Duplicity and Hypocrisy
Licensed and certified real estate appraisers are the best safeguard to protect the public trust as Virginia residents engage in buying, selling or refinancing real estate. The Commonwealth of Virginia was one of the first states to establish a real estate appraiser board and that is noteworthy.
In conjunction with The Appraisal Foundation and The Appraisal Subcommittee, the Real Estate Appraiser Board has held appraisers to a high standard and routinely conducts disciplinary actions when necessary.
With regard to the proposed guidance document, there is reference to :
18VAC130-20-160. Grounds for Disciplinary Action.
C. Use of signature and electronic transmission of report.
1. The signing of an appraisal report or the transmittal of a report electronically shall indicate that the licensee has exercised complete direction and control over the appraisal. Therefore, no licensee shall sign or electronically transmit an appraisal which has been prepared by an unlicensed person unless such work was performed under the direction and supervision of the licensee in accordance with 54.1-2011 C of the Code of Virginia.
Respectfully, it is my opinion that the completion of a hybrid (or bifurcated) appraisal by a licensee would be a direct violation of the above regulation, notwithstanding that the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice indicates that an appraiser is not required to inspect the property.
Licensed and certified appraisers are in jeopardy, and so are the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Because of the HVCC, it became standard operating procedure that, not only unlicensed appraisers could not sign appraisals, but the powers-that-be would no longer allow a licensed trainee, nor even a licensed appraiser to do the appraisal with a supervisory appraiser co-signing. This action, by the way, is the cause of most appraisers no longer engaging in actively training well-qualified persons pursuing a career in appraising.
Jump to the present, and now we are being asked to take an even greater risk, i.e. trust someone else, who we do not know, to furnish us with information regarding a property and its condition. I’ve heard the argument that we rely on Assessors for information and we don’t “know” them. We do, however, have a reasonable assumption that if a local jurisdiction has hired an assessor or trainee, they are being professionally and adequately trained. The key is “reasonable assumption.”
I could address other issues in the guidance document with which I take exception. But , I believe that drawing attention to the duplicity or outright hypocrisy of AMC’s and others promoting this idea, while not allowing a trainee or lessor licensee, who actually works for or with an appraiser to sign a report, yet it is expected that we would risk our licenses on work performed by someone whom we have never even met.
No thank you. Not me. In my humble opinion, this is foolhardy to permit such "assistance." Should there be a problem or complaint, it is clearly stated on the "About DPOR" page, Unlicensed activity—practicing a profession without a required state license—is a misdemeanor criminal violation. Regulatory boards do not have jurisdiction over unlicensed individuals. Therefore, I conclude that there is too much risk for me as a licensee to assume, knowing that the only recourse against the so-called "inspector" is not practical and the liability would become the appraiser's obligation.