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Work File Contents?

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slacker

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
As to the workfile, and according to 2 members of the ASB who instructed the USPAP Instructors Certificaton course I attended, the workfile should contain enough data to do a summary appraisal report.
<span style='color:blue'>This was actually from a "Don Clark" post in the Help Section".

It made me think about the content of my Work files. I'm confident that I keep everything I need but I don't recall ever reading any documentation about specific items that are required.

I'm sure I could build a summary report out of the contents but that's just my opinion. If someone else took a look at one of my work files they might think differently.

Just wondering if there is a “Need / Don’t Need” checklist for the work file in general?</span>
 

USPAP Compliant

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Only your state board could say for sure. There are no national USPAP police so the only person likely to want your file is the state investigator.

I keep all my MLS and tax card print outs, previous sale info., field notes, original hand drawing, order form, copy of entire appraisal and invoice. Hope that will be all I ever need.


Bob
 

Francois K. Gregoire

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
This is an interesting topic. Being in a position which enables, pardon me, requires, review and examination of other appraiser's workfiles, it's clear there is a wide range of what folks consider to be adequate.

Seems to me, the USPAP is fairly clear as to what is required See the ETHICS RULE - RECORD KEEPING for what appears to be a good explanation.

In my mind, the workfile is evidence of the appraiser's consideration of all appllicable data and other information necessary to support the opinions and conclusions reached. It's my safety net.

What amazes me is the amount of incriminating information appraisers maintain in their workfile. For example: three pages of sales from an area in one line format. 98% of the sales are tightly clustered in the range of $48,000 - $53,000 and four sales circled at $84,000, $88,000, $92,000 and $92,500. Only the four circled sales have additional data sheets and three of those are included in the appraisal report.

Another favorite is prior sales and listing information which is somehow omitted from the appraisal report. More than one purchase and sale agreement (different price and terms) with the same buyer and seller is another interesting find.

Handwritten notes in the margins of these printouts are often 'enlightening' also.

Here in Florida, there are no specific rules pertaining to workfiles, their content and maintenance other than the USPAP. Within the past two years there have been sanctions against appraisers for failure to maintain workfiles and to produce them when requested by investigators of the Board.
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
About 5 years ago Arkansas sent the director to every appraiser in the state and checked workfiles. 3 files from the file list sent with your application was checked. The existence of a folder was all that was checked. I am sure they would do it different today, but until the state expands its staff, would be tough.

Proof will come next month when I appraise an estate for a date in 1994. I will see how much file I can reconstruct from that!! Dust off the old folders and the MLS books.

ter
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Thank you Frank for a good explanation of what NOT to do. The part I really like is:

For example: three pages of sales from an area in one line format. 98% of the sales are tightly clustered in the range of $48,000 - $53,000 and four sales circled at $84,000, $88,000, $92,000 and $92,500. Only the four circled sales have additional data sheets and three of those are included in the appraisal report.
What happened to the "newest, nearest, most similar" comps???? I'll admit my workfiles are thick. I start with a one-liner of subdivision, then all sales in the past 2 years, then all sales in the past 1 year. I expand as necessary to locate sales that are similar in size and age. There is also a list of Active and Pending listings that I will print a list of that gives me more info than the one-liner and a full MLS print-out if it's very similar. I really don't pay much attention to the sale prices until it's time to sift through the potential comps and then the obvious repo sales and/or unqualified sales are eliminated. I then start researching for the best 5 - 10 sales that will be considered for comps, depending on how many I can find. The "newest, nearest, most similar" then tell me the value range I'll be working with. All comps used also now have the MLS history print-out attached along will all the public info & tax records I can find.

I did have a couple of trainees out of Paul Zappulla's (license now suspended) office that told me I was doing this all wrong though. They were taught to do it the way Frank described and to expand the search if the comps found wouldn't make the value wanted. I was so astounded to find out that they had no clue how to search for comps other than by sold price. 8O :twisted:

Glad this topic came up.
 
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