1. Appraisal Cost and Delivery

How much do your appraisals cost? 
Every appraisal is different, so we quote fees individually on a per job basis. Generally, prices depend on the number of properties and the complexity of the assignment, though appraisals used as evidence in court cases can command a higher price.
Our fees are calculated based on the number of hours it takes to do a report and the fee structure of the personnel involved, with modification for overtime if a rush assignment is required.

Why do special purpose properties cost more? 
Special purpose properties require us to research a wider trade radius, sometimes the entire United States! Fees are based on time estimates, so the more time we have to invest in finding comparable properties, the higher the fee. Also, the market analysis section of the report many times requires a greater amount of research time and it is not uncommon to have to purchase studies performed by industry experts to properly show the dynamics affecting the property type.

What is your typical turnaround time? 
Commercial appraisal delivery times typically range from two to three weeks, depending upon the complexity of the property and your needs. It requires one to two weeks to do the research, verify the factual nature of the information, perform a market study of the area and write the report. Typically, delivery times less than three weeks are rush orders and they command a price premium.

How can I help shorten the turnaround time? 
The number one way to help shorten the turnaround time is to provide us with the written information we need as soon as possible. Copies of leases, deeds, rent rolls, income and expense statements and other items listed on our engagement letter are the needed as soon as possible. Delay in providing one or more of the necessary items will almost always result in a delay in the appraisal process. If you cannot overnight this information to us before we inspect the property, try to have it available for the person who accompanies us through the building.

If you don't come up with the value I want, do I have to pay for the appraisal? 
Yes.  Appraisers must maintain a third party position to your transaction. No appraiser can accept an assignment where bias could be interpreted. Examples of unacceptable appraisal assignments are found at the end here. USPAP has a phrase used verbatim by many appraisal firms on their letters of transmittals:

"Our assignment was not based on the reporting of a predetermined value, a direction in value that favors the cause of the client, the amount of the value opinion, the attainment of a stipulated result or the occurrence of a subsequent event directly related to the value opinion."

USPAP is very clear on this issue. Appraisers cannot be advocates for any client. Although it may seem unusual to some users to have to pay for a report that did not provide them a favorable outcome, appraisers governed by appraisal licensing laws must remain objective.
If there is any uncertainty in the value, clients should have the appraiser perform a restricted appraisal first and then upgrade the report to a summary or self-contained if the value is satisfactory. This is acceptable appraisal practice and one not often suggested by an appraiser.

Why are the fees for commercial appraisals so much higher than residential appraisals?

There are many reasons why there is such a great discrepancy. The most important difference is the amount of time it takes to prepare each type of report. Most skilled residential appraisers can do a residential report in a half-day whereas a skilled commercial appraiser needs at least a week.
Residential reports are on a common form with a standardized property type whereas commercial appraisals are mainly free-form documents with information that varies with the property type. Special use commercial properties take longer and can have a multi-state data search radius, thus making it more time intensive and costly to perform than more common property types such as office and apartments.

Hettema Saba LLC
3307 Clark Rd. Ste 203
Sarasota, FL 34231

Phone: 941.926.0800
Fax: 941.926.2880
Hettema Saba LLC advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Copyright © 2011 Hettema Saba LLC.