Honesty and Integrity: Highlands Appraisal
Appraising is a profession, and appraisers are professionals. Requirements to become a licensed appraiser have become more difficult than ever in the past. That's why it goes without question these days that real estate appraisal can certainly be called a profession as opposed to a trade. In our field, as with any profession, we have a strict ethical code.
For an appraiser the main obligation is to his or her client. Typically, in residential practice, the appraiser's client is the lender ordering the appraisal. Appraisers are required to only disclosing information to their clients, and as a homeowner, if you would like to obtain a copy of an appraisal report, you generally have to obtain it through your lender. Other responsibilities also include, accurate figures appropriate to the scope of the assignment, reaching and keeping a particular level of competency and education, and of course, the appraiser must behave in a professional manner. Maintaining high ethics is is what we do everyday at Highlands Appraisal.
Highlands Appraisal has an established track record for providing appraisals with the highest of ethics. Contact us today to learn more.
In some cases appraisers will have fiduciary responsibilities to third parties, such as homeowners, both buyers and sellers, or others. Those third parties normally are defined in scope of the appraisal assignment itself. An appraiser's fiduciary roll is restricted to those parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other written parameters of the assignment.
There are also ethical rules that have nothing to do with clients and others. For example, appraisers must store their work files for a minimum of five years - something else Highlands Appraisal takes very seriously.
We only perform to the highest ethical standards possible. We have a responsibility not to do assignments on contingency fees. That is, we are not able to agree to do an appraisal report and collect payment on the contingency of the loan closing. Another practice that's restricted is doing assignments on percentage fees. That is perhaps the appraisal industries biggest taboo, because it would invite fraudulent practices since increasing the value of the home would increase the fee. We set ourselves to a higher standard. Other unethical practices may be established by state law or professional societies to which an appraiser belongs.
The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) also defines a violation in ethics as accepting of an assignment that is contingent on "the reporting of a pre-determined result (e.g., opinion of value)," "a direction in assignment results that favors the cause of the client," "the amount of a value opinion," as well as other situations. We diligently follow these rules to the letter which means you can be assured we are going above and beyond to objectively determine the home or property value.
When you order an appraisal from Highlands Appraisal we'll make sure you're getting the professional service you expect along with the ethical handling of appraisals that we're known for.