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Questionable Appraisal practice

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DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
I am a newbie that was just hired on by a VERY VERY busy appraisal company that deals solely with residential properties. Although I just started last week, I have a few serious questions that have arisen regarding the legality of certain things that the company is doing (or not doing).

As I indicated, I just received my Trainee license, but during my first couple days at work, the 'training' consisted of the boss taking me out on one appraisal, and then saying 'here you go'. I know there are real problems with the competancy rule when it comes to that type of so called training, but I have also found that the boss really doesnt even work in this office, but rather another office and there are NO licensed appraisers in our office who review the reports before they go out. Also, all the other 'appraisers' in the office were hired WITHOUT even a Trainee License, and I believe four appraisers have not even taken one single appraisal class :!: . Is this legal for so-called "appraiser trainees" who dont even have a trainee license, or proper supervision, to be doing appraisals and having those appraisals sent out and never reviewed by a licensed appraiser :?: All the so-called appraisers in the office who dont even have a trainee license have no idea of what the Cost Approach is rather than "that number should be within $1000 of your final Sales Approach Value.

How do I first look into whether the owner has a license in this state, and also, what are potential risks for everyone in the company, including the unlicensed trainee's?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Please ask if you have any questions at all.
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Check out this site for license information in any state. www.ASC.gov
Search under the ASC National Registry.
 

airphoto

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Dan,

Your address indicates Virginia .. a mandatory state! Performing an appraisal without license/certification is like driving an auto without a license, or flying an airplane without licensure/medical. Believe it's prolly an arrest and prosecution situation .. Austin? Don?
 

DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Yes, the state is Virginia, and I was able to determine that the owner does have a license, although I still needed to know whether a person can complete an appraisal without at least having a trainee license. I also assume that the trainees reports need to be reviewed and signed by a licensed Real Estate Appraiser. Is that correct?
 

airphoto

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Pretty sure that review and signature is required .. Virginia's information is available on the web (I was Virginia certified ..) and will provide details ..
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Dan, you need to get out of that place immediately. Cover your own butt and run like h*ll!

If for no other reason do it so that you can find someone who will train you properly. You are in a sweat shop, no doubt about it. And quite possibly one that is working illegally.

Read carefully what every Virginia appraiser posts here, and follow their advice to the letter. These guys know their stuff, they won't steer you wrong.
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
While you can probably gen a bunch of $ in that operation, you're not going to get the training you really need. A lack of training and guidance can result in poor habits, poor appraisals, and your rear in a sling, both with the licensing board and in a lawsuit, possibly criminal. I agree with the previous postings - get out of there and find another situation. Good luck.
 

DanWaechter

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
California
Yes, each day it looks more and more like a sweatshop. Obviously the difficulty is that there is more work than I will ever know what to do with, and that I have read so many posts on this site from newbies who receive 5-10 assignments a month. I think I should get about 30, at minimum during my first month. Five assignements a month will not pay the bills, but my moral conscience is already weighing heavily and I will definitely look for a new mentor as I really want to learn the profession, and learn it correctly. Unfortunately it is also difficult to find a mentor, and I guess that is where my current employer comes in to play. Higher newbies who work their tails off for minimal compensation, and when they finally get their hours to become licensed, they will take off, and you can hire new trainees to fill the positions.

Any suggestions from anyone in the Northern Virginia area as to possible mentors, or places to look for mentor/trainee positions would be greatly appreciated. I am very motivated to do only what is right and correct, and to do a great job.

Thanks for all the responses, and I look forward to any additional advice and information.

Dan
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Dan,

Do whatever it takes to get out of there immediately! Document everything you can while you're at it. I would file a complaint with your state board about this asap also!!!!

The longer you stay there, the less likely it will be that you will find a 'good' appraiser to be your mentor. I would never hire anyone else that has worked at the local sweat shops because re-training them is next to impossible. You will end up with a very bad reputation just because of where you work.

This shop could already be under investigation also and you will be included. Get out now!

I hope you find someone that will take you on. You sound like someone that deserves a good mentor.
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
:(

Unfortunately, in Virginia you do not have to be a licensed trainee to perform appraisal work under the supervision of a state licensed or certified appraiser. However, you do need supervision.

Please contact me and I will make some suggestions. And, everything will be confidential.

My son worked for me for over 6 months before he went out on his first appoijntment. He did research through the MLS after I gave him search paremeters. He went to the various court houses and searched lot size, deeds, etc. He looked up and made copies of appropriate flood maps, and went with me on many, many, many inspections. After 6 months he did his first inspection and report. It was heavily reviewed. He could have sat for the exam in 2 years. He waited for 3 years to make sure he was solidly sure of what he was doing. He still has me review work that is particularly difficult, and he has now been doing appraisals over 8 years. Heck, i still discuss problems with my mentor who has his own company, many years after being on my own, and he does the same with me.

You can contact me, I will keep our conversation confidential, and I will help you any way I can. We need more honest concientious appraisers that you appear to be.

I have been an instructor of real estate and appraisal courses since 1984. I still teach.

Don Clark, IFA
[email protected]
1-888-316-7182
Virginia Beach, VA
 
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