Is It Wrong to Do Things Differently When Appraising?
Do you realize there are still appraisers out there who do what they do the same way they did in it the past? There is nothing inherently wrong with that! We have spoken about this before, but this topic merits another visit.
On a Facebook post recently, I read a comment from appraiser-X telling appraiser-Y that the way s/he was doing something was just plain wrong. So, here is the question: “Is different wrong?”
There are still appraisers out there appraising the same way, with the same tools, and the same mindset, as they were in the 1980s. Now, there is nothing wrong with this since we all choose how we run our appraisal businesses. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with getting a groove and sticking with it. Since your groove and my groove are likely different grooves, it is also likely that the way I run my businesses and the way you run yours are not the same. This is not to judge how you manage your business. It is just to say different, in and of itself, is not wrong.
Cast your mind back to your mentors. They likely
taught you how to run your business. You did not know any “better”, so you chose to run and administer yours as they ran theirs. There is nothing wrong with following tradition. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When appraiser-X indicted appraiser-Y for doing something incorrectly, appraiser-X was judging appraiser-Y’s business acumen. This is not to support appraiser-Y’s protocols of doing business. It is to judge that appraiser-X’s
conclusion that -X was right while -Y was wrong was in and of itself was wrong. Does different, in and of itself, equal wrong? I contend it does not. Assuming appraiser-Y’s protocols were in-line with USPAP, state law, and generally accepted appraisal practices & procedures, merely being different did not make appraiser-Y wrong.
Sometimes we need to step outside of the boxes we build around ourselves. We work hard. We strive to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. We strive to understand and conform with the dictates of USPAP. Yet what is efficient to you may be sloth and wastage to me. We all strive to follow USPAP, but heaven knows, there are enough grey areas and ambiguities in it to make
that a challenge. I’ve spoken with numerous USPAP instructors over the years. I can testify to the fact they do not always agree on their interpretations of USPAP. They can’t even agree on their interpretations of USPAP since USPAP changes every two years!
Therefore, when we look at how another appraiser does business, or practices real estate appraisal, we need to appreciate the fact that just because they do it differently than we do, that does not mean they are “wrong”. Maybe we are!
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 196 Different Is Not Necessarily Wrong