Pick the Out-Of-City Appraiser: New Social Science Investigation on Real Estate Skilled Witness


This paper adds to the literature on the variety of the genuine home appraisal specialist witness. The current appraisal skilled witness selection literature signifies that when the out-of-town professional witness overshadows the knowledge and encounter of the regional expert, the out-of-town specialist is the obvious option however most lawyers foundation their appraiser selection on factors that are irrelevant to successful the situation this kind of as comfort, proximity to their office, proximity to the topic house, a client’s recommendation or the expert’s price. The benefits of this two-component social science study examine indicate that in scenarios in which there will be contentious valuation issues or, the place the appraisal expert witness will be known as upon to criticize the perform of the opposing appraiser, it could be in the very best fascination of the consumer and result of the scenario to choose an appraisal professional who is found outside of the appraisal companies location of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

Right after virtually twenty five many years as a true house valuation professional witness, this author has noticed that, in the bulk of true estate litigation cases, attorneys generally select their appraisal skilled from inside the basic vicinity of the subject house. Nevertheless, this exercise is contrary to the literature on the professional witness assortment procedure that does not address the place or geographic proximity of the expert to the subject matter residence as a relevant situation (e.g., Couture and Hayes, 2010 Fried, 2008 Tirella, 2006 Strutlin, 1996 Cabaniss, 1997 Bremser and Mathis, 1994 Harrell, 1993 Champagne et al., 1991 Jones, 1955).

This paper explores the causes why many legal professionals decide on a “neighborhood” appraiser and information persuasive new research suggesting that, at minimum for important or higher value instances, attorneys ought to seem to the best appraisal professional witness from beyond the common geographic spot of the topic property and the opposing valuation skilled.

Common Rational for Hiring the “Neighborhood” Appraiser

A evaluation of the appraisal specialist witness selection literature indicates a restricted variety of instances from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or magazine top quality) where the choosing of a “regional” appraiser is recommended. The reasons for choosing the nearby appraisal skilled witness incorporate:

• Value personal savings
• Comfort and relieve of conference/interaction
• Customer feels cozy with and/or has beforehand hired their nearby skilled
• Knowledge of microeconomic circumstances, and earlier trends in the region as a foundation for viewpoints about future industry circumstances and
• Exactly where a jury will be influenced by in which the skilled resides, grew up or went to university.

A typically stated drawback of an out-of-city skilled is the extra expenditure of journey. Nonetheless, “the value can be well worth it… when the faraway witness completely overshadows opposing counsel’s local skilled” (p. 567).

Another downside, when the out-of-city skilled is also a more distinguished professional with far better qualifications, are greater charges. The lawyer need to think about this sensible thought in the context of what expenses the client can fairly bear, how lengthy the action is most likely to operate and the envisioned use of the witness.,

In circumstances where the local appraiser/expert is a client’s recommendation, the lawyer should evaluate whether or not the client’s suggestions is based on a want to toss a friend some company and/or desires to retain the services of the professional (irrespective of qualifications) most likely to favor the passions of the customer since of individual or economic ties. Haig’s (2011) tips to counsel on going along with the client-chosen professional is:

“Bear in mind, it is the legal professional to whom the customer will likely give credit score or blame for the end result of the litigation. As frequently observed, Parc Clematis plays a substantial-if not the important-role in the litigation approach. Accordingly, there are no substitutes for an lawyer executing his personal thanks diligence with regards to a proposed skilled and for an lawyer partaking in very clear communications with the consumer relating to the professionals and disadvantages of any proposed specialist” (p. 563).

Even though not explicitly said in the literature on the expense savings of a regional expert, the out-of-city appraisal professional may need to have extra time and associated expenses to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Standards of Skilled Appraisal Apply (USPAP) (2014-2015), exclusively:

(a) compliance with rules and rules that apply to the appraiser such as the State’s appraisal licensing regulation and

(b) “in which geographic competency is necessary, an appraiser who is not familiar with the appropriate market place traits need to purchase an understanding essential to produce credible assignment results for the specific residence kind and industry concerned” (p. U-11).

Referring in this part exclusively to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Proof 702 demands that “scientific, technological or other specialised information will aid the trier of truth,” and in that predicament, (b) “a witness competent as an professional by information, talent, knowledge, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an viewpoint or or else… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “reliability” element. Under Rule 702 as amended, a certified witness could only offer expert testimony “if (1) the testimony is primarily based upon enough facts or info, (two) the testimony is the solution of dependable ideas and approaches, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and strategies reliably to the specifics of the case.” Consequently, for the appraiser expert, the problem of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has three parts: whether or not the appraiser competently regarded the appropriate market place characteristics, regardless of whether the specialist testimony is “primarily based upon enough specifics or info,” and no matter whether the skilled has “utilized the concepts and approaches [she used] reliably to the details of the scenario.”

Whether the appraisal specialist pleased the elements of geographic competence will be made a decision as a precondition for admissibility. Even so, in most cases the issues will go with the bodyweight of the evidence rather of admissibility.

Buying geographic competency will not be an issue for the far more experienced/well known out-of-town professional who will be completed in comprehending the marketplace qualities relevant to the valuation problems.


The most comprehensive literature on appraisal expert witness choice does not recommend the assortment of an professional witness to be geographically proximate to the subject home. However, the common legal professional favors the “regional” appraisal professional with the rationale getting one particular or far more of expense minimization, lawyer usefulness, consumer desire and preceding information of the subject’s community or market place.

There will be moments when expense necessitates the employing of a nearby appraisal skilled. Furthermore, there will be instances where an appraisal expert is needed but, given that valuation is not the disputed problem, any added cost for a non-local or greater certified skilled is not justified.

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