Credible Third Party Inspections

Credible Third-Party Inspections, Use of EA & USPAP Q&A

…producing credible real estate appraisal reports…

Is it any wonder that The Appraisal Foundation has lost nearly all credibility as America’s self-proclaimed foremost authority on appraisal matters? I humbly submit their most recent offering.

Excerpt from current ASB Q&A:

“2018-19 USPAP Q&A Issue Date: March 29, 2018

The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) of The Appraisal Foundation develops, interprets, and amends the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) on behalf of appraisers and users of appraisal services. The USPAP Q&A is a form of guidance issued by the ASB to respond to questions raised by appraisers, enforcement officials, users of appraisal services and the public to illustrate the applicability of USPAP in specific situations and to offer advice from the ASB for the resolution of appraisal issues and problems. The USPAP Q&A may not represent the only possible solution to the issues discussed nor may the advice provided be applied equally to seemingly similar situations. USPAP Q&A does not establish new standards or interpret existing standards. USPAP Q&A is not part of USPAP and is approved by the ASB without public exposure and comment.”

Sounds a lot like those radio ads for securities and stock offerings that disclose at the end they are not an offering to sell securities or stock.

OK, I get the stated distinction. What I do not get is exactly when or how they interpret the standards if not via Q&As in response to specific inquiries?

I do know that they amend USPAP like clockwork every two years, starting almost immediately after they release the most recent revisions. They have yet to offer a plausible reason for doing so.

Just for fun read the current Q&As.


If YOU determine that the third-party inspection data is reliable then no extraordinary assumption is required. Buried waaaaaay down toward the end though you will find that if you DON’T determine the third-party information to be credible, that you may use an extraordinary assumption.

Straddling that fence must have been painful.

All this time I thought that there had to be a ’reasonable’ expectation the extraordinary assumption was correct. Silly me!

Coincidently I know the various definitions of the word ‘determine’ (& it’s past tense) even though California’s Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers proved in court that they do not.

I wouldn’t advise using any of those definitions in relation to some unknown third-party’s inspection adequacy. Especially those that put preprinted verbiage in their own hybrid appraisal or evaluation forms that state you 'have determined' the third-party inspections are 'credible.'

I have determined a few other words that seem applicable.

“gob·ble·de·gook [gob- uhl-dee-g ook] NOUN: language characterized by circumlocution and jargon, usually hard to understand: the gobbledegook of government reports.
Related Question: What are the synonyms for gobbledygook? Source:”

Synonyms for gobbledygook (noun jargon): amphigory, balderdash, baloney, bosh, bull, bunk, cant, drivel, gibberish, hooey, macaronics, rigmarole

Joseph Heller’s protagonist, Capt. Yossarian probably would have another phrase.

None would be expected to be applicable to guidelines or advice for producing credible real estate appraisal reports.

Michael Ford
Latest posts by Michael Ford (see all)
Michael Ford

Michael Ford

Over 28 years appraising all property types and interests, in Southern California real estate. VP/Chairman National Appraiser Peer Review Committee, American Guild of Appraisers, #44OPEIU/AFL-CIO. - Michael Ford on e-AppraisersDirectory

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17 Responses

  1. Ross Grannan on Facebook Ross Grannan on Facebook says:

    Opinions based on assumptions

  2. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 27yr says:

    You remember what “Assumptions” can get us into? Worst case senerio: What if the Appraiser is not CREDIBLE? How would they be able to judge the credibility of another? We know most of these “inspections” are done by starving Realtors, who will leave the office/home, drive 25 miles, take 6-10 photos, drive back 25 miles, do some CMA work and upload a condition report for $ 50. But, how are WE as Appraisers, supposed to judge the credibility of the Realtor Inspector? 25+ years ago when I was a practicing Realtor, these “Inspections” sometimes BPO’s, were given to “MAYBEE” get the listing.  Commissions  are now possibly involved, Realtor would WANT to point out or photograph the Negative side of the property, to possibly lower an anticipated list price to sell quickly. RIGHT? How are we to determine, out of the 24,000 Realtors (In my market) which ones are “Credible”. We CAN’T. But, I do not participate in any 3rd party work. I see it, smell it, feel it, in person.   

    The AI needs “Adjusting”.

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Yeah. Excess populace has rendered the appraiser more valuable than ever. That’s why outsourcing appraisal duties is more dangerous and irresponsible than ever before. I just dealt with a nifty sale where agents tried to circumvent fha conditions with contract language. Strictly as is, will not repair. Um… Sorry, and have a few extra repairs while you’re at it. Game over.

  3. Avatar don says:

    We all make assumptions, some quick some thoughtful. Given the situation of using another’s inspection report: it would be a simple agreement with our own overlook, or a caveat of those limitations. What the big problem!?!?We’ve identified our client, we’ve legitimized a “format, and complied with the rules. If we collected the fee in front we should have no problem. If we’ve relied on a employer or client we could loose our license or our job. maybe that makes all in-house appraisals suspect

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Don, winning post. You have earned a reward.


