Decide on the Out-Of-City Appraiser: New Social Science Analysis on Actual Estate Expert Witness


This paper provides to the literature on the variety of the true property appraisal skilled witness. The current appraisal professional witness selection literature indicates that when the out-of-city skilled witness overshadows the information and experience of the neighborhood skilled, the out-of-town specialist is the very clear choice yet most lawyers base their appraiser assortment on factors that are irrelevant to profitable the situation this sort of as convenience, proximity to their business office, proximity to the matter home, a client’s recommendation or the expert’s expense. The outcomes of this two-part social science analysis research reveal that in scenarios exactly where there will be contentious valuation issues or, in which the appraisal expert witness will be named upon to criticize the operate of the opposing appraiser, it could be in the very best fascination of the consumer and final result of the scenario to select an appraisal specialist who is situated outside of the appraisal providers area of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

Right after almost twenty five many years as a genuine house valuation skilled witness, this creator has observed that, in the vast majority of real estate litigation cases, lawyers normally choose their appraisal specialist from within the general vicinity of the matter house. Nevertheless, this apply is opposite to the literature on the professional witness choice approach that does not tackle the area or geographic proximity of the professional to the matter residence as a relevant concern (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 motives why a lot of attorneys pick a “nearby” appraiser and information persuasive new study suggesting that, at least for critical or high worth situations, legal professionals must search to the greatest appraisal expert witness from beyond the basic geographic region of the matter home and the opposing valuation skilled.

Widespread Rational for Selecting the “Nearby” Appraiser

A evaluation of the appraisal skilled witness choice literature implies a constrained quantity of cases from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or journal high quality) the place the hiring of a “local” appraiser is advised. The factors for choosing the local appraisal professional witness incorporate:

• Price financial savings
• Ease and simplicity of conference/conversation
• Shopper feels cozy with and/or has beforehand employed their neighborhood expert
• Knowledge of microeconomic problems, and past traits in the region as a basis for thoughts about potential marketplace problems and
• Where a jury will be motivated by the place the specialist resides, grew up or went to college.

A typically stated drawback of an out-of-town specialist is the additional cost of vacation. Nonetheless, “the expense can be value it… when the faraway witness entirely overshadows opposing counsel’s regional skilled” (p. 567).

One more disadvantage, when the out-of-town professional is also a much more prominent skilled with far better qualifications, are increased expenses. The legal professional need to contemplate this functional thought in the context of what fees the customer can fairly bear, how long the motion is probably to run and the anticipated use of the witness.,

In cases in which the neighborhood appraiser/professional is a client’s advice, the attorney have to evaluate no matter whether the client’s suggestions is based mostly on a want to toss a friend some enterprise and/or would like to employ the skilled (irrespective of skills) most very likely to favor the passions of the customer since of private or economic ties. Haig’s (2011) suggestions to counsel on going together with the client-chosen professional is:

“Keep in mind, it is the legal professional to whom the customer will very likely give credit rating or blame for the end result of the litigation. As continuously noted, the professional usually performs a substantial-if not the essential-position in the litigation process. Accordingly, there are no substitutes for an lawyer performing his personal thanks diligence relating to a proposed skilled and for an attorney participating in very clear communications with the shopper regarding the pros and downsides of any proposed skilled” (p. 563).

Despite the fact that not explicitly stated in the literature on the expense cost savings of a nearby skilled, the out-of-town appraisal professional might need extra time and linked charges to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Requirements of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) (2014-2015), especially:

(a) compliance with rules and laws that implement to the appraiser this kind of as the State’s appraisal licensing regulation and

(b) “where geographic competency is needed, an appraiser who is not common with the relevant market place traits should obtain an knowing essential to produce credible assignment results for the distinct property variety and industry included” (p. U-eleven).

Referring in immobilienmakler siegen to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 needs that “scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact,” and in that predicament, (b) “a witness qualified as an specialist by knowledge, skill, experience, or education and learning, may possibly testify thereto in the form of an viewpoint or or else… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “reliability” element. Underneath Rule 702 as amended, a qualified witness might only give specialist testimony “if (1) the testimony is primarily based upon sufficient specifics or information, (2) the testimony is the item of reliable rules and approaches, and (three) the witness has applied the rules and methods reliably to the facts of the circumstance.” As a result, for the appraiser professional, the concern of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has 3 components: no matter whether the appraiser competently regarded the relevant marketplace traits, whether or not the skilled testimony is “based mostly upon ample specifics or info,” and regardless of whether the specialist has “used the principles and strategies [she employed] reliably to the information of the scenario.”

No matter whether the appraisal professional happy the factors of geographic competence will be made the decision as a precondition for admissibility. Nonetheless, in most circumstances the issues will go with the excess weight of the evidence instead of admissibility.

Acquiring geographic competency will not be an issue for the a lot more knowledgeable/notable out-of-city specialist who will be completed in understanding the marketplace attributes related to the valuation concerns.


The most comprehensive literature on appraisal skilled witness choice does not advocate the choice of an specialist witness to be geographically proximate to the subject matter property. Nonetheless, the typical legal professional favors the “regional” appraisal skilled with the rationale becoming one particular or far more of expense minimization, attorney ease, shopper choice and preceding expertise of the subject’s community or marketplace.

There will be occasions when expense necessitates the choosing of a regional appraisal expert. Additionally, there will be instances the place an appraisal professional is essential but, given that valuation is not the disputed issue, any extra cost for a non-regional or much better experienced expert is not justified.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here