Variety of Clients, Client Requirements, and Scope of Work

Published on Dec 15, 2021 by Dan Edwards, ASA, IFAS

In the busy appraisal industry of today, appraisers work with a variety of clients from the simple homeowner to attorneys, lending institutions and/or sophisticated investors for a variety of property types. Appraisers go through rigorous education, training, and licensing requirements to gain public trust. No matter the client, the appraiser has an obligation to provide the same level of professional expertise to each client, inform the client of the lack of expertise, and/or associate him or herself with an appraiser with the required expertise.

The appraiser must also navigate the client’s requirements which will determine the most important part of the appraisal process: the “Scope of Work”. The Scope of Work can determine the level of detail and/or valuation methods contained in an appraisal report for any particular property type. The appraiser must also be careful not let the client requirements restrict the appraisal process to the point where it produces less than credible results.

What most people don’t understand is that the appraiser looks at every property from the eyes of the typical purchaser, meaning the appraiser does not serve either the buyer or seller’s interest, but is an independent third party hired to develop an unbiased opinion of value based on the best market information available to him or her at the time of the appraisal assignment.

No matter the client, client requirement or property type, appraisers must hold themselves to a higher standard to retain public trust.