First Exposure Draft of proposed changes for the edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

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1 TO: FROM: RE: All Interested Parties J. Carl Schultz, Jr., Chair Appraisal Standards Board First Exposure Draft of proposed changes for the edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice DATE: May 24, 2012 The goal of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. With this goal in mind, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) regularly solicits and receives comments and suggestions for improving USPAP. Proposed changes are intended to improve USPAP understanding and enforcement, and thereby achieve the goal of promoting and maintaining public trust in appraisal practice. The ASB is currently considering changes for the edition of USPAP. All interested parties are encouraged to comment in writing to the ASB before the deadline of July 6, Respondents should be assured that each member of the ASB will thoroughly read and consider all comments. Comments are also invited at the ASB public meeting on July 13, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. Written comments on this exposure draft can be submitted by mail, and facsimile. Mail: Appraisal Standards Board The Appraisal Foundation th Street, NW, Suite 1111 Washington, DC Facsimile: (202) First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 1

2 IMPORTANT NOTE: All written comments will be posted for public viewing, exactly as submitted, on the website of The Appraisal Foundation. Names may be redacted upon request. The Appraisal Foundation reserves the right not to post written comments that contain offensive or inappropriate statements. If you have any questions regarding the attached exposure draft, please contact Emily Mann, Standards Administrator at The Appraisal Foundation, via at or by calling (202) Background The Appraisal Standards Board promulgates USPAP for both appraisers and users of appraisal services. The purpose of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in appraisal practice by establishing requirements for appraisers. USPAP represents the generally accepted and recognized standards of appraisal practice in the United States. The ASB s work plan for the edition of USPAP includes reviewing and revising as needed the following areas of USPAP: Reporting and Communication Requirements Reporting Options Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 Other revisions and additions as needed to ensure clarity and relevance. The Board will review every comment submitted in response to this exposure draft and based on the feedback received, will likely issue a Second Exposure Draft in late summer after its public meeting in Denver this July. If that occurs, the Board will again solicit comments leading up to its final public meeting of the year in Washington D.C. in October. And if necessary, the Board may issue a Third Exposure Draft after that meeting, again soliciting feedback up through early The Board currently intends to adopt any revisions for the edition of USPAP at its public meeting in San Francisco on February 1, Any such revisions to USPAP would become effective on January 1, 2014, and any updates related to USPAP course material should be available by late summer First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 2

3 First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice Issued: May 24, 2012 Comment Deadline: July 6, 2012 Each section of this exposure draft begins with a rationale for the proposed changes to USPAP. The rationale is identified as such and does not have line numbering. Where proposed changes to USPAP are noted, the exposure draft contains line numbers. This difference is intended to distinguish for the reader those parts that explain the changes to USPAP from the proposed changes themselves. When commenting on various aspects of the exposure draft, it is very helpful to reference the line numbers, fully explain the reasons for concern or support, provide examples or illustrations, and suggest any alternatives or additional issues that the ASB should consider. Unless otherwise noted, where text is proposed to be deleted from USPAP, that text is shown as strikeout. For example: This is strikeout text proposed for deletion. Text that is proposed to be added to USPAP is underlined. For example: This is text proposed for insertion. For ease in identifying the various issues being addressed, the exposure draft is presented in sections. NOTE: For the sake of clarity, in Sections 2a through 8, the proposed edits are shown based on the assumption the STANDARDS 4 and 5 will be retired as presented in Section 1. If that change is not adopted, additional edits will be necessary. TABLE OF CONTENTS Section Issue Page 1 Proposed Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 (including proposed edits to the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE) 4 2a Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Assignment Results 8 2b Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Report 10 3 Proposed Revisions to the RECORD KEEPING RULE 11 4 Proposed Revisions to Scope of Work Acceptability section of the SCOPE OF WORK RULE 14 5a Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Scope of Work and the SCOPE OF WORK RULE 16 5b Proposed DEFINITION of Scope of Report and SCOPE OF REPORT RULE 21 6 Report Options (includes separate proposals for two report options, and for a single report option) 25 7 Proposed Revisions to the COMPETENCY RULE 41 8 Proposed Revisions to the PREAMBLE - When Do USPAP Rules and Standards Apply? 43 First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 3

