State Appraisers Seeking to Establish National Standards/to Improve Quality of Appraisals, Protect the Public

Article excerpt

Oklahoma's real estate appraisers are mounting an effort to establish national standards which would lead to certification, much like that for accountants.

Stephen V. Greer, treasurer of Oklahoma's chapter of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, said certification would improve the quality of appraisals in the state and provide protection for the public.

"We would like to see one set of standards adopted, either state-by-state or on a national basis," Greer said. "Along with this, we feel that there should be a certification program to ensure a certain level of professional standards.

"Right now, anyone who wants to call himself an appraiser is within his rights and can offer his estimates on any project to anyone regardless of that person's abilities or professionalism," he said.

"The problem with this is that too often someone needs a precise appraisal and may not know who to hire. If that person hires the wrong appraiser, there could be problems."

Certification, like that given to certified public accountants, would allow those who have completed a prescribed course, and who maintain certain professional standards, to use the designaton, he said.

"With certification, the buyer would know exactly what he is getting, and if he didn't need that quality could call an appraiser who is not certified," he said.

"There is a place in our business for those persons who are not certified, but who know enough about the market place to give a good estimate of the value of property.

"In the majority of cases, this type of estimate would be what the customer would want, so there would be no need to pay for a certified appraiser.

"But, there needs to be some regulation to provide protection for the customer, so the customer will know just what he is buying," he said.

Greer said the industry prefers certification over licensing as a form of regulation because of the difference in standards and because of the grandfather clause usually contained in any licensing legislation.

"Anyone now practicing as an appraiser would be granted a license under the grandfather clause, if the state legislature decides to go for licensing rather than certification," he said. …