How far away can an appraiser be? - That's the question Charles W. Elliot Jr., MAI, SRA asked in his article Value Nation: How far away can an appraiser be?
"In appraisal distances, an analogy may be made that it varies with the person and the circumstance. Not to trivialize the issue, there are distances and locations that individual appraisers will find excessive to travel in order to provide professional appraisal service."
"Having said that, some circumstances will warrant further distances than others and there can be no hard and fast rule. The circumstances that matter most in addressing the question, in my opinion are, the number of appraisers available to serve a specific location at a specific time, the geographic experience and competence of the appraiser, whether the assignment is commercial or residential and the availability of sales data."
A couple of examples of some real-life issues relating to the above are:
■ The property is located in a rural county and there are only two appraisers serving the area. One has a reputation of providing poor service and the other is located 50 miles away from the subject property. The latter does good work, has access to all market data and has time in his schedule.
■ A known and trusted appraiser has served a radius of 60 miles for 20 years successfully, has performed many appraisals near the subject, has access to all MLS data, but lives 43 miles away from a subject property requiring evaluation. The bank assigning the appraisal is not able to confirm the availability of any other competent appraiser; however, there are a number of other appraisers located near the subject.
Charlie W. Elliott Jr., MAI, SRA, is president of Elliott & Company Appraisers, a national real estate appraisal company. He can be reached at (800) 854-5889.