4 Section 1: Proposed Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 (including proposed edits to the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE) RATIONALE Prior to adoption of the edition of USPAP, the ASB exposed the idea of retiring STANDARDS 4 and 5 (REAL PROPERTY APPRAISAL CONSULTING DEVELOPMENT and REPORTING). One of the primary reasons the ASB considered retirement of these Standards was concern from the enforcement community that there was confusion and misapplication. The rationale for retirement centered on relying on the appraisal development and reporting standards to cover assignments where the value opinion used in the appraisal consulting assignment was developed by the appraiser performing the assignment. In assignments where the value opinion was accepted after an appraisal review, STANDARD 3 would apply. Many of the responses received by the Board supported the proposed retirement of these standards. A smaller number of responses expressed a concern that the consulting elements of the real property appraisal consulting assignment would no longer have any development or reporting standards. Without appraisal consulting Standards, if the value used by the consulting appraiser was developed by another appraiser and accepted based on an extraordinary assumption, that assignment would have no applicable development or reporting standards. Another area of concern regarding the consulting components of what is currently an appraisal consulting assignment is the use of extraordinary assumptions or hypothetical conditions. While the appraiser must disclose these assignment conditions if they affect the development of a value opinion (or review opinion), it is also important for users to be aware of conditions that affect the consulting portion of the assignment in order to understand the context in which the appraiser arrived at the recommendations or conclusions. The retirement of STANDARD 5 could lead to assignments where extraordinary assumptions and hypothetical conditions are used, but not disclosed. The Board decided that unless there are some requirements in place to address the development and reporting of analyses, recommendations and opinions other than opinions of value or appraisal review opinions, the retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 was not the best option in terms of promoting and maintaining public trust in appraisal practice. Another factor that was considered was the difference in requirements applicable to appraisal consulting assignments in the various disciplines. The Rules, including the SCOPE OF WORK RULE and the RECORD KEEPING RULE, apply to all appraisal consulting assignments, regardless of property type. However, STANDARDS 4 and 5 apply only to real property appraisal consulting assignments; there are no Standards that apply to personal property appraisal consulting assignments or business appraisal consulting assignments. With the confusion and misapplication of STANDARDS 4 and 5, the Board is proposing the retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 in this First Exposure Draft. In a related change, the definition of appraisal consulting would be retired and references to appraisal consulting throughout USPAP would be removed. In order to address concerns expressed in responses First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 4

5 regarding a possible gap in requirements regarding the consulting portions of what are currently known as appraisal consulting assignments, an addition to the ETHICS RULE is being proposed. The addition to the ETHICS RULE will require appraisers of all property types to clearly and accurately disclose the use of an extraordinary assumption or hypothetical condition in all assignments. This requirement previously existed for real property appraisers engaged in an appraisal consulting assignment reported under STANDARD 5. Extending this requirement to appraisers of all property types and to all assignments that involve appraisal practice is in the best interest of public trust. The retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5 would not affect the numbering of STANDARDS 6 through 10. NOTE: Because the proposal is to retire STANDARDS 4 and 5 and the definition of appraisal consulting, those edits are not shown on the following pages. However, the proposed edits to the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE are shown (the remainder of the ETHICS RULE would remain unchanged). First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 5

6 Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE An appraiser must perform assignments with impartiality, objectivity, and independence, and without accommodation of personal interests. An appraiser: must not perform an assignment with bias; must not advocate the cause or interest of any party or issue; must not accept an assignment that includes the reporting of predetermined opinions and conclusions; must not use, without clear and accurate disclosure, an extraordinary assumption or a hypothetical condition in an assignment; must not misrepresent his or her role when providing valuation services that are outside of appraisal practice; must not communicate assignment results with the intent to mislead or to defraud; must not use or communicate a report that is known by the appraiser to be misleading or fraudulent; must not knowingly permit an employee or other person to communicate a misleading or fraudulent report; must not use or rely on unsupported conclusions relating to characteristics such as race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, familial status, age, receipt of public assistance income, handicap, or an unsupported conclusion that homogeneity of such characteristics is necessary to maximize value; must not engage in criminal conduct; must not willfully or knowingly violate the requirements of the RECORD KEEPING RULE; and must not perform an assignment in a grossly negligent manner. Comment: Development standards (1-1, 3-1, 4-1, 6-1, 7-1 and 9-1) address the requirement that an appraiser must not render appraisal services in a careless or negligent manner. The above requirement deals with an appraiser being grossly negligent in performing an assignment which would be a violation of the Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 6

