Honesty and Integrity: Cotter Valuation GroupAppraising is a profession, and appraisers are professionals. The rigors of becoming a licensed appraiser have become more difficult than ever in the past. That's why it goes without question in this day and age that real estate appraisal can definitely be dubbed a profession as opposed to a trade. As with any profession we must follow strict ethical considerations.
An appraiser's primary responsibility is to their client.
Generally, for a standard residential appraisal, the lender (or an agent of the lender) places the order to the appraiser, becoming the appraiser's client.
It follows that appraisers have certain duties of privacy to their clients, plus strict rules and regulations to which we must adhere. So, as
a homeowner, if you want a copy of an appraisal report, you generally should obtain it from your lender and not the appraiser.
Appraisers may also have fiduciary obligations to third parties, such as homeowners, buyers and sellers, or others. Typically the third parties are clearly defined in the appraisal report. An appraiser's fiduciary role is restricted to those third parties who the appraiser is aware of, based on the scope of work or other things in the framework of the assignment.
Appraisers also have rules outside of boundaries of with whom we share information For example, appraisers must backup their work files for a minimum of five years - at Cotter Valuation Group you can rest assured that we stick to that rule.
When creating reports, we follow the highest ethical standards possible. Doing orders where our fee is dependent on our value conclusion is not something we can consider. That means we can't agree to do an appraisal report and collect payment on the contingency of the loan closing. There's an obvious conflict of interest if an appraiser can report a larger value and then get paid more money!
Finally, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (or simply "USPAP") clearly describes 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" in addition to other situations We diligently follow these rules to the letter which means you can rest easy knowing we are doing everything we can to objectively determine the home or property value.
With Cotter Valuation Group, you can be assured of 100 percent ethical, professional service.