An appraisal report sets forth the data, analysis and conclusions of the writer. When put in writing, it protects both appraiser and client. Reports vary in scope and length. The following information should be included and is more specifically outlined in Standards 1 and 2 of the USPAP:

  • A final value conclusion is expressed in terms of dollars for the property which is being appraised.
  • The value conclusion can be made for any date in the past, and, with some care, for any date in the future. The time of inspection of the physical improvements is generally taken as the date of value unless otherwise informed by either the property owner, owner's attorney, or a court of law. The date of the final writing and delivery of the report is the date of the appraisal, not to be confused with the date of value.
  • Adequate description of the property. The street address, including city and state, as well as a complete legal description as set forth by the deed in the County Recorder's Office, should be shown, and the physical structures should be clearly described. The length of this description will depend upon the length and extent of the report.
  • The latitude of the reasonings in determining the value conclusion will depend upon the type of report and the complexity of the appraisal problem.
  • Market data, and other factual data. This includes information on the city and neighborhood which affects the value conclusion; information gathered on the site, improvements and the environment of the neighborhood which should be processed by means of one or more of the approaches to value; and, the preliminary estimate of value should be reconciled by means of logic and reasoning in order to arrive at one value conclusion for the property. Lengthy details are usually omitted in letter form reports, but appraiser retains the information as backup.
  • Signature and certification. Appraisal reports must be signed by the writer and in most instances are preceded by a statement to the effect that the writer has no present or contemplated interest in the property. Requisites of an appraisal are set forth in the USPAP, which was adopted in 1989 by the major appraisal organizations.
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