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Clients don't like engagement letters?

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Lawrence R.

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Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
South Carolina
Just wondering about engagement letters....

Do you find yourself sending one to the client after discussing a potnetial assignment--that you agree to take--that includes the SOW, or are engagement letters replacing the old Fax cover page order you used to get, with specific instructions on them.

I have a local bank that it is like pulling teeth just to get an email saying please appraise 123 smith street for us.

I don't know what they would do if I faxed an engagement letter to them...

So what is typical out there, and do you find clients don't like signing engagment letters?

I don't do much lender work anymore, but I do some, so I want to do it well.



PS any sample engagement letters would be appreciated, like if you have one with blanks to fill in for each potential report.
 

Zmcraney

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Mississippi
We have the client furnish an engagement letter and we usually incorporate it as a part of the report in the addendum. No engagement letter=no report
 

Terrel L. Shields

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Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I don't know what they would do if I faxed an engagement letter to them...

So what is typical out there, and do you find clients don't like signing engagment letters?
I fax most of mine, and they usually sign 'em. I haven't had much problem.

Incorporating them in the report is not a bad idea but I generally don't do it in my regular client base.
 
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CANative

Elite Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
California
The only one's I've had much success with are from the law offices I work with and a certain State Bank with affiliates in several states. Otherwise, I hear cricketts chirping on the telephone when I try to discuss engagement letters with brokers and most lenders.
 

Vermonter

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Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
Incorporating them in the report is not a bad idea but I generally don't do it in my regular client base.

Same here. Been a pain to get the regulars to sign and send back.

Always write one up for Estate tax, tax appeal, divorce, but have to admit it isn't as detailed as Terrels example. Consider that plagiarized.:icon_mrgreen:
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
There is still a strong addiction to the Calyx-sourced order page that so many have traditionally used for years. I am certain that anything you are asking them to sign.....is like garlic to a vampire. They probably think you're trying to "trick" them into some sort of complicated legal precedent !

The best thing you might attempt is to fill out as many of the blanks and fields as you can, following what was likely already discussed over the phone, and then asking for the simplest of requirements.....their acknowledgment of your commencing with those discussed terms...by (legibly) signing and faxing that back that page a.s.a.p. Your best success with this is surely to be with local in-town clients.

This practice may be difficult for big (ego) clients to embrace, just like an unwillingness for many of them to NOT express some estimate-of-value on THEIR order form or to NOT ask first for a comp check ! It might take a generation before the new breed of client can adapt to this practice. Notions of the management company consortium ever accepting a formal engagement letter process are about as far out.....as Jupiter.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
After receiving an order from the potential client, whether it is verbal, fax or email, would it be good enough to prepare an engagement letter with the subject info incorporated and then email it to them. Instruct them to confirm the scope of work and other things and then reply to the email as a confirmation. Would that be good enough, having this confirmation email, without their signature ??? It might be the easiest way to get some sort of cooperation.
 

Lawrence R.

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
South Carolina
After receiving an order from the potential client, whether it is verbal, fax or email, would it be good enough to prepare an engagement letter with the subject info incorporated and then email it to them. Instruct them to confirm the scope of work and other things and then reply to the email as a confirmation. Would that be good enough, having this confirmation email, without their signature ??? It might be the easiest way to get some sort of cooperation.

That seems like a pretty good idea, actually.
 

George W Dodd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
Generally speaking its a good idea to have an engagement letter on file even if it's just once a year with existing clients. I don't put them into the report for residential properties but they are in the file. Commercial reports almost always have them in the addendum.
 

TJSum

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Maryland
That seems like a pretty good idea, actually.

Not my idea, I read it on one of the other threads recently and it sounded good to me too (don't remember who suggested it). But not sure how much weight it would carry without a signature. The client would probably have no problem with confirming the engagement email as it is just a way for you to (a) actually confirm you received their order and (b) are just making sure of the SOW, such as full appraisal, 2055, FHA, sale or refi, turn time needed, fee, etc. Of course we can put the other important things in there as well, but they will want to confirm the terms of the assignment :)
 
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