The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) defines appraisal review as “the act or process of developing and communicating an opinion about the quality of another appraiser’s work that was performed as part of an appraisal or appraisal review assignment.”
USPAP Standard Rule 3 states that the reviewer “must identify the problem to be solved, determine the scope of work necessary to solve the problem, and correctly complete the research and analysis necessary to produce a credible appraisal review.”
Depending on the Scope of the Review, the review can either be a “Desk Review” or a “Field Review”. As the name implies, the Desk Review is completed without a field inspection and is based solely on the report being reviewed. As no travel is required, this level of review is the least expensive. The Field Review generally requires at a minimum an inspection of the subject from the public right of way. Depending on the Scope of Work required, the inspection may include a detailed inspection of the subject, the comparable data, and the surrounding area. Prior to accepting an assignment, the level of review should be agreed upon by both parties.
The Ethics Rules within USPAP apply to both the appraiser and the reviewer. As part of the Ethical Rule, it is imperative that the reviewer adheres to the competency requirements within USPAP. With 40 years of appraisal and appraisal review experience, Sherwood brings years of expertise to the table.
Appraisal review is a necessary part of appraisal practice to ensure that the work performed produces credible results. While one task of the reviewer is to ensure that USPAP has been followed, it is more than a checklist. I believe the reviewer should take on the role of a teacher, helping the appraiser produce the best possible report. By educating the appraiser and assisting them, the reviewer assures that the client receives a better, more supportable product. This means less risk to the client and it allows the appraiser to grow and develop in his or her appraisal practice.
Having an unbiased, third party review the appraisal can provide a valuable service in litigation. Often attorneys are overburdened when preparing for depositions and trials. With an experienced appraiser and reviewer, the attorney can have another set of eyes that may see key questions for witnesses and can help prepare the attorney for more effective examination of a witness. A seasoned appraiser can also find the strengths and weaknesses that are present in most appraisals. The win or loss of a case may boil down to one key point or question.
Have you ever been forced to use an inexperienced appraiser or one who has limited exposure to trial? Having someone on your team who can coach that person may be invaluable to your case. As an educator, we are often required to break down complex ideas or methodology into everyday language. This is a special skill honed by years in the classroom.
With a career of managing an office with over 20 appraisers and working on large right of way projects, Sherwood is in a unique position to oversee large projects that require oversight and planning. Consistent communication with all the parties is key to success. Also, often a project can be held up by some small detail that needs attention. Keeping everyone informed and on task is critical.
Maintaining consistency in value findings is often difficult in larger projects. Great care should be given to the selection of the appraisers and reviewers and in how the assignments are given out. It is best to assign either by property type or at the points of lowest value (for example at a flood prone area). One should avoid making assignments to different appraisers at major intersections