Choose the Out-Of-City Appraiser: New Social Science Research on Genuine Estate Skilled Witness

This paper adds to the literature on the selection of the true residence appraisal professional witness. The current appraisal skilled witness variety literature indicates that when the out-of-city professional witness overshadows the expertise and encounter of the neighborhood specialist, the out-of-town professional is the clear option yet most lawyers foundation their appraiser variety on variables that are irrelevant to successful the scenario such as comfort, proximity to their place of work, proximity to the matter house, a client’s recommendation or the expert’s expense. The benefits of this two-part social science study study show that in circumstances exactly where there will be contentious valuation concerns or, in which the appraisal expert witness will be referred to as upon to criticize the operate of the opposing appraiser, it may possibly be in the greatest fascination of the client and end result of the case to choose an appraisal professional who is located outdoors of the appraisal providers location of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

Following almost 25 several years as a real property valuation expert witness, this creator has noticed that, in the bulk of genuine estate litigation situations, lawyers usually choose their appraisal expert from in the general vicinity of the subject matter property. Nevertheless, this follow is contrary to the literature on the specialist witness selection process that does not handle the area or geographic proximity of the professional to the subject matter home 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 lawyers decide on a “neighborhood” appraiser and specifics persuasive new analysis suggesting that, at minimum for crucial or large benefit cases, lawyers should seem to the best appraisal skilled witness from beyond the standard geographic area of the topic residence and the opposing valuation expert.

Typical Rational for Hiring the “Neighborhood” Appraiser

A review of the appraisal expert witness assortment literature signifies a limited variety of circumstances from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or journal top quality) in which the employing of a “local” appraiser is advised. The causes for deciding on the nearby appraisal professional witness contain:

• Cost cost savings
• Comfort and simplicity of conference/conversation
• Consumer feels cozy with and/or has beforehand employed their local expert
• Understanding of microeconomic problems, and previous developments in the area as a basis for views about future market situations and
• Exactly where a jury will be motivated by in which the expert resides, grew up or went to school.

A frequently mentioned disadvantage of an out-of-town skilled is the extra cost of travel. However, “the expense can be worth it… when the faraway witness totally overshadows opposing counsel’s local expert” (p. 567).

An additional disadvantage, when the out-of-city specialist is also a far more notable skilled with greater qualifications, are higher expenses. The attorney need to consider this sensible thought in the context of what charges the client can reasonably bear, how prolonged the action is very likely to run and the expected use of the witness.,

In cases in which the nearby appraiser/skilled is a client’s suggestion, the lawyer need to assess whether or not the client’s suggestions is based on a need to toss a good friend some company and/or desires to retain the services of the specialist (irrespective of skills) most likely to favor the passions of the consumer since of personalized or economic ties. Haig’s (2011) tips to counsel on likely along with the consumer-chosen skilled is:

“Remember, it is the attorney to whom the shopper will very likely give credit rating or blame for the end result of the litigation. As regularly famous, the specialist usually performs a substantial-if not the important-position in the litigation process. Appropriately, there are no substitutes for an attorney executing his very own because of diligence regarding a proposed expert and for an legal professional engaging in distinct communications with the client relating to the pros and disadvantages of any proposed skilled” (p. 563).

Despite the fact that not explicitly said in the literature on the value savings of a nearby professional, the out-of-city appraisal professional might need to have extra time and associated charges to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Expectations of Skilled Appraisal Apply (USPAP) (2014-2015), exclusively:

(a) compliance with regulations and restrictions that utilize to the appraiser this kind of as the State’s appraisal licensing regulation and

(b) “the place geographic competency is necessary, an appraiser who is not acquainted with the relevant market qualities should obtain an understanding essential to generate credible assignment results for the specific home kind and industry involved” (p. U-11).

Referring in this section exclusively to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 requires that “scientific, technical or other specialised information will help the trier of simple fact,” and in that situation, (b) “a witness experienced as an specialist by expertise, talent, experience, or education, might testify thereto in the sort of an opinion or otherwise… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “trustworthiness” component. Below Rule 702 as amended, a certified witness could only provide specialist testimony “if (1) the testimony is based on enough details or data, (2) the testimony is the product of trustworthy principles and strategies, and (3) the witness has utilized the ideas and approaches reliably to the facts of the scenario.” Therefore, for Hamilton Lindley , the problem of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has three elements: regardless of whether the appraiser competently deemed the appropriate market place qualities, regardless of whether the specialist testimony is “based upon ample details or knowledge,” and no matter whether the expert has “applied the principles and techniques [she used] reliably to the facts of the scenario.”

Whether or not the appraisal professional pleased the aspects of geographic competence will be made the decision as a precondition for admissibility. Nonetheless, in most situations the issues will go with the fat of the proof alternatively of admissibility.

Getting geographic competency will not be an concern for the a lot more skilled/prominent out-of-town expert who will be achieved in knowing the market place characteristics pertinent to the valuation issues.


The most thorough literature on appraisal skilled witness assortment does not advocate the variety of an specialist witness to be geographically proximate to the subject house. Nonetheless, the standard attorney favors the “neighborhood” appraisal expert with the rationale becoming one or much more of expense minimization, attorney usefulness, shopper desire and preceding understanding of the subject’s community or industry.

There will be instances when expense necessitates the hiring of a nearby appraisal specialist. In addition, there will be circumstances in which an appraisal skilled is needed but, because valuation is not the disputed situation, any extra value for a non-local or greater experienced specialist is not justified.

Leave a Reply