Honesty and Integrity: Howard Goldstein and AssociatesAppraising is a profession, and appraisers are professionals. The rigors of becoming a licensed appraiser have become more difficult than ever before. So it goes without question these days that real estate appraisal can certainly be considered a profession as opposed to a trade. In our field, as with any profession, we have a strict ethical code.
We have a great deal of obligations as appraisers, but our chief duty is to our clients.
Generally, in residential practice, the lender (or an agent of the lender) places the order to the appraiser, becoming the appraiser's client.
Thereon, appraisers have certain duties of privacy to their clients, plus strict rules and regulations controlling with whom we share information. So, as
a homeowner, if you would like to obtain a copy of an appraisal report, you normally should request it through your lender instead of the appraiser.
Appraisers may also have fiduciary responsibilities to third parties, including homeowners, both sellers and buyers, or others. Typically the third parties are clearly defined in the appraisal report. An appraiser's fiduciary duty is limited to those parties who the appraiser knows, based on the scope of work or other written parameters of the order.
There are also ethical standards that have nothing to do with whom we share information. For example, appraisers must backup their work files for a minimum of five years - at Howard Goldstein and Associates you can rest assured that we abide by that rule.
Howard Goldstein and Associates holds itself to the industry standards and mandates set in place for ethics. We can't accept anything less from ourselves. Working on assignments based on contingency fees is never an option. That is, we can't agree to do an appraisal report and base our pay upon coming up with a particular value conclusion. There's certainly a conflict of interest if an appraiser can report a greater value and then get paid more money! We set ourselves to a higher standard.
Finally, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (or simply "USPAP") explicitly defines a violation in ethics as accepting of an assignment that is contingent on "the reporting of a pre-determined result (e.g., opinion of value)", "a direction in assignment results that favors the cause of the client", or "the amount of a value opinion" as well as other situations. We follow these rules to the letter which means you can be assured we are going above and beyond to provide an unbiased determination of the home or property value.
When you engage Howard Goldstein and Associates, we'll make sure you're getting the professional service you deserve along with the honesty and integrity we're known for.