      • Avatar don says:

        Wrong don, you picture The Donald! FHA, VA, FNMA & Freddie. Make their rules. we make ours and publish them. What’s the big deal. We contract for the job we accomplish, If they sell something else, that between them, we have not participated in any fraud. The 1004 format clearly states the issues, variance usually means another contract. We frequently custom make our appraisal contracts to reflect stuff: vested zoning, government credits, utilities, promised special uses, lease contracts based on superior or inferior credit. Can’t we be as specific, or SHOULD we use something other than the 1004

  4. Avatar Chris says:

    You have to be stupid to go for that. Who really wants to sit in the office day in and day out just typing reports… So with that said, who are “they” aiming at to do these type of evaluations??? Basically half the appraisers jumped into review positions….hmmm. maybe “they” are hoping these reviewers will maybe type a report or four over the weekend….. All so “they” can STILL charge $650 (or more) and only pay out $200. What a racket !!! Wait for the foreclosures !!!! LOL !!! 25 years and I am still laugh at all this B.S. Whats going to happen is those of us left will be making a fortune someday, get all our money back and start training again…….. “they” just want a piece of the pie before that happens…. Let them Try, wait till the homeowners find out that THE appraiser will not be see the house…. Can you imagine!!! You just have to laugh at this B.S.   

    • Baggins Baggins says:

      Sadly, the majority of people engaging the lending systems are not that bright in the first place. Catch 22. Dude, you’re doing it wrong. Hire a driver. All great rackets start with consolidation. Do you believe in coincidences?

  5. Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

    If I remember correctly ….didn’t the ceo of Fannie Mae say that these might be the future and why would an appraiser want to inspect when they can stay at there desks all day ? What a D*** ! 

  6. Avatar Fritz Vogel AGA,CRS,CEI,GRI NY Cert. Appraiser 27yr says:

    Yes he did, very misinformed. You can’t teach or learn what we look for in an Inspection in a semester, or even a year. We’re not supposed to be Home Inspectors, but we look for almost all of the same things. I guess if you were practicing in a very small “nich” market, where all the same problems, construction, and details are constantly in front of you, I guess you could “learn” after 200-300 inspections. But if you have a large, diverse area when you never know what’s next, it takes YEARS. Who is going to do that? A Realtor, “Here is a nice size closet, and over here we have a bedroom that could hold a queen sized bed”. Not on my watch. I’d prefer to complete inspections all day. Put me in a cubical and I’d be ballistic.

    • Avatar Jack Of All Trades says:

      I agree those guys at Fannie Mae are out of touch with reality.

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I decided the yesterday that instead of listening to the not so happy news or the same old songs all day, that I would turn to the COMEDY channels.

      LIFE IS GOOD !!! I was laughing my rear end off for all those hours….wait, give that up and write reports all day …….seriously ????

      Spring, summers and fall are coming, convertible top coming down, taking off to the mountains and oceans after inspections, shopping during the runs….looking at pretty girls all day and running through some very cool ass houses with a lot of very cool homeowners…..hmmmmm What appraiser is giving that up ???

      Stay the course, Build your business with the right client, don’t forget to WEED your garden every year…send your most troublesome clients to your competitor…..:)

      Hurry up old timers and retire……Fees go up, we train, every one happy again….wait…. except the bankers who cant pull our strings !!!


      • Baggins Baggins says:

        Soon, the circle will complete again. Sadly, in many locations the best clients will be reo focused. Try the joe rogan podcast, that’s always a trip. There is an entire other world of entertainment out there. I watch the Liberty Report on youtube nightly. Around this house, we have a one a day advertisement limit.

  7. Avatar Tim says:

    The Foundation are a bunch of pussies that deserted the residential appraiser.

  8. I don’t mind them deserting appraisers so much. They’ve never exactly been there for us to begin with. What I DO mind is them siding with the special interests they are supposed to protect the public from and then claiming that somehow coincides with protection of the public trust.

    The other issue I take exception with is the claim that they are; or need to be making anything easier for state regulators. Making enforcement ‘easier’ is up to state legislators-not TAF. States should hire experienced and qualified people that don’t need special help from TAF.

    When states still insist on hiring & or promoting the stupid or dishonest (such as California’s former Chief of Enforcement Seaters, or proven incompetent Sr. Investigator-Appraiser & Known Perjurer John Schmidt), then it is not up to TAF to make their malfeasance easier. 

    Protecting ‘The Public Trust’ takes far more than meaningless, or worse; misleading proclamations that is what will result. Maybe one of new definitions they talk about adding should include exactly what they mean by ‘protecting the Public Trust’. Thirty+ years after the S&L crisis and nearly 30 years after FIRREA both the American Public and real estate appraisers alike have less faith in the financial health of regulated institutions and the integrity of the appraisal process lenders are demanding now.

  9. Baggins Baggins says:

    Thirty years? Try a hundred. People are living in the illusion their house is worth more in the past few years. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, everyone was extended credit, and only the wise few chose not to use it. Ethics must maintain flexibility, if there is going to be a continuing stream of new scam and ponzi activity. Ethics in billing, the taboo subject. The great awakening, we demand our country back.


  10. Avatar don says:

    Are we smart because every one else is dumb?

    Are we honest because every one else is a crook?

    Are we trying to make a better world by insulting the one we live in?

    Can we make a more conscience surroundings by narrowing attitudes.



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Credible Third Party Inspections

by Michael Ford time to read: 2 min