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Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

How are appraisers certified?
What is a Certified Residential Appraiser?
For whom do appraisers work?
Who owns the appraisal report?
How long is the value conclusion of a report considered valid?


How are appraisers certified? Top of Page

States vary in terms of their regulations regarding the licensing and certification of real estate appraisers.  In general, licensing and certification require many hours of coursework, tests, and practical experience.  Once licensed, appraisers are required to take a certain number of hours of continuing education courses to keep the license current. 

What is a Certified Residential Appraiser? Top of Page

The Appraisal Foundation's Appraisal Qualifications Board determines the minimum qualifications for licensing appraisers, and the California Office of Real Estate Appraisers (OREA) maintains this state's high standards of education, experience, credential-testing, and continuing education.  "Certified" is the highest credential granted an individual who specializes exclusively in the appraisal of residential real property.  While the Appraisal Foundation also sets credential standards for Licensed Residential Real Estate Appraisers, such licensees are limited in the complexity and value of their assignments, as their licensing and experience standards are less rigorous than those of Certified Residential Real Estate Appraisers.

For whom do appraisers work? Top of Page 

Appraisers perform their service for a client.  In addition to lenders who employ appraisers to estimate the value of a property on which they are considering giving a loan, appraisals are also ordered by a range of other individuals and entities for estate, trust, divorce and other property settlements, tax and investment planning, PMI removal, remodel feasibility evaluation, employee relocation, foreclosure and pre-foreclosure evaluations.

Who owns the appraisal reports? Top of Page

An appraisal has a specified client, an intended user or users, and an intended use or purpose.  The appraisal report, its data, and its final opinion of value are the property of the client, for his/her confidential use. 

In a typical real estate lending transaction, the lender hires the appraiser, owns the appraisal report and the right to use it, although the borrower pays for it.  The borrower is entitled to a copy of the report from the lender, but should not use it for any other purpose without the lender's permission.  If a lender or loan broker ordered the appraisal report, the appraiser cannot give the borrower a copy of the appraisal.  Federal regulations stipulate that the appraiser is bound to confidentiality in his report and cannot reveal any details about the appraisal to anyone other than his client.

When a homeowner or other party hires an appraiser directly, the appraiser and client will stipulate how the appraisal can be used (e.g. for tax challenges) and the client can use it within those parameters.

How long is the value conclusion of a report considered valid?
Top of Page

Appraisals are written with, at a minimum, an effective date (which is usually the inspection date) and a reporting date (when the report is finished and delivered to the client).  The value conclusion of the report is good for the effective date only.  The intended user of the report will determine how long after the effective date the value conclusion of the report will be considered valid for the report's intended use.

P.O Box 255452
Sacramento, CA 95865-5452
(530) 564-4200
(530) 564-4200