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A Refreshing Appraisal Approach: the Power of Proactivity

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From the Valuation Review article Reviewer offers insight to avoid aggravation (Part One)

Too often, appraisers get very tense and self-conscious when it comes to reviews. A general understanding and a calmer approach towards these reports might go a long way in making things easier for appraisers and their intended users when it comes to reviews and reports sent back, one veteran says. 

“There is much discussion going on about the future of our industry such as big data, technology, over-regulation, state appraisal management company laws, the future of the Appraisal Subcommittee, etc.,” Dwellworks' Chief Review Appraiser Bill Rudolph told Valuation Review. “While these are all very important issues, I sometimes feel that appraisers could avoid a lot of their day-to-day aggravation if only they spent a little more time focusing on the product they produce. Many of the reasons completed appraisals come back could be easily avoided if we take time to cover the basics.” 

“True, the demands on appraisers are greater for a myriad of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they can’t avoid many of the pitfalls that add time and stress to an already tedious workload,” Rudolph added. “Too many appraisals fail the various levels of quality control over reasons that could be avoided. Yes, there will always be value disputes, underwriting stipulations, Collateral UW (Underwriter) findings, but I sometimes feel appraisers have resigned themselves to thinking ‘my report is just going to comeback anyway, so I’ll deal with it then.’ This is not only the wrong attitude, but one that can lead to bigger problems.” 

Rudolph also spoke to the importance of appraisers understanding their roles throughout the process. The work that is done and the product that is delivered are critical in the decision-making process. The intended users of the appraisal, Rudolph indicates, will rely heavily on the appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and expertise, all of which are conveyed through the appraisal report. 

“If you stop to consider just how much scrutiny is placed on your appraisal, you might better understand how important a role you play. But you must also remember that you are part of a much larger process, and not just the appraisal process,” Rudolph said. “All too often, a relatively simple situation ends poorly because an appraiser did not fully understand their role and the roles of others. Regardless of our role, we are all in the business of providing a service and should strive to deliver our best.” 

Client relationships and the ability to establish positive ones is also an important step in that process in avoiding undue stress and aggravation. Unfortunately, communication often is overlooked when it comes to achieving quality service. 

This is further demonstrated when appraisers receive work from appraisal management companies who rely on the service appraisers provide. Why shouldn’t appraisers be able to rely on the AMC for support? 

“If your client only cares about how much you do and how fast you do it and offers no direct line of communication for problem resolution, then perhaps you may want to examine the relationship,” Rudolph said. “It’s also important to know who to contact for the specific situations that come up. For example, if you encounter a complex or unique appraisal situation and need technical advice, it is best to have a relationship with someone in the client’s quality control department. Many post-delivery issues could be avoided if the right people had been engaged prior to completing the assignment.”


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