are watching political theater and have to be straight out of your mind to dare to take a pioneering rna resequensing vaccine with this many known immediate and long term side effects. They’ve stabbed at rna resequencing for decades and except for the use of them to sterilize farm animals, they have never used the successfully to fend of viral infection in mammals. Turn off the boob tube. Except for the ongoing government over reach, it’s over. You have virtually nothing to be concerned about. Changing the litterbox is more frightening than this virus. Wake up.

      We go where we want. We do what we want. We dress how we want. We think how we want to. We say what we want. If you’re unhappy with individual liberty under a voluntary system of representative governance under a republic setting, you always have the liberty to leave for somewhere else if you’d prefer. Try China.

      • Avatar EJ says:

        Damn Bilbo, I use to respect your comments, appears to me, now, you’ve lost your foolish mind !
        Get on the Trump wagon & be gone !

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          Put your mask back on. Then try some exposure to truthful news, if you can handle it. Thank you for mentioning a specific politic, so now all the thousands of lurkers and readers of these boards can check out some real news too. Boy, it’s a good thing you’re not in charge of who is credible, and who is not. It’s Sir Bilbo for you.

      • Avatar Koma says:

        Baggins and you can die the way you want. Don’t believe in the science, don’t trust the science, then you do not deserve the help from the medical professionals when you need hospitalization is that what you are proclaiming too. I think not, you’re the very first ones in line trying to get into these facilities when that happens…Trump, Christie, Rudy.

        Your proof that masks work… my son is on a island in the pacific, they all were wearing masks and the island went almost three months with no cases. Then a few, not him, went off base to a party not wearing masks and boom the base had over 100 cases about two weeks after that party. Fortunately no one died from the few who did not follow the rules.

        Luckily have had only one house were they wouldn’t wear a mask, her husband was going through chemo and told her I wouldn’t enter and then left. My client of 12 years was notified and said they had no problem with my decision. Also was later told they wore a mask for the next Appraiser.

        Baggins you have a right to your opinions and youtube LMFAO, but lets leave the scientific data to the professionals not someone just throwing bits and pieces together.

        • Baggins Baggins says:

          The mask does nothing, it is a placebo. Simply moving around and being in contact with other people is how germs spread. Imagine a virus so deadly, you have to be tested to even know if you have it. This is the first time in medical history anyone has called people positive cases despite there being no symptoms. Now with the amplification of testing and incredible false positive rates. “The science” TM, yeah I’ve heard of that. I thought the science required testing of hypotheses. Science is supposed to be an open call to all researchers. Perhaps I’m wrong because this new and better form of science only requires censorship and the force of government, a thousand fake news parrots to prove theorems. Repeat these slogans of fears and cures long enough, they become the truth. If you want to stay safe and healthy, stay away from hospitals. They don’t create cures, they create customers.

          (cdc death stats over recent year. This virus barely moved death statistics beyond the average and even if it did, the validity of such attribution to covid remains in question due to the financial conflict of interest with hospitals, whom get more money when they mark otherwise routine health complications up as attributable to covid. It is just as likely that the disruption of peoples lives by the government played a substantial role in their failing personal health. A helpful visual graph included.)

          An interesting summary I picked rather randomly off the internet for this. You can find this same tone of argument from many other sources if desired.

          (explaining increased amplification of testing which results in false positives.)

          Unvaccinated children have better long term health statistics

  5. Avatar Don says:

    I live in Northeast Florida where it gets very hot & humid. I have been appraising since 2000. I started off wearing business casual pants with a polo shirt. If the heat did not sweat me out, the crawling into bushes surely did destroy my clothes. Try to crawl under a home or into an attic with dress clothes on. I now wear jeans with a polo shirt in the cold month and golf shorts and a polo shirt the rest of the 11 months. Never had a complaint with a home owner or a client.

