Appraisal Ethics

As we have seen in our recent past, the real estate market can have a tremendous impact on the economy, society and on people’s day-to-day lives.  The Appraisal Institute notes that “those who own, manage, sell, purchase, invest in, or lend money on the security of real estate must have ready access to the services of individuals who provide unbiased opinions of value, as well as sound information, analyses, and advice on a wide range of issues related to property economics.”  Appraisers have a duty to protect the public trust.

In order to achieve this, the Appraisal Institute has adopted the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (or USPAP) to establish requirements for ethical appraisal practice, which all licensed appraisers are bound to.  USPAP provides guidance throughout the appraisal process.  It prohibits unethical practices, such as as accepting of 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”, or “the amount of a value opinion” in addition to other situations.  We diligently follow these rules to the letter which means you can be confident we are going above and beyond to get you an accurate home or property value.

Accepting orders where our fee is dependent on our value conclusion is not something we can consider. That means we don’t agree to do an appraisal report and base our pay upon coming up with a particular value conclusion. It should be obvious that fabricating a property’s value to achieve a larger fee is unethical.

As appraisers, we have a great deal of obligations, but our main duty is to our clients. More often than not, the appraiser’s client is the lender ordering the appraisal. Appraisers are typically limited to disclosing their findings only to their clients, so as a homeowner, if you want to obtain a copy of an appraisal report, you normally should get it from your lender instead of the appraiser.

Other responsibilities include accurate figures appropriate to the nature of the report, as well as reaching and sustaining a respectable level of competency and education. We take these ethical responsibilities very seriously.

Appraisers will frequently be obligated to consider the interests of third parties, such as homeowners, both sellers and buyers, or others. Those third parties normally are listed in scope of the appraisal assignment itself. An appraiser’s fiduciary duty is only to those third parties who the appraiser is aware of, based on the scope of work or other things in the framework of the job.

With Yount Appraisal, you won’t have any doubts that you’re getting 100 percent ethical, honest service.