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The Difference Between Certified and Non-Certified Appraisals

April 28, 2010

Right off the bat, in exploring the major differences between a certified appraiser and a non-certified appraiser, just keep one thing in mind – always use a certified appraiser.

One of the first things you want to do is to check an appraiser’s credentials. Certified appraisers will often have initials in their titles, such as ASA (American Society of Appraisers) or CMEA (Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser). In some instances, auctioneers, liquidators, or dealers will try to pass themselves off as appraisers, but they won’t have these important designations.

Another thing to check is the appraisal itself. To be certain it’s a USPAP-certified appraisal, check that it contains all of the items below:

  • Summary of Facts
  • Scope of Work
  • Degree to Which the Property is Inspected or Identified
  • Extent of Research into the Physical or Economic Factors that Could Affect the Property
  • Extent of Data Research
  • Type and Extent of Analysis Applied in Arriving at Opinions or Conclusions
  • Depth of Onsite Inspection
  • Overall Condition of Equipment
  • Intended Use
  • Economic Conditions
  • Definitions of Conditions
  • Methods of Evaluations
  • Sources Contacted
  • Market Conditions
  • Final Value Summary and Reconciliation
  • Appraiser’s Certifications and Qualifications
  • Photographs

A non-certified appraisal can be anything, including just a piece of paper with a company letterhead, and a list of items and prices. So beware.

Though it’s entirely possible that a non-certified appraisal can have the same information as a certified appraisal, there’s one extremely important consideration: A certified appraisal will stand up to peer, IRS, and court scrutiny, whereas a non-certified appraisal will not.

NEBB Institute member Nathan Bazzle, a CMEA with Certified Consulting Group, makes similar information available in his recent blog post.

By: NEBB Institute


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