Appraising is a profession, and appraisers are professionals. The rigors of becoming a licensed appraiser have become more difficult than ever before. That’s why it goes without question these days that real estate appraisal can definitely be called a profession rather than a trade. As with any profession we have a strict ethical code.
An appraiser’s chief obligation is to their client. Normally, for a typical residential appraisal, the lender (or an agent of the lender) places the order to the appraiser, becoming the appraiser’s client. Certain details relating to an assignment are to be discussed with the appraiser’s client. So, as a homeowner, if you would like to obtain a copy of an appraisal report, you generally should obtain it via your lender instead of the appraiser.
Other responsibilities include accurate calculations appropriate to the scope of the report, acquiring and sustaining an adequate level of competency and education, and naturally, the appraiser must bear a professional demeanor. Maintaining high ethics is what we do every day at Appraisal Keys, Inc.
In some cases appraisers will have fiduciary responsibilities to third parties, including homeowners, both buyers and sellers, or others. Those third parties normally are defined in the appraisal assignment itself. An appraiser’s fiduciary role is limited to those third parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other things in the framework of the job.
There are also ethical rules that have nothing to do with whom we share information. For example, appraisers must be able to produce their work files for a minimum of five years – something else Appraisal Keys, Inc diligently adheres to.
We demand the highest professional integrity possible from ourselves. Doing orders where our fee is dependent on our value conclusion is never an option. That is, we can’t agree to do an appraisal report and base our pay upon coming up with a particular value conclusion. There’s an obvious conflict of interest if an appraiser can report a greater value with the reward of getting paid more money! We set ourselves to a higher standard.
Finally, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (or simply “USPAP”) explicitly states unethical behavior as the acceptance of an assignment that is contingent on “the reporting of a pre-determined result (e.g., opinion of value)”, “a direction in assignment results that favors the cause of the client”, or “the amount of a value opinion” in addition to other situations We follow these rules to the letter which means you can be at ease knowing we are doing everything we can to get you an accurate home or property value.
When you engage Appraisal Keys, Inc, we’ll make sure you’re getting the professional service you expect along with the business principles we’re known for.