7 If known prior to accepting an assignment, and/or if discovered at any time during the assignment, an appraiser must disclose to the client, and in the subsequent report certification: any current or prospective interest in the subject property or parties involved; and any services regarding the subject property performed by the appraiser within the three year period immediately preceding acceptance of the assignment, as an appraiser or in any other capacity. Comment: Disclosing the fact that the appraiser has previously appraised the property is permitted except in the case when an appraiser has agreed with the client to keep the mere occurrence of a prior assignment confidential. If an appraiser has agreed with a client not to disclose that he or she has appraised a property, the appraiser must decline all subsequent assignments that fall within the three year period. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 7

8 NOTE: For the sake of clarity, in Sections 2a through 8, the proposed edits are shown based on the assumption the STANDARDS 4 and 5 will be retired as presented in Section 1. If that change is not adopted, additional edits will be necessary. Section 2a: Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Assignment Results RATIONALE The ASB has received numerous comments and requests for additional clarification of the meaning of the term assignment results. The current definition needs more clarity as some believe the definition could be narrowly interpreted as being limited to the final opinions and conclusions while others believe the definition includes myriad of opinions and conclusions developed and reported by the appraiser throughout the report. The ASB is exposing two alternatives that will differentiate between those opinions and conclusions that would require a report that complies with applicable Standards Rules when transmitted to a client versus other communication that would be subject only to existing Rules. Alternative 1 Under this Alternative, assignment results are more narrowly defined than in Alternative 2. Under Alternative 1, assignment results are only the final opinions relative to a particular assignment. For example, in the valuation of real, personal, or intangible property, the concluded or reconciled opinion of value would represent the assignment result. In an appraisal review assignment, consistent with the reviewer s scope of work, assignment results would be the appraiser s final opinion as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy, relevance, and reasonableness of the analysis in the work under review. Other analyses, opinions and conclusions utilized by an appraiser in the process of developing the final opinion would not rise to the level of an assignment result. For example, in real or personal property appraisal assignments, an indication of value by a particular method, such as the sales comparison approach, cost approach, or income approach, would not represent an assignment result unless the appraiser knows that the results of a particular method would be the opinion of value. Analyses, opinions, and conclusions communicated to the client and any other intended users would have no applicable reporting standards unless communicated in conjunction with a final opinion. In this same example, opinions or conclusions regarding the subject property s condition or quality would not represent assignment results. Alternative 2 Under Alternative 2, assignment results are more broadly defined than in Alternative 1, and would include opinions and conclusions in addition to the final opinion of value. The rationale for this alternative is that in an assignment, an appraiser might perform multiple analyses and reach various opinions and conclusions. For example, in a real estate appraisal where the objective is market value, an appraiser will develop opinions regarding market conditions, qualitative factors regarding the subject property, reasonable exposure time, highest and best use, First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 8

9 indicated value by various approaches, and other factors in addition to the final value conclusion. In addition, the appraiser may analyze listings, options, and pending and recent sales of the subject. All of the opinions and analyses are being developed or performed as part of an assignment, thus those results would be included within assignment results under this Alternative. DEFINITION Alternative ASSIGNMENT RESULTS: an appraiser s opinions: and conclusions developed specific to an assignment. Comment: Assignment results include an appraiser s: opinions or conclusions developed in an appraisal assignment, such as value; of value developed specific to an appraisal assignment; about the quality of another appraiser s work developed specific to an appraisal review assignment; or opinions, conclusions, or recommendations developed in an appraisal consulting assignment. developed when performing a valuation service other than within an appraisal or appraisal review assignment. Alternative ASSIGNMENT RESULTS: an appraiser s opinions and or conclusions developed specific to an assignment. Comment: Assignment results include an appraiser s: opinions or conclusions developed in an appraisal assignment, such as including, but not limited to value; about the quality of another appraiser s work developed specific to an appraisal review assignment; or opinions, conclusions, or recommendations developed in an appraisal consulting assignment. opinions or conclusions developed when performing a valuation service other than within an appraisal or appraisal review assignment. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 9

