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State and Federal Laws Regarding Appraisals for Realtors in Florida

A look at the various government regulations dealing with appraisals, including sharing, broker price opinions, and comparative market analyses.

Data for forming market value opinions

When the value opinion an appraiser provides is a market value opinion,  he or she must analyze all available agreements of sale, options and listings of the subject property current as of the effective date of the appraisal and analyze all sales of the subject property that occurred within the three years prior to the effective date of the appraisal if such information is available to the appraiser in the normal course of business(Standards Rule 1-5, Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP))

BPOs/CMAs and appraisals

A broker price opinion (BPO) or comparative market analysis (CMA) conducted by someone who is not a state-licensed, state-certified or registered trainee appraiser cannot be called an “appraisal. The definition of broker services specifically excludes services that must be done by a state-licensed, state-certified or registered trainee appraiser.

Only real estate licensees are authorized to perform a BPO or CMA for a customer, but these should not be referred to as an appraisal. A violation of this provision could result in disciplinary action against the licensee’s license. BPOs must be performed under the direction and control of a broker, and payment for BPOs must be made to the broker. (Sections 475.25(1)(t) and 475.01, Florida Statutes).

Sharing appraisal reports

An appraiser must protect the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship.  An appraiser must not disclose confidential information or assignment results prepared for a client to anyone other than the client and individuals specifically authorized by the client. (Ethics Rules of USPAP)

Continuing education credits

If licensed and certified appraisers or trainees attend a meeting where disciplinary cases are heard, they are eligible to receive up to seven hours of continuing education credit per renewal cycle. To receive the credit, appraisers/trainees should fax their name, license number and current address to the Division of Real Estate at 850-488-8040 at least seven days before the meeting. Each attendee’s name will be placed on a roster, and they must sign into and out of the meeting. (61J1 4.003(7) Florida Administrative Code)

Types of inspection

Appraisers may use any combination of a property inspection and documents to identify the relevant characteristics of the subject property. The extent of the inspection process is an aspect of the scope of work, which may vary based on assignment conditions and intended use of the assignment results. The appraiser determines the degree of inspection necessary to produce credible assignment results for the intended use of the appraisal. (USPAP)