Obligation to Disclose Assistance in Appraisal

Article 11, Part 6

The Complaint

REALTOR® A completed an appraisal of a large house for Client B and submitted an appraisal report. In connection with a mortgage loan application, the appraisal report came to the attention of three other REALTORS®. One of them, REALTOR® C, filed a complaint with the local Board of REALTORS® , charging REALTOR® A with violation of Article 11 of the Code of Ethics. The complaint stated that REALTOR® A, while engaged in appraising Client B’s property had called REALTOR® C and asked for information concerning residential property values in the area where Client B’s property was located; that REALTOR® C had answered the questions; and that REALTOR® A’s appraisal report had failed to acknowledge this assistance provided by REALTOR® C.


The Hearing

At the hearing, REALTOR® A protested that REALTOR® C was misreading Article 11, which is concerned entirely with conditions that must be met when a REALTOR® undertakes an appraisal that is outside the field of his experience. REALTOR® A established the fact that he had many years of successful experience as an appraiser of residential property in the area; that he specialized in that category of appraisal; that he had called a number of REALTORS® and officers of mortgage lending institutions to ask general questions about current residential values in the particular neighborhood in keeping with his usual practice; that he did not consider the courtesy of responding to general questions of this kind as constituting formal assistance in making an appraisal that is required to be identified under the terms of Article 11.


The Conclusion

The Hearing Panel concluded that REALTOR® A’s defense was valid, and that his action did not violate Article 11.