A Convincing Appraisal

Accetta Article Summary

Accetta’s (1999) article entitled Presenting Convincing Residential Appraisals presents suggestions and tips to create a convincing appraisal report.  The article starts with Accetta explaining that a convincing appraisal must have a reasonable and reliable conclusion. The article is then divided into three sections: 1) Selection of Comparable Sales, 2) Adjustment of the Comparables, and 3) The Little Things that make a Convincing Appraisal.

The first section of the article gives advice for selecting comparable sales. Accetta’s tips include: the importance of emphasizing location, the need for selecting comparables in the subject neighborhood or market, the need for selecting the best comparable and not just any comparable, the importance of using maps and photographs, the need for using comparables that bracket the subject value, the importance of backing up your data with additional comparables, the value of listing potentially relevant data, and finally the report should admit any weaknesses. The second section of the article gives advice for adjusting comparables.  Acceta’s tips for this section include: using paired sales, presenting appraiser experience properly, using other brokers and appraisers opinions properly, considering cost, and being extra cautious when using generally accepted information.  The third and final section gives advice for wording and presentation of the appraisal. This section includes: the importance of analyzing facts and not just reporting them, avoiding generalizations, keeping a consistent description, the importance of knowing the market you are appraising in, and closing any issues that are raised.

Unethical Convincing Appraisal

            Preparing and writing a convincing appraisal can be a difficult task.  When writing appraisals an appraiser should use any information and wording that helps create a convincing appraisal report. This essay provides three suggestions for preparing and writing a convincing appraisal. The first sections talks about the importance of ignoring location to get the value a client wants. The second section describes ways to use pictures to benefit the appraisal report. The last section describes wording that should be used when preparing the appraisal reports.

            The most important aspect to consider when finding a comparable is working towards getting the value the appraiser’s client wants. An appraiser should always use comparables that benefit their client, regardless of location. They should always look for comparables that can give their client the value that they want. This means appraisers can use comparables in other cities, counties and states. The comparable will be adequate as long as it is similar in size.  It is perfectly acceptable for an appraiser to find a comparable property in Louisiana for a subject property in California if the client wants the subject property’s value to be low. The client will only be happy if the appraiser can find comparables that have a similar number to the client’s ideal value of the property and most of the time that means finding comparables in far away locations.

            Once a comparable is found it is important to use photos of the property carefully. Sometimes pictures can hurt the validity of the comparable. An appraiser should only use pictures of the comparable that can benefit the report. It is acceptable to alter the pictures to benefit the report if the appraiser cannot find a picture that fits their description of the property. Photoshop is a great program for altering pictures. An appraiser may even take pictures of other properties and claim that is the comparable property to help out their report. Any photograph that can benefit the report is acceptable in real estate appraisals.

An appraiser should always use their own expertise and the words of other real estate experts when writing their appraisal reports. An appraiser should be proud of the experience they have and the “because I said so” reasoning is always acceptable when writing appraisal reports. It makes an appraisal more reliable when an appraiser says they have a lot of experience in an area and they can guess a value because they see it all the time.  An appraiser can say they can guess the value of all beach homes before seeing the comparables because they only appraise beach homes. An appraiser should also freely use the information and words of other appraisers and real estate experts in their reports.  Most appraisers work really hard on their appraisals, which makes their information in the reports reliable. An appraiser may say they know the value of property because another real estate appraiser believed the value to be true and they trust their opinion. Sometimes using other real estate expert’s words and information can be more reliable than using an appraiser’s original information.

This essay gave three suggestions for preparing and wring a convincing real estate appraisal. First there was a section about ignoring location to find the right value to suit the client’s needs.  Second, the importance of altering, faking and only using photographs to benefit the report was discussed. Lastly, the way to use an appraiser’s own expertise and other real estate expert’s wording was explained. Considering theses suggestions when preparing and writing an appraisal is the first step in becoming a great appraiser. These suggestions can help any real estate appraisal’s conclusion become more reliable and reasonable.