10 Section 2b: Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Report RATIONALE The ASB proposes revising the current definition of Report in the DEFINITIONS section in USPAP. Revising the definitions of Report The proposed revised definition of report removes the linking of a report to the completion of an assignment. There have been many requests for the ASB to provide guidance on when an assignment is complete. As the ASB studied the overall concept of reporting, it appeared more important to address all communication of assignment results regardless of where an appraiser is in the process. The words written or oral have also been proposed for removal. All communications that include assignment results are included in the proposed definition of report. The Comment to the definition of report is proposed for deletion. The current Comment merely states that oral report requirements are included and why. This does not appear to add anything meaningful to the definition. The ASB is also proposing to add any other intended user, at any time, in addition to the client, as part of the definition of a report. The flexibility that is being proposed for reporting options makes it important for an appraiser to consider any additional intended users, as well as a client, in determining an appropriate scope of work. DEFINITION REPORT: any communication, written or oral, of an opinion of value in an appraisal, appraisal review, or appraisal consulting service assignment or an opinion about the quality of another appraiser s work in an appraisal review assignment, which is transmitted to the client upon completion of an assignment or any other intended user, at any time. Comment: Most reports are written and most clients mandate written reports. Oral report requirements (see the RECORD KEEPING RULE) are included to cover court testimony and other oral communications of an appraisal, appraisal review, or appraisal consulting service. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 10

11 Section 3: Proposed Revisions to the RECORD KEEPING RULE RATIONALE From the comments received in prior exposure drafts, discussion drafts, and requests for public comments, it is recognized that the record keeping requirements may lack specificity with regard to revisions to assignment results communicated to intended users. In order to add clarity, the Board is proposing that all revisions to assignment results, as defined in Section 2 of this exposure draft, must be identified and retained in the workfile. The rationale for all changes to the assignment results must also be documented. Appraiser independence is of the utmost importance in an appraiser completing an assignment and that independence will be enhanced by requiring the rationale for any change in communicated assignment results to be documented in the workfile. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 11

12 RECORD KEEPING RULE An appraiser must prepare a workfile for each appraisal, or appraisal review, or appraisal consulting assignment. A workfile must be in existence prior to the issuance of any report. A written summary of an oral report must be added to the workfile within a reasonable time after the issuance of the oral report. The workfile must include: the name of the client and the identity, by name or type, of any other intended users; true copies of any all written reports, documented on any type of media. (A true copy is a replica of the report transmitted to the client. A photocopy or an electronic copy of the entire report transmitted to the client satisfies the requirement of a true copy.); summaries of all oral reports or testimony, or a transcript of testimony, including the appraiser s signed and dated certification; the rationale for all changes to assignment results when a revised report has been communicated to the client or other intended users; all other data, information, and documentation necessary to support the appraiser s opinions and conclusions and to show compliance with USPAP, or references to the location(s) of such other documentation; and a workfile in support of a Restricted Use Appraisal Report must be sufficient for the appraiser to produce a Summary Appraisal Report (for assignments communicated under STANDARDS 2 and 8) or an Appraisal Report (for assignments communicated under STANDARD 10) An appraiser must retain the workfile for a period of at least five years after preparation or at least two years after final disposition of any judicial proceeding in which the appraiser provided testimony related to the assignment, whichever period expires last. An appraiser must have custody of the workfile, or make appropriate workfile retention, access, and retrieval arrangements with the party having custody of the workfile. This includes ensuring that a workfile is stored in a medium that is retrievable by the appraiser throughout the prescribed record retention period. An appraiser having custody of a workfile must allow other appraisers with workfile obligations related to an assignment appropriate access and retrieval for the purpose of: submission to state appraiser regulatory agencies; compliance with due process of law; submission to a duly authorized professional peer review committee; or compliance with retrieval arrangements. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 12

13 Comment: A workfile must be made available by the appraiser when required by a state appraiser regulatory agency or due process of law. An appraiser who willfully or knowingly fails to comply with the obligations of this RECORD KEEPING RULE is in violation of the ETHICS RULE. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 13

14 Section 4: Proposed Revisions to Scope of Work Acceptability section of the SCOPE OF WORK RULE RATIONALE There has been discussion about providing alternative or additional benchmarks for determining the acceptability of the scope of work performed in an assignment. The belief is that it may provide better enforceability of the scope of work s acceptability. Comments have been received from appraisers and appraiser regulatory officials regarding the difficulty of applying the current tests for scope of work acceptability. The current test requires that the appraiser identify his peers and determine what their actions would be in a similar assignment. This poses several problems which include the following: 1. In some assignments there are very few peers. 2. The appraiser may have developed a new method of valuation which has been peer reviewed, is reproducible and meets all other tests of being considered legitimately scientific, yet no peers may be willing to speak publicly in support of the method. 3. Some appraisers, believed to be peers, may disregard a standard of care and in effect create a contingent of appraisers who are not protecting the public trust. The proposed language encourages the advancement of well-researched and tested methods while at the same time assisting ethical appraisers from being portrayed as someone who is outside recognized methods and techniques because a significant number of appraisers abandon a scope of work which best protects public trust. It is recognized that there is the need for a weighing of the tests, but by adding the new test as an alternative there is a benefit as the discussion becomes broader than those who can be brought before a trier of fact. That is in the best interest of public trust. The proposed revisions on the following pages address the Scope of Work Acceptability section of the SCOPE OF WORK RULE. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 14

