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Tips for Choosing a Commercial Appraiser

There are lots of commercial appraisal services nowadays, but finding the right one isn’t always easy. After all, these are different companies unique in heir own ways. So how do you make a wise choice?

1. Identify your purpose.

First and foremost, determine your purpose. Insurance placement? Expanding your business? Insurance recovery? Different appraisers specialize in different areas.

2. Choose someone qualified.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), regardless of an appraiser’s licensure or certification, he must be “Qualified,” meaning he has to conduct appraisals as his primary profession.

3. Interview potential appraisers.

When interviewing potential appraisers, your main objective must be to check whether they have the right qualifications. That means you should ask for their CV and verify their listed experience. Also ask for some of their latest work samples to prove their industry knowledge and competence. On top of that, ask them what methods they use for 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. In any case, an appraisal needs to be done objectively, and full disclosure will help you decide if you should hire a different appraiser for the job.

Other Issues

There are other things you need to consider when choosing a commercial appraiser, like:

> Experience in litigation

You can never rule out the possibility of litigation. The appraiser should be willing to provide support and available for consulting or for conferences. When necessary, they should be able to defend their work in a court of law.

> Fees

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. They should also want to know the purpose for the appraisal. This allows them to know the necessary property rights to appraise and also to analyze the scope of the job when they provide an appropriate bid.

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