Portland Area Real Estate Appraisal Discussion

Lower Price Appraisal Options in Portland
January 14th, 2015 2:24 PM

Portland Appraiser Scope of Work

Portland, Oregon area homeowners, real estate agents, and attorneys often contact A Quality Appraisal, LLC wanting to know the value of a home, but not needing (nor desiring to pay for) an appraisal with the same level of research that is included in a “full” appraisal (like those required by banks for an 80% home loan).  As an appraiser, if I provide an opinion of value or even a range of value, I am furnishing an appraisal and I must be able to document research and report findings in a manner that is consistent with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).  USPAP states that appraisers, “…must determine and perform the scope of work necessary to develop credible assignment results.” 

Appraisers are licensed professionals held to high standards.  Appraisal clients may not know what level of research is necessary for credible results, so the appraiser must learn how the client plans to use the appraisal and assist with deciding on a product that produces results appropriate for the intended use.  USPAP states that, “Appraisers have broad flexibility and significant responsibility in determining the appropriate scope of work....”  USPAP further states, “The credibility of assignment results is always measured in the context of the intended use.”  For this reason, A Quality Appraisal, LLC offers multiple residential appraisal products featuring scopes of work that specifically target a range of intended use.  Examples follow.

Desktop Appraisals:  We offer several desktop appraisal report options that do not include an interior inspection or even an onsite viewing of the subject property.  The desktop appraisal report looks the same as other appraisal reports, just without a measurement sketch or photos of the subject property.  A desktop appraisal might produce credible results for a property that has significant information available online or through other sources, and the appraiser can make reasonable assumptions about features and condition.  A good time to use a desktop appraisal might be soon after a property has sold on the area multiple listing service and there are adequate interior photos and descriptions available.  We will not offer a desktop appraisal if the property is very unique and requires a personal viewing by the appraiser to understand its marketability.

Minimum Scope Appraisal:  We offer a proprietary product called a “Minimum Scope Appraisal Report.”  This appraisal can be produced from a desktop alone or it can also be done with an interior or exterior inspection.  This is a short USPAP compliant narrative report product that we developed for clients who just want the unbiased opinions of an appraiser without the cost.  In this appraisal report, there is less verification of data and more assumptions are made than in a typical full appraisal.  The analysis of comparable sales is usually qualitative rather than the dollar (quantitative) adjustments more commonly found in residential appraisal reports.  A good time to use a minimum scope appraisal might be for consulting or planning purposes.  Minimum scope appraisals can later be upgraded to a full appraisal if necessary, when the client understands that additional research can produce different value conclusions or recommendations.

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

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Thanks for reading,


Great Post Gary. Very well explained. Offering a 'limited scope appraisal' is a good way to provide a less expensive, yet quality product for those who don't need, or don't want to pay for a full appraisal. Great Job!

Posted by JeffHamric on January 14th, 2015 2:39 PM
As always, great information. Thanks!

Posted by Frank Greenburch on January 14th, 2015 2:40 PM
Thank you Frank and Jeff for your comments. This is why we spend a lot of time helping our clients find the right appraisal product, before we send out an appraiser.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 14th, 2015 2:43 PM
These types of appraisals can be very useful for many clients. Oddly enough, many appraisers feel as though they can't do them...they often think they are required to measure and inspect every property.

Posted by Jonathan Montgomery on January 14th, 2015 2:47 PM
Your right Jonathan. That is my experience too. Many appraisers are afraid to offer other lower cost options to their clients. There is so much regulation of appraisers and I think it is the fear of the unknown.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 14th, 2015 2:52 PM
Good for you to tailor valuations to your clients' needs. I find some clients are best served by a couple paragraphs about the neighborhood market and a few graphs instead of a full appraisal. It really comes down to what they really need. Case-in-point: When doing work for tax appeal situations, I find a full appraisal on a URAR is definitely not relevant in the vast majority of cases.

Posted by Ryan Lundquist on January 14th, 2015 3:25 PM
Great to hear your insight Ryan. I have also found that some market analysis is all my clients need for some assignments. This is particularly helpful in appraisal consulting where the owner might just be looking for advice on what kind of remodeling or updates to make to the property.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 14th, 2015 4:02 PM
Great blog, thank you for sharing. You always provide very helpful and informative blog posts.

Posted by Michael Brandlin on January 19th, 2015 6:32 PM
Thank you for your kindness Michael and for following my appraisal blog.

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 19th, 2015 6:36 PM
I think appraisers need to be aware of these types of appraisals if they want to diversify their business and offer services to non-lender clients.

Posted by Tom Horn on January 20th, 2015 9:43 AM
Thank you Tom. You're correct. Appraisers need to know about lessor scope appraisals. One of the previous commenters said, "many appraisers feel as though they can't do them..."

Posted by Gary Kristensen on January 20th, 2015 10:02 AM
I agree with Jonathan in that many appraiser feel as though they can't do them; however as you point out USPAP allows for a variety of reporting options. Your Portalnd Appraiser clients must be happy with the options you offer them.

Posted by John Tsiaousis on January 22nd, 2015 5:07 PM


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