15 Scope of Work Acceptability The scope of work must include the research and analyses that are necessary to develop credible assignment results. Comment: The scope of work is acceptable when it meets or exceeds: both the expectations of parties who are regularly intended users for similar assignments; and what an appraiser s peers actions would be in performing the same or a similar assignment; or recognized methods and techniques prescribed by the Appraisal Practices Board of The Appraisal Foundation, or in other peer-reviewed, published appraisal or valuation books and articles, and published appraisal or valuation coursework taught by a college, university, professional appraisal or valuation organization, or state and federal governmental agencies Determining the scope of work is an ongoing process in an assignment. Information or conditions discovered during the course of an assignment might cause the appraiser to reconsider the scope of work. An appraiser must be prepared to support the decision to exclude any investigation, information, method, or technique that would appear relevant to the client, another intended user, or the appraiser s peers. An appraiser must not allow assignment conditions to limit the scope of work to such a degree that the assignment results are not credible in the context of the intended use. Comment: If relevant information is not available because of assignment conditions that limit research opportunities (such as conditions that place limitations on inspection or information gathering), an appraiser must withdraw from the assignment unless the appraiser can: modify the assignment conditions to expand the scope of work to include gathering the information; or use an extraordinary assumption about such information, if credible assignment results can still be developed. An appraiser must not allow the intended use of an assignment or a client s objectives to cause the assignment results to be biased. First Exposure Draft of Proposed Changes for the USPAP 15

16 Section 5a: Proposed Revisions to the DEFINITION of Scope of Work and the SCOPE OF WORK RULE NOTE: The Appraisal Standards Board is exposing two mutually-exclusive changes to USPAP. These two potential alternatives will be considered. The Board may adopt neither alternative, or it may adopt one of the alternatives. It will not adopt both. The two alternatives are shown in Section 5a and Section 5b. RATIONALE The SCOPE OF WORK RULE currently addresses only the development side of an assignment. While the scope of work needs to be disclosed in a report, the SCOPE OF WORK RULE does not acknowledge the type and extent of the communication of an assignment. Appraisers engage in assignments that include communication of the assignment results and not just the development. An appraiser s actual work for every appraisal and appraisal review assignment includes communication. The specific development of an assignment often can incorporate part of the agreed-upon communication or reporting such as whether a specific form will be utilized or the level of detail requested by the client or providing interim communication. Hence communication or reporting is an integral part of an assignment, is an integral part of an appraiser s work on an assignment, and some believe that it must be recognized as part of the Scope of Work definition and RULE. Just as the SCOPE OF WORK RULE currently gives appraisers broad flexibility in the development driven by the intended use and intended users, incorporating communication would give appraisers broad flexibility in the reporting driven by the intended use and intended users. Given a specific assignment, the appraiser may or may not need to inspect the subject property. The development may require a detailed analysis of the highest and best use, or the assignment may necessitate use of a discounted cash flow analysis. On the reporting side for a given assignment, the intended use and intended user might dictate a short property description but a detailed sales analysis including current competitive listings or providing the complete model for the discounted cash flow analysis or the use of a form specified by the client. The work in an assignment is driven by communication requirements, such as the form the client requires or providing interim communication to the client, such as providing rent comparables to the client before completing the assignment. Including communication in the scope of work would reflect that the problem identification includes the type and extent of communicating the assignment results to the client. While the goal of development is to produce credible assignment results, the client and intended users may not be able to determine whether these assignment results are credible unless they are clearly communicated. Thus, the scope of work for an assignment is driven by producing and communicating credible assignment results. First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 16

