USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) are the regulations that appraisers must abide by when working in the capacity of an appraiser. These standards are updated every two years to remain current with the markets and government regulations. USPAP contains Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help clarify the regulations.
My blog is intended to point out particular FAQs to help explain why appraisers do what they do and help educate the public. The following is directly from 2012-2013 USPAP. The full book can be found at uspap.org.
Question: I occasionally receive requests to appraise a property that I have appraised in the past. Since the ETHICS RULE requires me to disclose any assignments that I performed within the three years prior to the date of acceptance of the assignment, isn’t such a disclosure a violation of an appraiser’s responsibility under the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE?
Response: Generally, no. The Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE prohibits, with some exceptions, the disclosure of “confidential information or assignment results prepared for a client.” The mere fact that an appraiser appraised a property is not confidential information as defined in USPAP. However, the appraiser must be careful not to disclose confidential information from a previous assignment in the new assignment.
My comment: I think this is an important rule for client’s to know. Especially when the client is an individual. Although the confidential information cannot be released, some client’s do not want others to know that an appraisal was done on a particular property. For instance; an investor can hire an appraiser to appraise a property they are interested in without the homeowner knowing. (An appraisal does not always involve an onsite inspection.)
A homeowner can have an appraisal on their property for a divorce without the spouse knowing but the same appraiser may be hired by the spouse for the same reason. In this case the appraiser would have to disclose the fact that a previous appraisal was done on this property by the same appraiser.