How to Choose a Commercial Appraiser
There are lots of commercial appraisal services nowadays, but finding the right one isn’t always easy. Besides, they’re not all created equal. So how do you make a wise choice?
1. Know your purpose.
First and foremost, determine your purpose. Property tax disputes? Gift tax? Insurance recovery? Remember that appraisers have specialties.
2. Look for qualifications.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires appraisers to be “Qualified,” which means the appraiser should perform appraisals like the subject assignment as his/her main profession, no matter their licensure or certification.
3. Interview your prospects.
When you interview prospective appraisers, your main goal must be to determine when they are qualified. That means asking for their resume and checking their listed experience. Also ask for some of their latest work samples to prove their industry knowledge and competence. In addition, know what methods they use in their appraisals.
It’s good to pick an appraiser who can patiently explain what they do and the concepts involved. On the other hand, pay attention to the questions they as you about the assignment. You would know the sincerity and commitment they have for the project just by the things they want you to tell them.
4. Choose someone who offers full disclosure.
Definitely, your appraiser must offer full disclosure, including lack of knowledge on the subject, any interest they may have in the subject property and whether or not they have performed an appraisal on said property within the last three years. All in all, an appraisal has to be neutral, and full disclosure helps you make a decision as to whether you want to hire a different appraiser.
Before you hire a specific commercial appraiser, you need to consider a few more things, including:
> Experience in litigation
Litigation is and will always be a possibility. It is important that the appraiser is available when you need them and can provide support. When the situation calls for it, they should be able to defend heir appraisal in the court of law.
Appraisers often charge per item or per hour, or they may also collect a flat fee. Stay away from those whose fee is based on the final opinion of value. This is, in fact, a violation of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)’s code of ethics.
Lastly, before you request a bid from an appraiser, they have to know whether the subject property is vacant, leased or owner-occupied. Also, they should ask about the intended use of the appraisal. With this, they can tell he necessary proper rights for appraising and analyzing the extent of the assignment as they give you a good bid.