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Work Samples

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amosrebecca

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2002
What is the regulation on providing prospective clients with work samples? I've heard a thousand reasons why it's ILLEGAL to do so, yet there are still appraisers that package them up & send them out. I've heard from different appraisers in different states that their 'state' has passed a law that it's against USPAP...or that they'll go to jail (can you imagine??) for providing a work sample--even if the client, borrower, ect. is blackened out.
What's the story on this? Does it really vary from state to state?
Thanks
 

Neil (Texas)

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Texas
You have been misinformed. It is not "illegal" to provide sample appraisals.

The appraiser has three options with regard to "sample" appraisals.

1. Turn down the request to provide the information.
2. Secure a release from the client of each sample appraisal.
3. Provide sample reports, but redact all confidential information.

Prior to licensing, almost anyone could cloak themselves with the mythical mantle of "appraiser", therein the perceived need for "samples" of work product.

That said, I personally do not provide sample appraisals. I will on request, furnish a prospective client with a resume and a copy of my license. The state would not issue me a license/certification without a demonstration (education, experience and testing) of my competence. The appraisal association of which I am a member would not issue me a designation without a demonstration of my competence. I would not remain in business unless my clients considered my work competent.

Side Note:
I do not ask the doctor for "sample treatments" given to other patients. I do not ask the CPA for "sample financials" of his/her work for other businesses. I do not ask the attorney for "sample litigation or advice" provided to others. I do not ask any professional for "samples" of their work completed for other clients.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I have not heard of it being illegal, but you do need to get permission from your client to release the report as a work sample. Some suggestions from a previous post was to appraise your parents, or other relative's homes, and use them as samples. Just put yourself as the client, and the user, for the purposes of a work sample. :wink:

Another idea posted was to offer the first order from the new lender as the work sample. If the lender did not like the quality, no charge (notice, I did NOT say any thing about not liking the numbers).

Mell.
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Neil and Mell's responses above are correct. To clarify where the 'illegal' part of the refusal to provide work samples, let me say this: Most states have at least one law or regulation on their books that specifies that the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) represents the minimum standard of conduct for a licensed or certified appraiser in that state. Thus, a violation of USPAP would be against the law and would subject the appraiser to discipline from the state appraisal board.

The violation that is being alluded to is the Confidentiality section of the Ethics Rule, which prohibits an appraiser from disclosing confidential information or the results of an assignment to anyone other than the client, those parties specifically authorized by the client, state appraisal boards, parties authorized by due process of law, and the peer review boards of one of the professional appraisal organizations. And no, the review staff at a lender is not one of those parties.

Then there is also the recently enacted Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, which also protects confidential information under certain circumstances.

Bottom line here is that a consumer isn't really goning to learn much of anything about an appraiser from looking at work samples. The samples they get might not be indicative of the appraiser's everyday work product, might not be indicative of how the appraiser handles unusual problems (especially if the appraiser sends in reports covering simple properties), and might not even be the appraiser's own work product. The only way to find out how an appraiser performs is either to try them out, or ask for references (and check them).

George Hatch
 
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