LOGIN Email: Password:

Alphabet Soup

Perhaps it was an overly footnoted appraisal course or an appraisal guru who reprimanded you with the stealth of a ninja. The reasons may be uncountable, but we can be sure that we all share one anxiety: We are all a bit scared of appraisal liability.

To counteract we often overeducate ourselves. We gather professional designations like a hardcore sergeant in a combat unit collecting decorations for heroism.

Some professional designations are worthy and some aren't.

Bill Hoefer

I remember walking into an appraiser's office that had so many frames with scroll-edged credentials that he appeared to be the appraisal expert of the century. But reading them revealed that he had joined any group that would send him a farmable document. Almost none were based on education, training or testing. The problem is his customers do not know the difference.

On the other hand there are trained appraisers who sport credentials that required hard work. Even so, multiple memberships can be a trap for expert witnesses. The problem is not with the appraiser but in the fact that societies have varying standards. Each society mandates their members to render all appraisals in compliance with their standards and to state so in the appraisal reports.

A smart attorney can find the differences in standards and examine the report to see if this is a potential problem. If a conflict in standards exists, the expert cannot win. If the Delta Button Appraisal society states the member should have followed one path and the Omega Button Appraisal society required a different path - it stands to reason that the appraiser did not comply with one of them.

The cross-examination will be cross and the witness a sitting duck.

If you have looked or taken courses from different societies or private offerings, the terms, definitions, methodology and even the little nuances of what is not proper and what is are often in extreme opposition. Yes, you can take every course and only join one and ascribe to a single set of standards but that is limiting you isn't it?

What to do?

Let's face it - we are not structured like a profession. We are more like a trade. In a trade, a group trains, tests and certifies its members. I remember my plumber telling me that he was trained by the plumbers' union. That's a trade.

A profession, on the other hand, allows various entities to train, test, et cetera. However, the last test for a professional designation is handled by a non-educational body. One can pass law school but they are not an attorney until they pass the state bar examination. One can pass medical school but they have to pass the American Medical Association's examination before they can practice medicine.

We need to become a profession. All the societies can train and test its members but we need a non-advocate group to test and certify. That credential will mean something.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Hoefer

Top of Page   •   Contact Us
Copyright © by Appraiser Under Oath