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Suggestions for Doing Judicial Appraisals?

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Brad in SAC

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2002
I've been a licensed appraiser for over 3 years now and 95% of my business is for mortgage tranactions. Like many cities throughout the country it is super busy because of the low interest rates. I would like to look into doing work for attorneys, judges, and estate planners. My purpose is to hedge against the time when rates go up and mortgage transactions go down. Could anyone give me some specific ideas or suggestions which would enable me enter this segment of the appraisal business.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Brad,

Last year, I sent out about 350 cards to local attorneys and CPA's
that said my appraisal practice is now limited to "Estates, Divorce, Foreclosure & Second Opinions". (I am semi-retired).

I got only two calls from lawyers, but those two attorneys are sending me just about enough work to keep me about as busy as I want to be, when added to the foreclosure work I already was doing.

There are several appraisers who have posted to this board who are very successful in this type of work. Maybe you will hear from some of them. I think success largely depends on the size of the market for this type of work. I do not know any way to guage it.

I think you will find that kind of work much more satisfying.


Regards,

Thomas N. Morgan
Ocala, FL
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
If you are going to work with an attorney, you must KNOW YOUR STUFF. You may well be called on to defend your work in court as an Expert Witness. You may well be up against a crusty 30 year appraiser who has done this for years. So, the key is to BE PREPARED. I like doing legal work. It's rewarding and provides significantly higher fees when you are preparing for a lawsuit, not to mention the hourly fees for testimony. Word of Caution-get paid when you deliver the report - check in hand. An attorney can be the world's worst in not paying, especially when his side loses and he's on a contingency.
 

Terrel L. Shields

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Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
I do quite a few estates, and avoid divorces limiting them only to the agreeable couple who often split the fee and I talk to both and make it plain it is my opinion, and if they don't like it get someone else. I ain't working for either side. I won't do a divorce one for anyone i remotely know them or their family.

There is quite a bit of estate work out there and interaction with attorneys helps. I am friends with 5 or 6 and regularly visit their office. Some time back one called about appraising a small house and asked "how far out I was" and when I said so, she said she might check back. When I did not hear back in a few days, I stopped by. I was told, we found someone who could get right on it, but she seemed delighted that I had been thoughtful enough just to ask and assured me that she would be calling me again sometime. Instead a law firm from Little Rock called for a local appraisal and told me that they had been referred to me by that lawyer.

ter
 

Terrel L. Shields

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Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
PS - as a post script

Lawyers will accept form reports but I find them inadequate and use only narrative reports
 
A

Anonymous

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I get all of my attorney work by referral. I have two attorneys who provide me with about 20% of my volume. Most of my other work comes from attorneys whom I have met working for the first two attorneys. My volume of this work increases each year.
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
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Jan 16, 2002
IMHO - mix the work so you don't loose sight of reality; there's no need to zero in on 1 field, if you diversify you'll stay steady over a longer period. I'll work for anyone who carry's long green and pays on inspection or delivery.

I would not recomend attorneys who won't sign contracts or pay on delivery. I have been successful (without going to court) collecting from attorneys, but do not recomend that route unless you are well versed in State Law, regarding our business and that which governs attorneys in your practicing State, and you need to be very creative in your writing skills. ( I have been in this field of work-Real Estate - over 30 years)

OK - Kirk beam me up :lol: :lol: (couldn't resist)

8)
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
To Jtrotta,

I was interested by your comment that an appraiser needs to be "creative in your writing skills".

I thoroughly enjoy the writing part of appraising. By creative, surely you don't mean a appraisier should write things out of his imagination. But what do you mean? I'd like to get some pointers on writing from someone who's been in it for 30 years. Me? Only since 1983. My appraisal services are restricted to estates, divorce and foreclosure -- since 2001. Much more satisfying.


Regards,

Tom

Thomas N. Morgan
Ocala, FL
 
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