17 This proposed modification extends the scope of work beyond development and recognizes that when a client hires an appraiser to complete an assignment, the appraiser s work on an assignment includes development and communication of the assignment results. Communication can vary by assignment and this proposed change to the scope of work reflects that flexibility. Under this modification, the scope of work concept will include the entire assignment, from identifying the problem, to gathering information, analysis, and communicating conclusions to the client. The work for an assignment includes the communication of the assignment results which are driven by the intended use, intended user, and the needs of the client. If an appraiser is engaged by a homeowner to provide independent valuation advice as the homeowner is planning on selling their house, the appraiser could provide an abbreviated property description, but provide a detailed sales comparison approach including a detailed analysis of competitive listings. If an appraiser is engaged by an investment firm or a real estate investment trust (REIT) to provide quarterly update appraisals, the appraiser could provide a detailed income capitalization approach with a brief summary of the remaining information referring the reader to the year-end comprehensive appraisal report for the details. If an appraiser has been providing fair value appraisals for financial reporting purposes on an annual basis to the same intended user, the appraiser could provide an abbreviated summary of the information that has remained the same and a more detailed explanation of the changes from the prior annual report. For all of the above noted assignments, having the SCOPE OF WORK RULE encompass both development and communication of the credible assignment results allows for flexibility but responsibility of the appraiser to meet the demands dictated by the intended use and intender users. Recognizing communication within the SCOPE OF WORK RULE addresses that the problem identification includes the type and extent of communicating the assignment results to the client, interim communications, and the need for flexibility in reporting driven by the intended use and intended users. The following pages include the proposed modifications to the scope of work definition and to the SCOPE OF WORK RULE (this assumes that the Scope of Work Acceptability section is changed as proposed in Section 4 of this document). First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 17

18 DEFINITION SCOPE OF WORK: the type and extent of research, and analyses, and communication in an assignment. SCOPE OF WORK RULE For each appraisal, and appraisal review, and appraisal consulting assignment, an appraiser must: 1. identify the problem to be solved; 2. determine and perform the scope of work necessary to develop credible assignment results and to communicate each analysis, opinion, and conclusion in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading; and 3. disclose the scope of work in the report. An appraiser must properly identify the problem to be solved in order to determine the appropriate scope of work. The appraiser must be prepared to demonstrate that the scope of work is sufficient to produce and communicate credible assignment results in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading. If assignment conditions exist which preclude the appraiser from producing credible assignment results communicated in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading, the appraiser must decline or withdraw from the assignment. Comment: Scope of work includes, but is not limited to: the extent to which the property is identified; the extent to which tangible property is inspected; the type and extent of data researched; and the type and extent of analyses applied to arrive at opinions or conclusions.; and the type and extent of communication of assignment results. Appraisers have broad flexibility and significant responsibility in determining the appropriate scope of work for an appraisal, and appraisal review, and appraisal consulting assignment. Credible assignment results require support by relevant evidence and logic. The credibility of assignment results is always measured in the context of the intended use. An appraiser must communicate each analysis, opinion, and conclusion in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading. Problem Identification First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 18

19 An appraiser must gather and analyze information about those assignment elements that are necessary to properly identify the appraisal, or appraisal review or appraisal consulting problem to be solved. Comment: The assignment elements necessary for problem identification are addressed in the applicable Standards Rules (i.e., SR 1-2, SR 3-1, SR 4-2, SR 6-2, SR 7-2 and SR 9-2). In an appraisal assignment, for example, identification of the problem to be solved requires the appraiser to identify the following assignment elements: client and any other intended users; intended use of the appraiser s opinions and conclusions; type and definition of value; effective date of the appraiser s opinions and conclusions; subject of the assignment and its relevant characteristics; and assignment conditions. This information provides the appraiser with the basis for determining the type and extent of research and analyses to include in the development of an appraisal or appraisal review, as well as the type and extent of the communication of the assignment. Communication with the client is required to establish most of the information necessary for problem identification. However, the identification of relevant characteristics is a judgment made by the appraiser that requires competency in that type of assignment. Assignment conditions include assumptions, extraordinary assumptions, hypothetical conditions, laws and regulations, jurisdictional exceptions, and other conditions that affect the scope of work. Laws include constitutions, legislative and court-made law, administrative rules, and ordinances. Regulations include rules or orders, having legal force, issued by an administrative agency. Scope of Work Acceptability The scope of work must include the research and analyses that are necessary to develop credible assignment results and to communicate those results in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading. Comment: The scope of work is acceptable when it meets or exceeds: both the expectations of parties who are regularly intended users for similar assignments; and what an appraiser s peers actions would be in performing the same or a similar assignment; or First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 19

