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Owner Is Not An Appraiser

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deturner

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kansas
I recently returned to the profession and may have made a mistake with who I set up shop with.

Less than two weeks after starting back to work, I find that the business has been sold to someone that is not an appraiser (not even a trainee yet). He has planned to take the classes in the near future. The previous owner is still here but in a limited capacity ( I believe to train the new owner) and I am considered the senior appraiser (three trainees, one other certified, one licensed).

Since starting here I have run across several things that I am not comfortable with. The first being the non-appraiser owner. Does anyone else work at a company owned by someone that's not an appraiser?

Another issue is: Is he keeping the previous owner on long enough to get his certification and then give me the boot? I know it will take at least 2-3 years for that but that means I may not get compensated to manage the office.

Another issue is: The previous owner is not well liked among the other appraisers and there are several things happening here that throw HUGE red flags (can't really go into detail here, i.e. number hitter, predefined values, lack of trainee supervision, etc....). And yes, the state has been involved previously with this appraiser.

I am concerned that the previous owner is training the new owner and the same crap will continue to go on.

There are other opportunities out there and I am on the verge of jumping ship after only one month. There is just way too much chaos and it doesn't look like it will straighten out any time soon.

I really like the profession but right now I feel like I made a BIG mistake with this firm.

Thanks for your comments,
Dave in NC

P.S. I used to be on these boards several years ago and it's good to see them still here. Thanks Wayne.

P.S.S. Bobby Bucks, see you still have the website with the Conner Tag picture.
 

hal380

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Connecticut
Welcome back :beer: ;

"Listen to the Force Luke" Your gut feelings are probably right on.

I would not stay. Things tend to deteriorate, they dont get better by themselves. I worked for a firm for a few months where there were two partners. One held the highest state certification issued by Conn. The other fellow was the "Marketing Type". The arrangement was excellent and I learned alot in this shop. I left because they were pushing me too hard for production. Finally told the appraiser partner that all this work they were pushing on my was interferring with my life. :D . Anyway I digress.

Point is that I know of a "Semi none appraiser/owner shop" and it turned out high quality work.

I would not allow myself to get painted with a broad brush that may be intended to for the owner/trainee. Guilt by association, and whose E & O insurance covers the work of this shop?

The only times I have ever gotten into trouble in life was when I turned a blind eye to something intangible, but over which I had misgivings, and when I did something which I knew I really didn't fully understand and was too lazy to research further.

If you have other opportunities, then leave now. By staying you gain nothing, and by staying you risk an open ended unknown outcome.

Take care and good luck to you

Hal
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Dave,

If I were in your shoes I would be straightforward with the new owner and let him know exactly what conditions you would expect if you are to remain the senior appraiser in charge. There's a strong possibility that this non-appraiser owner is clueless and doesn't know anything about appraisal ethics. How he reacts will pretty much determine what direction you should take.

Good luck!
 

deturner

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kansas
You are right. It is obvious that he knows nothing about ethics.

For example:
An existing client wanted the new company name on a report because the investor did not want the old owner's name associated with the appraisal. (Flag #1).

The new owner was going to just have the other certified appraisers name put on the report without her knowledge. (Flag #2)

I have discovered that the trainees are not being supervised correctly. They do the appraisal and then electronically sign the previous owners name to it. I don't care how good the trainee is, if my name is going on the report, I WILL look over all reports and sign the report myself. Nobody gets access to my signature.

I have talked to the new owner a couple of times but with the previous owner still involved, I don't get very far because they trust him for some reason instead of listening to how it's suppose to be done.

NOTE: The office didn't even have a current copy of USPAP (last one was 2000 USPAP) (Flag #3).
 

Travis McGee

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Is their name Dysfunctional Appraisals Inc.?

As far as I know, there is nothing that says an owner of a firm must be an appraiser. However, this sounds like a bad news place to be associated with. With so much opportunity out there, this is the time to leave, either to another shop your respect, or set up on own-(if your are certified or licensed) Even with a managing agent or two as clients, you would make more than on a fee split. But at least in my area, good shops are desperate for trained appraisers.

Every timeI did not pay attention to warning red flags and uneasy feelings I paid a big price. Things ususally do not get better- you will be swept up in chaos and what is a senior appraiser? A fancy title for a lot of headaches with no guarantee of anything.
 

Bobby Bucks

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Professional Status
Real Estate Agent or Broker
State
North Dakota
Dave I remember you well. We had a couple of nice spats with a certain AMC executive on the
old NAIFA site.....I wonder if he’s reading this? :) I would keep in mind that you have a license
to protect, that owner does not. Not a good situation. Sounds like a lot of liability and
responsibility for splitting the fees. I can only imagine his actions in one of those “sky high refi”
situations. If the USPAP Gestapo swoops in they will be looking for the supervisory appraiser
with a LICENSE.

I’m forever indebted to you for that Conner Pic. Wallace Conner is to REOs what Henry Ford
was to the automobile.......he created an industry............he left landmarks from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Brazos. Back to the situation at hand, above all, protect yourself.
 

Sheikh Yerbouti

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arizona
I'd be extra cautious of a non-appraiser owner who also does the marketing. Otherwise you may find yourself doing $90 driveby's and free comp checks, as well as explaining that, contrary to what the owner said, you cannot do 24 hour turnarounds or stop work if the value isn't there.

Dave McReynolds
 

deturner

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Kansas
Dave,

It has already started with the new owner trying to get more work (like we can handle all the crap work already). He has been talking to Landsafe and Real Link. He even mentioned something about reducing fees (aarrrrggggg) in order to under cut competition.

My wife stopped by the other day and when she left, told me that the office was in total chaos (guess I've been working too hard to make sure my stuff is right that I didn't notice).

Dave in NC
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Dave,

Document as many ethics violations as possible, quote USPAP wherever you can, and include them in your official resignation letter to the new owner.

I don't see any harm in making sure that somewhere on the document they will notice a little line that says: cc: North Carolina Board of Real Estate Appraisers.
Whether you're bluffing or not (that's up to you), it'll sure get their attention. :twisted:

Does the other certified appraiser know that the new owner was going to use her digital signature without her permission? You might want to consider changing your digital signature even if you leave and believe it was password protected.

And give the trainees a call, letting them know why you quit. They're just trainees and probably don't realize they are being taught things that could jeopardize their future.
 

larryhaskell

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Dave:

I agree with Dee Dee's earlier post. I would have a serious heart to heart with the new owner. I would base my decision on the results of that discussion. It seems that the new owner has two very distinct routes to take. If he chooses to follow the previous owner, your decision is pretty clear cut to me. I would leave ASAP. If the new owner chooses to follow you, I would stay until you have established yourself with the real estate community. At that point you are in a position to leave or stay on your own terms. Good luck.
 
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