Recent Posts

HUD OIG Issues Appraisal Fraud Alert

Posted by: McKissock Date: Feb 24, 2017 1:29:03 PM

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a Fraud Alert Bulletin regarding appraiser identity theft.

According to the Fraud Alert Bulletin, there have been a number of appraiser identity theft cases recently uncovered by HUD OIG. 

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Topics: HUD, appraisal identity theft

7 Ways to Handle Appraisal Pressure and Still Maintain Your Ethical Reputation

Posted by: McKissock Date: Feb 23, 2017 9:00:00 AM

It goes without saying that there are no simple and easy ways to deal with appraisal pressure, especially when it comes to standing behind your ethics. A major source of frustration for appraisers is the realization that clients do not have to follow USPAP. The ethical and performance requirements of USPAP apply only to appraisers, not to clients.

In other words, USPAP doesn’t prohibit a mortgage broker from calling and asking you to develop an appraisal based on a predetermined value, but USPAP does prohibit you from accepting that assignment.

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Topics: appraisal pressure, ethics

4 Ways Appraisers Can Make Time for the Work That Matters

Posted by: McKissock Date: Dec 8, 2016 11:14:00 AM

No matter what industry you’re in, when things get busy it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It can seem impossible to get all of your work done with only 24 hours in the day. But there are some tried-and-true methods for eliminating the minutiae to drill down on the real estate appraisal work that matters.

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Topics: real estate appraisal work

Why the Appraisal Engagement Letter Isn’t Enough

Posted by: McKissock Date: Nov 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Should you execute an appraisal engagement letter with your clients? Absolutely. Is the engagement letter enough to ensure that you remain compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)? Not necessarily.

An appraisal engagement letter is a legally binding document that defines the terms and conditions of your arrangement with your client, addresses the scope of the assignment, and establishes your compensation, so you should execute one with each appraisal client to protect yourself.

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Topics: appraisal engagement letter

LinkedIn Profiles for Appraisers: What You Need to Know

Posted by: McKissock Date: Oct 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Social media has become more than just a way to communicate with your friends and family. In fact, 67 percent of adults now use social networking sites—a nearly tenfold jump over the past decade. For the savvy appraiser, the use of social media can help you grow and scale your business and career. From promoting your services to buyers and sellers on Facebook to growing your professional network with your LinkedIn profile, social media is essential.

Unlike other social media platforms—such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—LinkedIn is more business-focused and allows professionals to connect in a more professional setting. Your LinkedIn profile serves as your online resume and offers a snapshot of your background, your professional recommendations, and more. LinkedIn is a management tool for your career.

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Topics: Professional Development, Tips & Tricks

Tapping Technology to Scale Your Appraisal Business

Posted by: McKissock Date: Oct 20, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Advances in technology have impacted nearly every single industry—some of which have changed drastically in the last decade. The real estate industry, and specifically the appraisal industry, are no different. Here are just a few ways that technology can help you scale your appraisal business.


The introduction of mobile devices

As an appraiser, your job may keep you away from your desk often. But with mobile devices like cell phones and tablets, you can maintain access to all the information you need to get the job done while on the go. In a data-driven industry, mobile devices also allow appraisers to take and upload photos on the fly, create reports while standing in the property for reference, and show and send their reports to related parties without having to go back to the office to print, fax, or email. These things just weren’t possible a decade ago.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks

The Growing Use of Drones in Appraisal

Posted by: McKissock Date: Oct 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Drones are increasingly becoming a more common sight. From adventurers documenting their epic journeys to commercial real estate—there’s a myriad of uses and enthusiasts. The real estate industry has been quick to dive into this new and innovative technology, and appraisers are no exception. What are the advantages to using drones in appraisal? Drones can provide different and unique perspectives on properties, and many believe they can give useful information for a credible appraisal.

A significant obstacle that drone users once faced in the United States was the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. In certain situations, FAA would grant businesses the right to fly drones commercially, but that went on a case-by-case basis with specific (and often difficult to meet) regulations the businesses had to abide by.

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Topics: Trends

Introduction to Ground Leases

Posted by: McKissock Date: Sep 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The types of land that are most frequently ground leased include retail pads in commercial centers, land within high-density urban centers, land along ports and harbors, and other areas where land availability is low and land prices are high and expected to escalate. Are you interested in tackling ground lease appraisal assignments for commercial clients? Read this post for a breakdown of the typical tenants, reasons for use, motivations of the lessor, and potential disadvantages of ground leases.

Plus, check out our upcoming Pro-Series webinar, Commercial Case Study: Theme Park or Developed Site Value, on Wednesday, October 5 at 1:00pm EST. And take our Appraisal of Land Subject to Ground Leases course to gain a thorough understanding of the multiple components of ground leases. This information will give you a helpful edge when it comes to valuing commercial real estate, as well as prepare you to work with a wide variety of clients.

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Topics: Commercial Appraisal

How TILA Affects Appraisers

Posted by: McKissock Date: Sep 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is the largest reform of our financial regulatory systems since the reforms following the Great Depression. After the Great Recession, Congress passed Dodd-Frank in an effort to protect consumers and the overall financial stability of the United States. Changes in the Act affect nearly every financial regulatory agency in the country. Part of the Dodd-Frank reform was amending four federal statutes: TILA (Truth in Lending Act of 1968), FIRREA (Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act), RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974), and ECOA (Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974).

The most important amendment for appraisers is Section 1427, which changes TILA’s section 129E on appraisal activities. The amendments to TILA are designed to protect both consumers and appraisers from anything that may affect the integrity of an appraisal.

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Topics: Regulatory Changes

Beginner's Guide to Commercial Appraisal Review Clients

Posted by: McKissock Date: Sep 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Commercial appraisal review assignments flow from different types of clients, each with their own intended use, required scope of work, and set of concerns for the reviewer to be aware of. This post is designed to provide practical advice for working with four specific types of commercial appraisal review clients. If you are new to commercial appraisal review, this information will be especially helpful.

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Topics: Commercial Appraisal