20 recognized methods and techniques prescribed by the Appraisal Practices Board of The Appraisal Foundation, or in other peer-reviewed, published appraisal or valuation books and articles, and published appraisal or valuation coursework taught by a college, university, professional appraisal or valuation organization, or state and federal governmental agencies Determining the scope of work is an ongoing process in an assignment. Information or conditions discovered during the course of an assignment might cause the appraiser to reconsider the scope of work. An appraiser must be prepared to support the decision to exclude any investigation, information, method, or technique that would appear relevant to the client, another intended user, or the appraiser s peers. An appraiser must not allow assignment conditions to limit the scope of work to such a degree that the assignment results are not credible in the context of the intended use, or that those results are not communicated in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading. Comment: If relevant information is not available because of assignment conditions that limit research opportunities (such as conditions that place limitations on inspection or information gathering), an appraiser must withdraw from the assignment unless the appraiser can: modify the assignment conditions to expand the scope of work to include gathering the information; or use an extraordinary assumption about such information, if credible assignment results can still be developed. An appraiser must not allow the intended use of an assignment or a client s objectives to cause the assignment results to be biased. Disclosure Obligations The report must contain sufficient information to allow intended users to understand the scope of work performed. Comment: Proper disclosure is required because clients and other intended users rely on the assignment results. Sufficient information includes disclosure of research and analyses performed and might also include disclosure of research and analyses not performed. First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 20

21 Section 5b: Proposed DEFINITION of Scope of Report and SCOPE OF REPORT RULE NOTE: The Appraisal Standards Board is exposing two mutually-exclusive changes to USPAP. These two potential alternatives will be considered. The Board may adopt neither alternative, or it may adopt one of the alternatives. It will not adopt both. The two alternatives are shown in Section 5a and Section 5b. RATIONALE The ASB has received numerous comments regarding reporting and communications. Among these comments have been several in support of treating the appraiser s decision regarding the breadth and depth of reporting in a manner similar to the scope of work decision. That is, allow the appraiser some flexibility in determining the appropriate level of report content based on some or all of the assignment elements that an appraiser must identify in determining the scope of work in an assignment. Some have suggested redefining scope of work, combining most of the development functions and reporting into the definition, and rewriting the SCOPE OF WORK RULE to include the determination of what is currently defined as scope of work and the determination of appropriate report content. Others have opined that while addressing report content in a manner similar to scope of work should be pursued, combining development and reporting is not the best way to do that. Those who have expressed this opinion have presented several reasons for their position. Among the concerns about integrating reporting and development are: Development and reporting are two different functions; The two functions apply different skill sets (analysis and communication); The scope of work is determined by the appraiser based on communication with the client at the time of the assignment, while to some extent the report content is often based on client requirements; and The objective of development is credible results (in the context of the intended use) while the objective of reporting is communication in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading (must include sufficient information for the intended users to understand the report). Given these factors, it appears that maintaining the distinction between development and reporting is justified. However, it also appears that there are many valid reasons to consider an approach to reporting that is similar to the SCOPE OF WORK RULE, but addressed in a separate rule. The ASB is proposing a SCOPE OF REPORT RULE. The Rule would follow the SCOPE OF WORK RULE in the document and would address, in general terms, the issue of communicating First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 21

22 assignment results to the client and other intended users. In conjunction with the proposed new Rule, the ASB is also proposing a definition for the expression scope of report. DEFINITION SCOPE OF REPORT: the type and amount of information included in a report. SCOPE OF REPORT RULE For each appraisal and appraisal review assignment, an appraiser must: 1. determine an appropriate, format or style for communicating assignment results; 2. determine the scope of report necessary to communicate assignment results in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading; and 3. prepare and communicate a report in manner that is meaningful and not misleading. Comment: USPAP does not dictate the form, format or style of a report. The form, format, and style of a report are functions of the needs of intended users and appraisers. An appraiser must properly identify the needs of intended users in order to determine the appropriate scope of report. The appraiser must be prepared to demonstrate that the scope of report is sufficient and appropriate to communicate assignment results in a manner that is meaningful to intended users and not misleading. Comment: Scope of report includes, but is not limited to: the type of information that is included in the report; and the amount of information that is included in the report. Appraisers have broad flexibility and significant responsibility in determining the appropriate scope of report for an appraisal or appraisal review assignment. Meaningful communication requires that the information is presented to intended users in enough depth and detail to allow them to apply the results in the intended use. Appraisers must not communicate results, either intentionally or through a lack of competency or diligence, in a manner that is misleading. Scope of Report Determination First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 22

