Appraiser Ethics

Appraiser Ethics

An appraiser has a responsibility to the public to perform an accurate appraisal. In some circumstances their assessments may be relied upon by the public or one or more entities. They must protect the confidentiality of their clients and adhere to strict regulations. It is their obligation to provide accurate information with an appropriate degree of competency and maintain professional conduct. Appraisers may often engage in trades where they have specific knowledge to bring to an assignment. It is their duty to use their understanding for the benefit of reporting accurate data that will facilitate the decision process of pending issues. An appraiser may frequently enter into agreements with parties that state specific guidelines that must be met. The appraiser has a responsibility to read and understand the agreement to ensure it maintains integrity and fairness prior to entering into it.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is a standard authored by the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB). The ASB is one of two divisions of the Appraisal Foundation (TAF). Periodic revisions are made to the USPAP to address current issues. The standard is comprised of four rules and ten standards. The ethics rule addresses conduct and prohibits specific activities including certain undertakings to procure assignments. It also establishes requirements for performing appraisal assignments and reporting results. The competency rule requires the appraiser to assess his proficiency for performing an assignment. Three steps for accomplishing credible appraisals are established in the scope of work rule. Requirements set forth in the USPAP that contradict law are nullified in the judicial exception rule.

The standards set criteria for the act of performing an appraisal. The USPAP distinguishes the activities performed in the appraisal process from the written document in which it refers to as a report. The standards encompass various disciplines including appraisal and reporting of real property, personal property, business property and intangible assets. The ten standards do not provide specific procedures or methods to follow but rather require the application of practices recognized by the industry to produce reliable results. Those standards that address appraisal reports state that results must be reported in a way that is not deceptive and establish requirements applicable to each discipline.

The Appraisal Institute Code of Conduct

The Appraisal Institute Code of Conduct governs the ethical and competent practices of appraisers in the real estate industry. All Appraisal Institute members must comply with the code of conduct. It consists of principles, rules and explanatory comments established by the Appraisal Institute to inspire the public’s confidence in its members. The code of conduct delineates the requirements for appraisal, appraisal review and consulting service. The criterion exceeds that of the state certified and licensed real estate appraisers. Members who do not comply with the code of conduct are disposed to disciplinary or remedial action. Members of the Appraisal Institute are also responsible for ensuring other members understand and comply with the code of conduct. They are required to report violations to the Director of Ethics and serve on the review board to examine possible violations.

Ethical Practices and Procedures

The establishment of ethical practices and procedures identifies standards that consistently deliver service that benefits the public and society. It establishes rules for conduct to prevent criminal charges resulting from dishonesty or fraud. Ethical practices protect the client’s privacy. They ensure that appraisers are qualified to make assessments prior to performing an assignment and notify clients of any deficiencies in competence. Methods of reporting are established that avert biased data and provide reliable information. Appraisers are prohibited from communicating, contributing to or participating in the preparation or delivery of a report containing misleading figures.

Why You Want to Choose an Ethical Appraiser

Choosing an ethical appraiser protects your financial well-being. It ensures that your property is valued with methods commonly recognized in the industry to provide consistent information. Valuations performed by ethical appraisers provide fairness in tax assessments and mitigate fraudulent lending practices. They also support accurate and impartial claims for insurance and estate claims. An ethical appraiser will protect confidential information. They provide full disclosure of all information relevant to the appraisal to allow you to make informed financial decisions.