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Sharing Sketches?

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LizBuchanan

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Is this a USPAP violation?

Recently I was involved in appraising a complex residential property for a refi. A colleague had appraised the same pty the year before. The homeowner was adamant that his GLA was 3,100 and the "lousy last appraiser got only 2,900." Well THIS appraiser got 2,700. I called my friend, we compared field notes, found a couple of angled walls that we differed on, I went back out to Mr. High Horse's house and re-mx'd those two walls, and came back with 2,800. End of Story 1.

A few months ago, another colleague was following ME on an assignment, and called to verify my sf. I faxed her the sketch so we could discuss it, as it was another complicated, goofy floorplan. She found her error and we ended up within a few sf of each other. End of Story 2.

Today, I measured a house, got a significantly different square-footage than the last appraiser had entered in local data bank, so I called him to ask about his sketch. He blew up, citing USPAP confidentiality. I didn't ask for the URAR, for his value conclusion, or anything else that I considered confidential or didn't already have (I had already climbed thru the @#$% shrubbery to mx the darn house).

But it got me thinking...do you share sketches with fellow appraisers when you are both working or have worked on the same property for the same owner? What's confidential about that? Or am I the one on the wrong page here?
 

Tim The Enchanter

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I get prior sketches sometimes. Might use it to ease the inspection. But too often I get different measurements than the sketch, by a couple feet or more, even when there's no bushes or anything to get in the way of an accurate measurement with the tape. I don't trust anyone Else's work unless it's a special assumption and I'm just driving by. Could be that early career experience with a prior sketch that bore no relation to reality. <_<
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
To answer your question...No, you can share sketches.
 

Patrick Egger

Sophomore Member
Joined
May 29, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Nevada
Just so you know ... I have filed an FBI form 8972 (Illegal Sketch Report) with the USPAP Terrorism Authority. Its this type of knowledge sharing that breeds conspiracy ... and who knows where that will lead ... next thing you know we'll all be using the same data sources ... probably call it an MLS or something silly like that ... then the title companies will all get together and share the title plant ... going straight down the tubes.

Back to the question ... the appraiser probably has more of an ego problem since you may have indirectly questioned his report .... easy to hide from it by citing the appraiser's ultimate shield ... USPAP. By the way, someone will chime in and state that sharing advice on confidential matters is a violation as well ... so just in case anyone is interested, I hi-jacked this member's password and posted this ... Patrick is innocent.

Liz ... USPAP was designed to give us a uniform framework from which to develop and report appraisals ... it wasn't intended to keep appraisers from communicating in the interest of improving and or correcting mistakes ... provided that in doing so, the client isn't damaged in any way by releasing proprietary information. IN fact, the standards advocate that you take whatever steps necessary to produce a report that is creditable and not misleading.

I wouldn't expect SWAT at your door for such an act ... and think you're fine. Sometimes we all read a lot more into USPAP than what was intended by those that wrote it ... kinda like whats going on in Alabama with the constitution & 10 c's ....
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Please don't report me to the USPAP Terrorism Authority for the following statement: IMNSHO the appraiser can use data from any source that he can legally get his hands on.

On the other hand, if you have that data in your work file, it belongs to you, not the client. The client only owns the report; not the work file. So if you have information specific to the property and it is relevant to another appraisers work but it does not disclose that the owner’s wife is hosting young gentlemen callers while the husband is away on business trips, you are free to share that information in a professional manner without the owner’s permission. It is knowledge you have that you have learned and not the homeowners.

Perhaps I need to add another paragraph stating that the report belongs to the client but the contents of the work file and the knowledge gained during the course of researching and writing the appraisal remains the property of the appraiser.
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Liz,

Many answers to USPAP issues are found in the definitions. Read the definition of "confidential information" on page 2 of USPAP.

Question: If the homeowner requests that you not disclose the sketch information, does that make it confidential?

Rich
 

Don Clark

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
B) Rich,

IMNSHO, sharing a sketch even if the homeowner request you not to, is not a USPAP violation as it is physical data, possibly also readily available to some degree in the public record, and, it is the work product of the appraiser, not the property owner. Now a question for you Rich, would you give the property owner a copy of the appraisal report if they ask for it? I am sure you will say no. The report belongs to the client. Richard said it very well, the sketch and any other part of the work file is the property of the appraiser, not the client, not Jummpin Joe the homeowner. And, just to add one more bit of info, the opinion expressed in the report is the intellectual property of the appraiser. As Richard said, the "report" of an appraisal is all that belongs to the client. None of what has been stated here belongs to a homeowner.

Don
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Sounds like the appraiser that blew up was caught in middle of an embarrassing error. When facing an error, one of the first human emotions is to react with anger. ;) Don't worry about it. A sketch is just that, it doesn't have any private info about the HO themselves. The trouble starts when private financial or personal info is sold or shared...... ie: it can't be obtained via public records.

The homeowner was adamant that his GLA was 3,100 and the "lousy last appraiser got only 2,900."
There are some people you just can't make happy. :rolleyes: You can send 10 diffirent appraisers out, and they will all come in with a different SF. But as long as they are within a reasonable amount, and it would not make a significant difference in the value, all is well. The HO probably would chose to not hear that, but my experience is that the market is not so perfect that 200SF would not make a big difference (we don't have cookie cutters here ;) ). And in my rural area, the market grid is ususally several thousands $$$ wide, not a couple of hundred.
 

Ed Woodruff SRA

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
No USPAP violation here. Sometimes it's helpful to look at another sketch if it's a complicated building. I'm not perfect, though I do take great pride in my ability to measure complicated structures - not to brag, but I'm one of the very best in this matter. I have helped a number of other seasoned appraisers measure complicated houses - glad to do it, but I do make mistakes, even on simple 1-story houses without complicated angles. You get out there in the hot August sun with a heat index of 105 degrees, after measuring 2 or three houses already that day, and you just might write down something different than what you measured, or maybe read that tape measure as 23 feet instead of 32 feet. In circumstances like that, it just might help to look at someone else's sketch to see where I screwed up, or for that matter, you can see where they screwed up. Sometimes I'll go to a site with someone else's sketch, but I still measure the whole thing myself, as I must rely on my work alone. No USPAP violation there.
 

Bill_FL

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Just to throw a twist into this, what about Graham-Leach-Biley? Would this be considered information that is non-public and confidential?
 
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