Honesty and Integrity: Associate Appraisers of America

Appraising is, by and large, a long term career. The rigors of becoming a licensed appraiser have become more difficult than ever before. So it goes without question in this day and age that real estate appraisal can definitely be dubbed a profession rather than a trade. As with any profession we are bound by an ethical code.

We have many obligations as appraisers but above everything we answer to our clients. More often than not, in residential practice, the appraiser's client is the lender ordering the appraisal. Appraisers are required to only disclosing information to their clients, and as a homeowner, if you require to obtain a copy of an appraisal report, you should request it from your lender. Other responsibilities also include, accurate sums appropriate to the parameters of the report, reaching and sustaining a certain level of competency and education, and the appraiser must conduct him or herself as a professional. Maintaining high ethics is is what we do everyday at Associate Appraisers of America.

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Appraisers can also have fiduciary responsibilities to third parties, such as homeowners, buyers and sellers, or others. Those third parties normally are spelled out in scope of the appraisal assignment itself. An appraiser's fiduciary roll is limited to those parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other things in the framework of the job.

There are also ethical duties that have nothing to do with whom we share information. For example, appraisers must be able to produce their work files for at least five years - at Associate Appraisers of America you can rest assured that we stick to that rule.

While busy with an assignment, we follow the highest ethical standards possible. We never do assignments on contingency fees. That is, we don't agree to do an appraisal report and get paid only if the loan closes. Another practice that's restricted is doing assignments on percentage fees. That is probably the appraisal professions most important rule, because it would invite fraudulent practices since raising the value of the home would up the fee. We don't do that. Other unethical practices may be defined by state law or professional societies to which an appraiser belongs.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) also defines a violation in ethics as accepting of an assignment that is contingent on "the reporting of a pre-determined result (e.g., opinion of value)," "a direction in assignment results that favors the cause of the client," "the amount of a value opinion," as well as other situations. We follow these rules to the letter which means you can be at ease knowing we are working hard to provide an unbiased determination of the home or property value.

With Associate Appraisers of America, you can be assured of 100 percent ethical, professional service.