Honesty, Integrity and Longevity:
I think of what I do as a profession. Becoming a State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser and an SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute is very rigorous and with the required Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and the Appraisal Institute's Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, it is unquestionable that real estate appraisal is a profession rather than a trade. As with any profession we are bound by ethical considerations.
Appraisers have a lot of responsibilities but above everything we answer to our clients. Typically, for most residential appraisals done for banks or lenders, the appraiser's client is the lender who orders the appraisal, not the borrower who actually pays for the appraisal. Appraisers have rules and regulations they must follow, including keeping many matters private for their clients; therefore, if you are a borrower and desire a copy of an appraisal report done by an appraiser for the lender, you should request it from your lender. Other obligations also include, numerical accuracy depending on the assignment's nature, reaching and keeping an adequate level of competency and education, and the appraiser must conduct him or herself as a professional.
Frank F. Butler, SRA, Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, A382, has worked hard for its track record for performing appraisals with the highest degree of ethics. Contact us today to learn more.
There are some scenarios in which appraisers will have fiduciary responsibilities to third parties, including homeowners, sellers and buyers, or others. Those third parties normally are listed in the scope of the appraisal assignment itself. An appraiser's fiduciary responsibility is limited to those third parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other things in the framework of the assignment.
Appraisers also have duties outside our clients. For example, appraisers must maintain their work files and report for at least five years which we adhere to.
For over 43 years I have strived to hold myself to the industry standards and mandates set in place for professional behavior. I cannot accept anything less from ourselves. Accepting appraisal assignments on contingency fees is never an option. That is, we can't agree to do an appraisal and get paid only if the loan closes. Furthermore, we can't do assignments based on a percentage of the value. That is probably the appraisal industries biggest no-no, because it would tend to make appraisers raise the value of homes or properties to increase their paycheck. We set ourselves to a higher standard. Other unethical practices may be defined by state law or professional organizations such as the Appraisal Institute of which I am a member.
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) also states unethical behavior as: accepting an assignment that is contingent on "the reporting of a predetermined result (e.g., opinion of value);" "a direction in assignment results that favors the cause of the client;" "the amount of a value opinion;" as well as other situations. I diligently follow these rules to the letter which means you can be assured I am doing everything I can to provide an unbiased opinion of value of the property being appraised.