For honest and ethical appraisals, trust Lewis S. Lerman AssociatesWe think of what we do as a profession. Requirements to become a licensed appraiser have increased more than ever in the past. That's why it goes without question these days that real estate appraisal can definitely be considered a profession as opposed to a trade. In our field, as with any profession, we are bound by an ethical code.
An appraiser's main responsibility is to their client.
Typically, in residential practice, the appraiser's client is the lender ordering the appraisal, and often the appraisal is ordered by a third party the lender has hired in order to maintain independence.
Appraisers are privy to a lot of data, and like an attorney, can only discuss many of these matters with their client. As
a homeowner, if you desire a copy of an appraisal report, you normally should request it from your lender.
Appraisers will frequently be required to consider the interests of third parties, including homeowners, buyers and sellers, or others. Typically the third parties are explicitly defined in the appraisal report. An appraiser's fiduciary duty is limited to those third parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other written parameters of the assignment.
There are also ethical rules that have nothing to do with clients and others. For example, appraisers must backup their work files for at least five years - at Lewis S. Lerman Associates you can rest assured that we adhere to that rule.
Lewis S. Lerman Associates holds itself to the industry standards and mandates set in place for ethics. We can't accept anything less from ourselves. Doing orders where our fee is dependent on our value conclusion is never an option. That is, we don't agree to do an appraisal report and get paid only if the loan closes. There's a definite conflict of interest if an appraiser can report a greater value with the reward of getting paid more money!
Finally, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice clearly defines unethical behavior 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", or "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 going above and beyond to provide an unbiased determination of the home or property value.
When you request an appraisal from Lewis S. Lerman Associates, we'll make sure you're getting the professional service you expect along with the business principles we're known for.