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Arkansas grills its candidates

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Terrel L. Shields

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Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Sub is going to interview with the state board tomorrow. Arkansas now requires you interview before they will even let you set for the test. Further, they pulled 10 appraisals from his list to examine. Among the appraisals were the first one he ever signed; the one furtherest west of his home; the furtherest North and the furtherest East of his house. Included two appraisals from Oklahoma! Those were mailed and returned with the two reports that he will be required to bring his entire workfile for.

At some point this has got to be overkill. The test is still required. The sucess ratios don't seem to have moved much, so I question why if the additional time [it has consumed a lot of time in the past 2 weeks] as well as an extra 480 mile round trip to Little Rock is really adding to the sum total of knowledge of the candidate, and in the end that knowledge will dictate whether or not he is qualified. Much of the rest seems to be fluff that helps no one.

ter
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
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Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Terrel,

I can understand the frustration of going through this cross-exam. As I read this though, I started thinking of all the bad ones that would be caught prior to taking the certified exam if Florida did this. Just a guess, but I think about 1/2 or more would not make it through that kind of scrutiny and I can only hope this will happen more often in more states. I didn't bother using on my experience log anything from my first few months under the 'make whatever you want' supervisor because after reading and learning for myself, I was embarrassed by many of those reports - even the ones I did leave my name on. Took longer than the 2 years apprenticeship for me because of this.

If Arkansas is upping the bar for certification, I say good for them. This has the initial appearance of possibly being a good thing. I could be wrong and will look forward to others opinions.
 

George Hatch

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Joined
Jan 15, 2002
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Certified General Appraiser
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California
Terrel,

I would think that the main thing to worry about in this process would be the objectives of an oral exam. If their primary objective is to ascertain whether or not the applicant actually performed the appraisals, that's one thing. If their main thrust is to look for problems in the reports and see how an applicant defends their work in a stress interview, that's another thing entirely.

Anytime there is a subjective element added into the process, it presents the potential to become a mechanism to enable 'competition control'. Competition control is probably the biggest argument that appraisers who decline to join some of the appraisal organizations use as the basis of their decision. They are afraid they won't be treated fairly by the poobahs on the board, not because of their work but because of personal reasons. Private organizations are, of course, allowed to use such schemes as it enables them to control their markets. There is no place for such behavior in the activities of a state licensing board.

So I'm hoping the Arkansas board is using this oral exam to screen for falsified logs and general USPAP compliance, not as an additional layer of scrutiny to see if the applicant will 'fit in' with the club.


George Hatch
 

Terrel L. Shields

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Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Previously, the board sent the director to every appraiser in the state to examine their work files, then pulled 3 reports for verification. What troubled me the most was the apparent non-random selection of reports. Clearly the board is seeking reports they could assume to be less than typical...like distant reports from the farthest reach of our practice. One report, in fact, was very atypical. The occupant /previous owner was retarded (we could not say that in the report), i mean really. He had mortgaged the property and failed to keep up the payments. He was trying to build a log cabin on the property. Mortgage holder applied a Rapid Foreclosure statute to the property...totally not usable in a rural land tract...only was to apply to houses. This goes to court with a neighbor trying to help the guy and is now headed for state Appeals court. Nobody pays taxes. Gets bought by someone in tax sale..doubly clouds the property. Mortgage holder sells property with clouded title to someone else, who now is trying to get out from under this hot potato by selling it to the neighbor trying to help the poor guy out...Sold for $40K then turned around and is selling for $65K which the fellow hopes he can recoup from the Mortgage holder provided the appeal holds up and the Mortgage Co. has to pay the judgment. Is that clear? The banker understands the situation and is requiring additional land for collateral. We appraised for somewhat more than the sale price, double the prior sale price based strictly upon sales in the area. We were asked to consider it as vacant land and not the log cabin shell and a well. The other sale was a manufactured home with a shop on a small acreage tract in Cherokee Co., OK...Why would Arkansas want to examine a report from out of state when there were dozens upon dozens of Arkansas reports to choose from? Only 2 of the 10 reports involved stick built residential property, the rest were land tracts or manf. homes. And one of those was proposed construction.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
George and Terril

You have got this pegged exactly right. the intent may be great, but the process and method allows for really bad stuff to happen.

This is the same as peer review verses legal evidentiary hearings in complaints. Sounds great to the uninformed, but let the wrong folks get in charge, and it is bad stuff.

Best regards

Tom Hildebrandt GAA
 

Terrel L. Shields

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
peer review verses legal evidentiary hearings

Agreed. I am being OBE (overtaken by events). Steve did well and had a very positive interview..they were impressed by his documentation, particularly land sales on two of the distant properties. He had done 6 land sales on one land tract and 3 vacant land sales & 3 improved w/ a Manf. Home appraisal.

They told him explicitly they are trying to catch people who are padding their experience logs.

I do have a horror story from the board for one poor appraiser. In an attempt to upgrade to Cert. Gen. an appraiser in an interview submitted a report that exceeded the $250,000 limitation on commercial type appraising..which brings up what is "commercial" and what is "complex residential" The board informed the candidate that they will have to face a complaint over the issue. Really regrettable because, obviously, the appraiser felt like the reports were compliant (complex residential not commercial) or would have hastily bribed someone to co-sign 'em.

I understand where the appraiser is coming from. State law was vague on the issue, and differs from the minimums set by the feds. It changed in the mid-90's and I think she simply misunderstood the context. Although my inquiries to both the AF and the State Board about whether a poultry farm with a dwelling was "complex residential" or "commercial" were never adequately answered. A real idonno, whatchew think answer.

When most farms sold for under $250K, no big deal, but inflation has driven up prices to well over that typically, and I obtained the CG 5 yr ago or so solely for that reason. It became too hard to tell if a farm would appraise for over .25Mil. Can you imagine how hard it is to find someone to sign off on an appraisal after it is half done and the fee is already locked in? You have put in 90% of the work, then end up given almost all of it to some yahoo half-way across the state? And you cannot blame the yahoo for not wanting the liability.

10 yr. ago the $250,000 de minimus and limits of same for St. Lic, or CRs doing commercial made some sense. Inflation alone has more than halved the number of properties a SL or CR can do. These limits need to be raised by double. In areas like mine there is far more commercial work than there are commercial appraisers, and some commercial appraisers are niche appraisers or impose extreme fees for projects outside their normal working area. The ASC needs to raise those limits.

Ter
 
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