When is an Appraiser Not an Appraiser?

When an appraiser is not an appraiser - USPAPWith an influx of alternative valuation products now being offered to appraisers, I am often asked which of these assignments can be done by appraisers and which should be avoided. I am not a USPAP instructor, a lawyer, or a specialist in your individual state’s law, but I will give you the answer as I understand it (I am not responsible for your individual compliance to USPAP, the law, and blah blah blah).

First, an analogy is in order. Imagine you are a spectator at a sporting event. Sitting next to you is your buddy who asks you about a certain call the referee just made. Though you might offer him your version of what happened, nobody would give much credence to what you say because you are not an expert. It is just your opinion.  As you are walking from the stadium, the lady in front of you suddenly grips her left arm and falls to the ground. Immediately, you spring to action, diagnose her with a heart attack, and begin treating her. Though all the signs are there, would anyone believe your diagnosis beyond a simple  layman’s estimation? Probably not.

Let’s take the same scenario however, with a slight change. What if you prefaced your comments about the game by saying, “In my 20 years as a professional referee, I have never seen a call like that.”  Or on your way out of the stadium you announce, “Please make way, I am a cardiac physician.”  Would this change the expectations of those around you? Most likely. Representing yourself as an expert changes the anticipation of those in observation or receipt of your services. The same is true as an appraiser.

USPAP Advisory Opinion 21 makes it very clear that an appraiser who is acting as an appraiser in a valuation assignment is expected to adhere to the Standards of USPAP and expectations of individual state laws. In other words, you cannot obtain the valuation assignment because you are an appraiser and then say, “Well, I did not follow USPAP because I was not acting as an appraiser in that particular situation.” If you are actively promoting yourself as an appraiser and are asked to value property (no matter what the assignment), you are expected to follow the rules.

On the other hand, there are many assignments which would not require the same level of adherence. For example, many appraisers are also brokers, consultants, or experts in other, related fields. If you are asked to perform a Broker’s Price Opinion as a real estate broker, you would not be required to adhere to USPAP in that situation. Just be clear to distinguish the ‘hat’ you are wearing in the report. So, when is an appraiser not an appraiser? When he or she is not promoted as such or acting in the capacity of an appraiser.

Dustin Harris
Latest posts by Dustin Harris (see all)
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 e-AppraisersDirectory.com

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    It appears to me than an appraiser is not an appraiser the instant that they are asked to stop to consider the value of their own time. At that point active appraisers become blind, blundering fools that are incapable of constructing two letter words or adding 1+1. All logic goes out the window and the appraiser regresses back into a single cell life form the moment that they are asked to consider the topic.

    How else can you explain what has taken place within this industry?

  2. Avatar AppraiserMorons says:



Leave a Reply

We welcome critical posts & opposing points of view. We value robust & civil discourse. You may openly disagree, but state your case in an atmosphere of mutual respect, in which everyone has a right to a particular view about the topic of conversation. Please keep remarks about the topic at hand, & PLEASE avoid personal attacks. If the poster gets you upset, it is the Internet, you can walk away from it.

Personal attacks harm the collegial atmosphere we encourage on AppraisersBlogs.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Resize text-+=
xml sitemap

When is an Appraiser Not an Appraiser?

by Dustin Harris time to read: 2 min