Portland Area Real Estate Appraisal Discussion

Home Appraisals are Private Information
March 11th, 2015 12:28 PM

One of the most common questions that homeowners ask about a real estate appraisal is, “Will the appraisal report be shown to others?”  Homeowners are often concerned that an appraisal done for a lender or private party might also be available to the tax assessor or to someone else with no need for such private information.  The homeowner’s fear is very understandable.  My answer to the question is always, “Absolutely not.”

Real estate appraisers are licensed and certified professionals, held to strict ethical requirements under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).  The Ethics Rule of USPAP states, “An appraiser must protect the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship.”  An appraiser cannot disclose the confidential information or the assignment results to anyone other than the client, people who have been authorized by the client, regulatory agencies, third parties under due process of law, or a duly authorized professional review committee.

Here are some interesting points on appraiser ethics and confidentiality rules.

  • Appraisers cannot provide homeowners with the appraisal value or analysis unless the homeowner is named as a client, or the client has specifically given permission to the appraiser.  This is even true if the homeowner paid for the appraisal but the lender engaged the appraiser and is listed as the client.  However, conventional lenders are required to provide a copy of the appraisal to the homeowner prior to closing under Appraiser Independence Requirements.  A common frustration for real estate agents or homeowners occurs when there is a problem with the appraisal, but the appraiser refuses to answer to anyone but the lender.  The appraiser can and should gather information from homeowners and real estate agents, but the appraiser can only provide analysis to the client.


  • Once an appraisal is completed for one bank or client, the appraiser cannot simply readdress or change the client name and provide it to another bank or client.  However, the appraiser can engage with a new client to appraise the same property under a new assignment without disclosing any confidential information from the previous assignment.


  • Appraisers are required to disclose if they have appraised a particular property in the past.  However, appraisers cannot disclose confidential information about the previous appraisal such as the client, the purpose, the results, or sales contracts.


  • Appraisers cannot provide a sample appraisal report to a prospective client without authorization from the previous client or after removing confidential information.  Providing sample work is routine in the appraisal industry, but appraisers need to be cautious that the strict USPAP ethics rules are not violated.

Did I leave anything out or do you want to join in the conversation?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you find this information interesting or useful, please subscribe to this blog and like A Quality Appraisal, LLC on Facebook.  Also, please support us by making Portland real estate appraisal related comments on our blogs and YouTube videos.  If you need Portland, Oregon area residential real estate appraisal services for any reason, please request appraisal fee quote or book us to speak at your next event.  We will do everything possible to assist you.

Thanks for reading,

Gary F. Kristensen

Great breakdown of this often misunderstood part of our job. The two biggest questions and/or lack of understanding I have seen involves whether the tax assessor will see the appraisal and why we cannot give them a copy of the appraisal directly since they are paying for it. This will definitely help homeowners understand it better.

Posted by Tom Horn on March 11th, 2015 12:47 PM
Thank you Tom for the comment. I'm pretty sure this is a topic that you've blogged about as well. It is an honor to have you follow my blog.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on March 11th, 2015 1:01 PM
Nice job, Gary. Very thorough. Lots of people ask if the appraisal will increase their property taxes too (as if it was going to be shown to the Assessor). I know in my area property taxes do not change unless there is a change of home ownership. An appraisal certainly doesn't get turned in to the Assessor, and a refinance is not considered a change of ownership either, so home owners should be safe in that regard.

Posted by Ryan Lundquist on March 11th, 2015 1:18 PM
Thank you for the comment Ryan. Yes, I should have made the title of this blog post, "Will this appraisal increase my taxes?"

Posted by Gary Kristensen on March 11th, 2015 2:10 PM
Appraisals are so private that only the lender can provide a copy to the borrower. For loan origination work the appraiser's client is typically the lender, not the borrower. The lender does not permit the appraiser to discuss the property or provide the report to the borrower or any other party without (usually written...)permission. However, once the borrower has a copy of the report they may choose to use it for tax grievance or private mortgage insurance (PMI) removal purposes if they wish.

Posted by Mike Turner on March 11th, 2015 2:55 PM
Thank you Mike for your comment. You're correct that once the borrower has a copy of the appraisal report, they may choose to use it for something else. However, if that something else is not the intended use stated in the report, then the report may not be credible. For example, tax values are typically on January 1st. The market changes and homes change, the tax assessor or tax appeal board may invalidate that appraisal because it is for lending purposes.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on March 11th, 2015 6:09 PM
I recently had to advise a property owner of this and directed him to ask this lender contact for any and all information he is seeking. The reactions are mixed no matter how polite you try to be. I understand the property owners perspective, the appraiser is right there in my home why can't he just give it to me.

Posted by John Tsiaousis on March 14th, 2015 12:10 AM
Thank you John for the comment. Yes, being private about the appraisal process can be uncomfortable for the appraiser and the homeowner. It is important that the appraiser explains these matters to the homeowner in a way that they can understand.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on March 14th, 2015 1:17 PM
Great topic for any homeowner with a possible concern about trusting an appraiser in this way. Not enough people know the extent of the strict ethical requirements appraiser follow.

Posted by Lucas on April 1st, 2015 4:04 PM
You're correct Lucas. Thank you for following our Portland, Oregon appraiser blog.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on April 1st, 2015 4:12 PM
It's nice to know this information is so private. It makes purchasing a home much more secure. I think it is always a good idea to also have a lawyer to help you deal with the paper work like this to make sure everything stays secure and in order. It's better to be safe rather than sorry.

Posted by Rose Henderson on May 5th, 2015 12:51 PM
Good to know which information is confidential and what they are allowed to be made public. Thanks for the info.

Posted by Drew on December 10th, 2015 12:15 PM
You're welcome Drew. Thank you for following.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on December 11th, 2015 1:48 AM


My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog: