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Average commercial report time.if there is such a thing?

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tonypbwatlanta

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Aug 6, 2007
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Appraiser Trainee
State
Georgia
Greetings all. Has anyone out there tried to determine average time dedicated to a typical (HA!) commercial appraisal?? Although a trainee, I started in commercial with a very prominent, well repspected firm and have worked only commercial. In the beginning, what took me 10 hours may now only take 3. We abide by the rule in our shop that quality and accuracy is what matters, but for the state (experience log) was wondering what they typically see as a time entry for a given commercial report. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

David Wimpelberg

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New York
Greetings all. Has anyone out there tried to determine average time dedicated to a typical (HA!) commercial appraisal??

As a general rule, no, since property type can vary dramatically. Also, many times in commercial appraising the assignment involves multiple properties. Often in that case, the completion of the individual appraisals doesn't matter, but rather the completion of the project.

The availability of the data can dramatically affect completion time for a two similar properties in two different markets.
 

Jerry Lieb

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Aug 14, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Tony,

You ask a very difficult question - for the reasons David stated. No two reports are identical because no two properties are identical. Therefore there is really no meaningful "average" time.

The question is even more is even more complex because many established appraisers are usually working on more than one appraisal at a time. To isolate the time on just one of them would take a concerted effort. Unless someone is specifically focused on license upgrading, it's doubtful that an experienced, established commercial appraiser would track their time that closely (by the hour). I would venture to guess that most think in terms of days or weeks. I know I do. Others on this forum might think otherwise, and I'm sure you'll hear from them.

Since your question suggests you will be making your own log as you go through the upgrade process, you will eventually find the answer to your question - as it relates to you, personally.
 

tonypbwatlanta

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State
Georgia
Thanks for the input David and Jerry. Jerry, you are right. We usually view our reports in terms of day, weeks, etc. of work. Many complex assignments, partial interests, condemnation, litigation support, etc. And again, you are correct in that we normally work on more than one assignment at once. With all the info required for a good, thorough commercial report sometimes we have to wait for info to be developed. Just didnt want my log to look out of line. Fortunately my mentor is a highly repsected teacher, appraiser and scholar, and has never pressured me into the "production line" approach to appraising that I so often see reflected in some of the posts here. Some take longer than others, and that is exactly what I wil tell the state folks if asked why the disparate time frames for various reports, (if asked) Again, thanks guys for all the help.
 

Terrel L. Shields

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May 2, 2002
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Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
First off you need to separate report writing/inspection time from research and general data time. I think the states vastly underestimate "hours" because they feel like that all there is to appraising is to inspect the property and write the report. In fact, I spend at least one-third my time merely keeping up with market conditions, researching sales, data manipulations.
Further, CE and other activities are very directly required to complete a report. No license, no billable report. The CE hours have to be allocated between all the jobs. Likewise, billing, collecting, etc. are part of the job so why are they not considered "experience"? Some states allow for drive time, some don't. All in all the state process is idiotic. "Experience" is measured in hours. In no other profession I can think of is it so. All others (including Canadian valuers) measure it in years of experience. Years can be better documented and doesn't make liars out of people filling out (and fluffing up) experience logs. The current process is a training ground for Skippy. I would aver that 90% of all logs have inaccuracies or are inflated...especially if the state does not provide an allowance for each property type...and obviously an allowance is a hoax when it comes to measuring 'experience'. In reality, if I were doing a lot of similar properties, the times are cut pretty drastically, but that means an appraiser who gets a lot of similar assignments can 'pad' the books whereas the appraiser taking a lot of diverse commercial property probably would get hosed by the state and accused of padding the books, when in fact, the opposite would be true.

I did break down time spent for a poultry farm appraisal as such

Each comp used research time 4 - 8 hr (incl drive time)
Inspection time 1-2
Avg. RT drive time to subject 1
Courthouse research 3
MLS research 1
Phone call research 1-2
Sketching 1
Aerial, flood, soils, etc. research 1
Exhibit preparation 2
Report writing 4
Sales Comp app 1 - 3
Income app 1-2
Cost app 1-3
Total typical 35 - 45
Typical allowance by state 20
Typical if comps were used previously 25 (3 days±)
Since I do few commercial buildings these usually take from 3 - 4 days if simple Retail with total hours in the 20-40 hr range.
 
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Caligirl

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Jan 27, 2006
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Certified General Appraiser
State
California
In my state, one enters the *actual hours* it took to complete the appraisal from start to finish.

One appraisal I included in my log took me 90 hours. It was the purchase of some holding ponds by a redevelopment agency. Another took 15. It was an appraisal of a small mixed-use property I had appraised a couple years earlier. Someone I know spent 6 months working on one appraisal.

It usually takes at least three hours to get the lease/rent comps and sales verified for a 'typical' property, not including the property inspection, number crunching, etc. As a trainee you should be given ample time to complete your reports according to your experience level.
 
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David Wimpelberg

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New York
In my state, hours are assigned for various property types. That might work well for uniform properties, but in areas like mine it severely penalizes appraisers.

For example, in NY, the hours assigned to the appraisal of a farm under 100 acres is 18. One of the most difficult assignments I did this year was a 70-acre waterfront farm. It involved a tremendous amount of research: reviewing zone code, meeting with planning department reps, speaking with engineers and attorneys, determining the value of land with and with development right, and performing three different HBU analyses. A 10+ unit commercial building is assigned 60 hours...I'd rather do that; it's a hell of a lot easier for a whole lot more points.

Also, it resulted in one of my full-time associates ending up having to wait about five years to rack up enough hours to get his res cert. The assignments out in this neck of the woods takes much longer than some up-island, cookie-cutter subdivision. The state's attitude is "too bad."
 

Michigan CG

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Michigan
My minimum time on a commercial report is the one I am doing right now, it will be a total of about 24 hours. We had a report that took 6 months to do, mostly trying to find comparables and then waiting a few weeks to get the responses. The contract gave us 9 months to do it.

Typically I am well over 40 hours for a report, most likely 60 hours. We have multiple reports to do most of the time. I have 5 on my desk right now, had 6but sent one out Friday (189 pages, took three weeks). Current one will be 60 pages including all the addenda....

Anyone have any comparables for meat packing plants?
 

Howard Klahr

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Timothy Evans said:
Anyone have any comparables for meat packing plants?

I did one a long time ago (1998+/-) in El Paso, Texas. The data is probably too old and too far to be of any help. It was however an interesting assignment
 

marina hodge

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Joined
May 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Alabama
Estimating hours for an appraisal assignment

When I estimated the hours per assignment I estimated my dollars/hour. (yearly salary divided by 2000 hours per year to give a $/hour)

Then I took the appraisal fee for each report multiplied by my fee split then divided by my $/hour calculated above. Seemed to work well for me.
 
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