  6. Avatar Dave says:

    I tell AMC’s, sure I’ll wear my church suit, but if their dogs jump on me like they always do and get mud on my pants like they always do, I’m adding my dry cleaning bill to your invoice! Having said that, I don’t believe anyone should wear blue jeans for an inspection. Docker type slacks that are washable works! Common sense. If I’m appraising a million+ home and owner’s are vip’s in the area, OK, put on that suit! But we shirley don’t need AMC’s telling us how to dress! And don’t call me Shirley!

  7. Avatar Glen D Floyd Jr, IFA. ASA, MNAA says:

    I had an AMC tell me they wanted a negative Covid test transmitted prior to the delivery of each appraisal per their new policy. That was just as ridiculous as someone telling me what kind of shoes and socks my staff must wear. I’ve never lost a single order yet after reminding others that I own this company and my staff answers to me. Respectfully to the very learned coach, I believe our piers need the freedom to express frustration to us without being accused of being a “victim”. As always, I appreciate this author’s insight. But I feel he is in the minority pertaining to this subject and I’m betting he has limitations in taking orders from others as well. (BTW – Saying we can turn down business is always true. But we shouldn’t be forced to do so, just because an AMC wants to police our internal HR expectations). Just my opinion of course.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Proof of a negative virus test? If you stop working with amc’s you won’t have to deal with their insane over reach or constant bumbling incompetency. Round these parts, wearing jeans with a button up over shirt is dressing up.

  8. Avatar ej says:

    With what AMCs are paying appraisers, they should be happy appraisers do not show up naked to the inspection.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Post O’ the day!

      • Avatar don says:

        In CA we have “smell good plumbers”, don’t know what that means; physically or physiologically.
        It’s certainly not a discussion for a client v contractor. Maybe I could steal the dumb ass clients.

  9. Tom Markoski on Facebook Tom Markoski on Facebook says:

    Dustin please…When I’m hired as an employee (W2) with a salary of 65K+, a Pension/401 with matching, VACA, Healthcare, and my professional expenses and training paid for: I’ll dress any way the employer wants.

  10. Avatar Taffy Severs-Horner says:

    When I go to the home of a client, I respectfully ask them all to be masked or to step out of the house while I am there. If they do not comply I do not go in. My health as well as theirs is more important than a mask fight. I have never had a homeowner refuse. In fact, I went yesterday and they had a mask on their dog too (for fun) and they stayed 6 feet away as well. I ask for all doors to be opened and all lights on.
    As far as dress. I crawl into crawlspaces and attics and dress accordingly.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Of course nobody is going to object to the appraisers demands. They’d do a dang back flip if you told them that was a condition of your service. Try not making demands and watch how the tone changes.

      “The science”…. A true scientist questions for profit narratives and one does not need a degree to understand these basic objective principals regarding conflicts of interest and the hypocrisy which comes alongside. Your health is dependent on your immune system, not a paper mask. Parroting is easy. Thinking for yourself is what is challenging.

      The article was about how other people may demand how the appraiser dresses, not about demanding how the customer dresses. Have you seen this?

  11. Avatar Janet says:

    I find it sad that they even have to tell people to dress professionally. I wear a polo shirt with my company name and my name on it and have my name on my car. I do wear bluejeans or shorts in the summer, but you can still look professional. I suspect there may be some arriving in sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt.

  12. Avatar Tony L Woods says:

    The bigger question is “SHOULD” an AMC have to tell an appraiser how to dress? I certainly hope not!

  13. Avatar thefuture says:

    I think we are way past dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Some properties are total dumps. Every inspection comes with a little dust. Looking or dressing a certain way doesn’t undermine the ability to provide a professional opinion. I’m covered in tattoos. Guess I’m SOL in this field….. not.


  14. Avatar Taffy Severs Horner says:

    When I first started I was told to wear “office” attire. After the filthy places I have been, it is jeans (no holes) and a polo or decent tshirt.

  15. Avatar E J Brown says:

    I now wear my rubber fishing boots, shorts, rain coat & hat when inspecting in the rain !


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Can an AMC Tell Appraisers How to Dress?

by Dustin Harris time to read: 2 min