This paper adds to the literature on the variety of the genuine home appraisal expert witness. The current appraisal expert witness assortment literature indicates that when the out-of-town professional witness overshadows the knowledge and experience of the nearby skilled, the out-of-city specialist is the very clear option yet most attorneys base their appraiser assortment on variables that are irrelevant to profitable the situation this kind of as ease, proximity to their business office, proximity to the subject matter house, a client’s recommendation or the expert’s price. The results of this two-part social science analysis review show that in conditions in which there will be contentious valuation issues or, exactly where the appraisal expert witness will be known as upon to criticize the work of the opposing appraiser, it may possibly be in the ideal desire of the shopper and outcome of the situation to choose an appraisal skilled who is found outside the house of the appraisal companies location of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

After virtually twenty five a long time as a real home valuation skilled witness, this writer has observed that, in the majority of actual estate litigation instances, lawyers normally choose their appraisal specialist from within the standard vicinity of the matter house. However, Immobilien Hamburg is opposite to the literature on the skilled witness assortment procedure that does not address the location or geographic proximity of the professional to the subject matter property as a appropriate issue (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 lawyers select a “local” appraiser and particulars powerful new study suggesting that, at minimum for critical or substantial worth cases, attorneys should look to the best appraisal specialist witness from beyond the general geographic location of the subject matter property and the opposing valuation skilled.

Common Rational for Employing the “Regional” Appraiser

A overview of the appraisal professional witness selection literature indicates a constrained amount of circumstances from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or magazine good quality) where the choosing of a “neighborhood” appraiser is proposed. The reasons for choosing the regional appraisal expert witness contain:

• Value financial savings
• Ease and simplicity of meeting/conversation
• Shopper feels cozy with and/or has formerly employed their neighborhood skilled
• Expertise of microeconomic situations, and past developments in the area as a foundation for opinions about future market conditions and
• Where a jury will be motivated by the place the professional resides, grew up or went to faculty.

A typically stated drawback of an out-of-town specialist is the extra expenditure of travel. Nonetheless, “the price can be really worth it… when the faraway witness fully overshadows opposing counsel’s nearby expert” (p. 567).

Yet another downside, when the out-of-city skilled is also a much more well known specialist with much better qualifications, are larger costs. The legal professional need to contemplate this useful thing to consider in the context of what costs the consumer can fairly bear, how extended the action is very likely to run and the expected use of the witness.,

In cases exactly where the neighborhood appraiser/specialist is a client’s advice, the legal professional should evaluate no matter whether the client’s tips is based mostly on a desire to throw a friend some organization and/or needs to hire the skilled (irrespective of skills) most probably to favor the passions of the client simply because of personalized or financial ties. Haig’s (2011) tips to counsel on going alongside with the client-picked expert is:

“Bear in mind, it is the legal professional to whom the consumer will probably give credit score or blame for the result of the litigation. As continuously noted, the expert frequently performs a significant-if not the key-function in the litigation procedure. Appropriately, there are no substitutes for an legal professional doing his very own due diligence regarding a proposed skilled and for an attorney partaking in very clear communications with the customer regarding the pros and downsides of any proposed expert” (p. 563).

Even though not explicitly stated in the literature on the price cost savings of a neighborhood skilled, the out-of-city appraisal expert could need extra time and associated charges to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Requirements of Expert Appraisal Practice (USPAP) (2014-2015), exclusively:

(a) compliance with legal guidelines and rules that use to the appraiser these kinds of as the State’s appraisal licensing legislation and

(b) “in which geographic competency is essential, an appraiser who is not common with the relevant marketplace qualities should obtain an understanding needed to make credible assignment results for the distinct house kind and industry associated” (p. U-eleven).

Referring in this segment exclusively to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Proof 702 demands that “scientific, technological or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of truth,” and in that predicament, (b) “a witness experienced as an professional by understanding, skill, knowledge, or training, may possibly testify thereto in the type of an viewpoint or or else… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “trustworthiness” element. Underneath Rule 702 as amended, a experienced witness could only provide expert testimony “if (1) the testimony is based on adequate facts or info, (two) the testimony is the solution of reputable rules and strategies, and (three) the witness has used the ideas and strategies reliably to the facts of the case.” Therefore, for the appraiser expert, the issue of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has a few elements: whether the appraiser competently deemed the pertinent market place traits, no matter whether the professional testimony is “based mostly on adequate information or information,” and whether the skilled has “used the rules and techniques [she employed] reliably to the specifics of the case.”

Whether or not the appraisal specialist pleased the factors of geographic competence will be made a decision as a precondition for admissibility. Nevertheless, in most circumstances the issues will go with the bodyweight of the evidence instead of admissibility.

Buying geographic competency will not be an concern for the far more seasoned/prominent out-of-city skilled who will be completed in knowing the marketplace traits appropriate to the valuation issues.


The most comprehensive literature on appraisal professional witness selection does not recommend the choice of an expert witness to be geographically proximate to the matter property. Nevertheless, the normal lawyer favors the “regional” appraisal specialist with the rationale being one particular or far more of price minimization, lawyer comfort, consumer preference and previous expertise of the subject’s community or market.

There will be instances when expense necessitates the hiring of a regional appraisal professional. In addition, there will be situations exactly where an appraisal expert is essential but, since valuation is not the disputed problem, any additional cost for a non-nearby or much better qualified specialist is not justified.


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