The World of Highly Skilled Appraisers

Highly Skilled Appraisers' World. Where Would You Go to Find Comps?

…the world of highly skilled appraisers, who are more than just “form fillers”…

I hosted a USPAP Update class on Friday January 25 (taught by an approved USPAP instructor).

During the class I asked attendees if they had heard about the ‘most expensive residence sale’ in the US. Some attendees knew about this, but most didn’t.

To see what I’m talking about, click on this link from Jonathan Miller’s Housing Notes blog.

Scroll down and you’ll see a photo of the view from that unit, a multi-story penthouse apartment in a brand new building, I think the tallest now in New York City, overlooking Central Park. Wow! Jonathan also includes a graph showing the trend of sales from years ago up to including this sale. This sale is astronomically above all others!

Study the graph, and then stop and think about this for a minute. If such a residence in your market needed an appraisal to arrive at an appropriate market value for lending purposes, where would you go to find comps? Where would your “neighborhood” be? Frankly, you’d have to search the entire planet! And you may not find anything that even remotely comes close.

I took an Appraisal Institute CE class a number of years ago – while on a boat on Lake Washington, Seattle as we observed several mcmansions (Bill Gates’ home was one of them) – where this was expressly stated. Sometimes, for trophy properties that are highly unusual in your market, you have to look elsewhere, far and wide, for market support.

I saw another recent comment from Jonathan in a different news story, where he said this property would be the most challenging assignment he’d ever do, because there are no ‘comps’ to rely on. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be appraised.

Such is the world of highly skilled appraisers, who are more than just “form fillers.” These are the individuals that will be sought after for difficult assignments as AVMs and other processes take over the valuation of more typical properties.

Dave Towne
Image credit wikimedia - Tdorante10
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on

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3 Responses

  1. Eric Boggs on Facebook Eric Boggs on Facebook says:

    How long can we hang on not making enough money?

  2. Avatar Carl says:

    McMansions; it’s A CLASS (income level) thing. Bill Gates, well, he’s a Billionaire. His domicile has no connection to a McMansion, which BTW is a style of home that is at best describe as Upper Middle Income (Class). 5 star Doctor, Attorney etc.

  3. Baggins Baggins says:

    One speculates where the skill level of appraisers will be at in the future though, having the bread and butter base work which built up so many pro’s, absent in the future due to demin rises as well as substitution of working duties by non licensed persons. You don’t just train to be a mansion appraiser, you step up to that point through experience and lots of it.

    Enjoy this tiny window in time, as more and more base and simple work moves away from appraisers, there will be far fewer available pro’s not too far into the future.


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The World of Highly Skilled Appraisers

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min