23 An appraiser must consider the relevant assignment elements that are necessary to properly determine the scope of report necessary for the appraisal or appraisal review assignment. Comment: The appraiser must consider the following assignment elements in determining an appropriate scope of report: client and any other intended users; intended use of the appraiser s opinions and conclusions; and assignment conditions. This information provides the appraiser with the basis for determining the type and amount of information to include in the report. Communication with the client is required to establish most of the information necessary for scope of report determination. Assignment conditions include laws and regulations, jurisdictional exceptions, client and intended user requirements, and other conditions affect the scope of report. Laws include constitutions, legislative and court-made law, administrative rules, and ordinances. Regulations include rules or orders, having legal force, issued by an administrative agency. Scope of Report Acceptability The scope of report must include the information that is necessary to communicate assignment results and any other required information in a manner that is meaningful and not misleading. Comment: The scope of report is acceptable when it meets or exceeds: the expectations of parties who are regularly intended users for similar assignments; and what an appraiser s peers actions would be in performing the same or a similar assignment. The scope of report may vary depending on the needs of intended users and the complexity of the information needed to understand the report properly. An appraiser must be prepared to support the decision to exclude any information or explanation that would appear relevant to the client, another intended user, or the appraiser s peers. An appraiser must not allow assignment conditions or other factors to limit the scope of report to such a degree that the communication is misleading or not meaningful to the intended users. First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 23

24 Comment: Under certain circumstances, a Restricted Use Appraisal Report may be an appropriate means of communicating assignment results. When a Restricted Use Appraisal Report is used as allowed under Standards Rules 2-2(c), 8-2(c), and 10-2(b) or when an oral report is used under Standards Rules 2-4, 3-7, 8-4, or 10-4, the appraiser must have sufficient reason to believe that the Restricted Use Appraisal Report or oral report is sufficient given the intended use and needs of the intended user(s). An appraiser must not allow the intended use of an assignment or a client s objectives to cause the assignment results to be communicated with bias or in a manner that is misleading. NOTE: Changes to reporting Standards may require additional edits (e.g., Restricted Appraisal Report instead of Restricted Use Appraisal Report). First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 24

25 Section 6: Report Options (includes separate proposals for two report options, and for a single report option) RATIONALE Over the past several years, the Appraisal Standards Board has reached out to all categories of stakeholders regarding problems with and improvements needed in reporting an appraiser s analyses, opinions, and conclusions. Some of the most significant and common issues are as follows: 1. Why, if USPAP sets minimum standards, are there multiple reporting options? 2. A common concern in STANDARDS 2 and 8 is the difficulty in adequately distinguishing between language that summarizes or describes as the terms are used in differentiating between two of the three reporting options. For example, when does a summary become a description? Appraisers ask this question when trying to comply with USPAP. State appraiser regulators ask this question when trying to appropriately enforce USPAP. 3. Many appraisers and users of appraisal services have commented that creating a Self- Contained report, as implied by the name, is neither feasible nor demanded by clients. Others say that the label Self-Contained Report does not an accurately convey what this report option requires. 4. The ASB has been asked why a Restricted Use Appraisal Report is restricted to use when the restriction is really on the user. 5. Why, if STANDARD 10, Business Appraisal Reporting, only offers two options, do STANDARD 2, Real Property Appraisal Reporting and STANDARD 8, Personal Property Appraisal Reporting offer three? The ASB believes that before addressing the proposed changes it is important to remind all parties that the development and record keeping requirements are not affected by these proposed changes. Furthermore, it is important to remember that the development and record keeping requirements for what is currently a Summary Appraisal Report and a Restricted Use Report in STANDARDS 2 and 8 are the same as an appraiser s workfile for a Restricted Use Appraisal Report must contain sufficient support to produce a Summary Appraisal Report. In short, a Restricted Use Appraisal Report only diminishes the level of reporting and nothing else. These concerns have led the ASB to study the reporting standards with great care as each of the listed items raises a valid point. Therefore, the ASB is exposing two possible options. The first would bring STANDARDS 2 and 8 in line with STANDARD 10 by utilizing two report options: Appraisal Report and Restricted Use Appraisal Report (but change Restricted Use Appraisal First Exposure Draft of Changes for the USPAP 25

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