Here are some thoughts on something I know nothing about, but want to get some answers. How does the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) affect real estate appraisers? This act exists to help those with disabilities to have the same advantages of those who do not (at least as much as possible). At the time it first past, there was grumbling from those who had to spend the money to retrofit their buildings into compliance. There were cheers from those who before could not access buildings, elevators, stairwells who now could. My opinion is that the benefits outweighed the costs – but that’s my opinion.
All that said, how does the ADA help appraisers? Or, does it help us at all? How does the ADA protect appraisers? Does it protect us at all? My research indicates that most of the data on these questions refer to commercial real estate appraisal, not residential such as we do. So where do we look for an answer?
Some of you know that about 10-years ago, my Dad was involved in a bad motorcycle accident. As a result, long story short, he had to give up appraising since he could not get around physically after the accident – it was too painful. Anyway, he retired early from the business, took his Social Security and, despite his entrepreneurial orientation, after a long career, got out of the real estate appraisal business altogether. So here is my question: Could my Dad have hired other appraisers to do inspections for him, thus allowing him to stay at his desk? There he would have done the analytics of the appraisal from the data the inspecting appraiser provided to him, and then written the appraisal report.
Now, we all know that USPAP does not require us to inspect the property; it merely requires us to disclose if we did not. Yet, despite this, many lenders demand a personal inspection of the property. Typically, this means the appraiser who inspects the property also signs the report. Could I have inspected the property, given him all of that data, and then let him write the report? We’d both sign it, with the proper disclosure of who inspected the property and who did not. Would that have worked? I think so be need your thoughts on the issue.
So, would the ADA have applied here? I do not know, frankly. Please take the time to share your thoughts with me since you may have a take on this I never thought of. Get on my website, open up this podcast (#76), listen to it in its entirety, then let me know your thoughts by commenting on the podcast. I appreciate all your help and input on this!
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 76 A Question About Appraisers With Disabilities