This paper provides to the literature on the selection of the real residence appraisal specialist witness. Immobilien Ankauf indicates that when the out-of-town professional witness overshadows the understanding and expertise of the nearby skilled, the out-of-city specialist is the very clear decision but most legal professionals base their appraiser assortment on factors that are irrelevant to profitable the circumstance this kind of as ease, proximity to their place of work, proximity to the subject matter house, a client’s advice or the expert’s cost. The outcomes of this two-portion social science analysis examine point out that in situations where there will be contentious valuation concerns or, the place the appraisal expert witness will be known as upon to criticize the operate of the opposing appraiser, it may possibly be in the ideal curiosity of the client and final result of the circumstance to decide on an appraisal professional who is situated exterior of the appraisal companies location of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

Following virtually twenty five several years as a genuine property valuation skilled witness, this author has noticed that, in the greater part of genuine estate litigation circumstances, lawyers usually pick their appraisal professional from inside of the common vicinity of the matter property. Nonetheless, this follow is opposite to the literature on the professional witness selection process that does not handle the location or geographic proximity of the specialist to the matter house as a pertinent 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 causes why a lot of legal professionals choose a “local” appraiser and specifics compelling new investigation suggesting that, at the very least for crucial or high price cases, legal professionals need to seem to the best appraisal professional witness from outside of the general geographic location of the topic home and the opposing valuation specialist.

Widespread Rational for Employing the “Neighborhood” Appraiser

A evaluation of the appraisal expert witness variety literature indicates a constrained amount of circumstances from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or journal high quality) exactly where the selecting of a “neighborhood” appraiser is suggested. The causes for deciding on the regional appraisal specialist witness incorporate:

• Value personal savings
• Comfort and simplicity of conference/conversation
• Shopper feels comfortable with and/or has previously hired their neighborhood specialist
• Understanding of microeconomic circumstances, and earlier traits in the location as a foundation for viewpoints about foreseeable future market place situations and
• In which a jury will be motivated by where the skilled resides, grew up or went to college.

A commonly mentioned drawback of an out-of-town expert is the additional expenditure of journey. Nevertheless, “the value can be value it… when the faraway witness entirely overshadows opposing counsel’s local expert” (p. 567).

An additional disadvantage, when the out-of-city expert is also a much more notable specialist with better credentials, are greater charges. The lawyer have to take into account this practical consideration in the context of what fees the consumer can reasonably bear, how extended the motion is most likely to operate and the anticipated use of the witness.,

In circumstances in which the neighborhood appraiser/professional is a client’s suggestion, the legal professional have to assess regardless of whether the client’s advice is dependent on a wish to throw a friend some enterprise and/or would like to hire the skilled (irrespective of qualifications) most probably to favor the passions of the consumer because of personal or economic ties. Haig’s (2011) guidance to counsel on likely along with the customer-selected expert is:

“Remember, it is the lawyer to whom the client will probably give credit history or blame for the outcome of the litigation. As repeatedly mentioned, the specialist usually plays a considerable-if not the essential-role in the litigation process. Accordingly, there are no substitutes for an lawyer performing his very own due diligence with regards to a proposed expert and for an legal professional engaging in very clear communications with the consumer concerning the professionals and cons of any proposed specialist” (p. 563).

Though not explicitly mentioned in the literature on the value cost savings of a local skilled, the out-of-city appraisal skilled could want added time and linked costs to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Requirements of Professional Appraisal Follow (USPAP) (2014-2015), especially:

(a) compliance with rules and laws that utilize to the appraiser this sort of as the State’s appraisal licensing legislation and

(b) “the place geographic competency is essential, an appraiser who is not common with the relevant marketplace qualities need to purchase an understanding required to make credible assignment results for the distinct home variety and market included” (p. U-11).

Referring in this area completely to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 demands that “scientific, technical or other specialised knowledge will support the trier of truth,” and in that scenario, (b) “a witness experienced as an skilled by knowledge, talent, expertise, or training, might testify thereto in the sort of an impression or in any other case… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “trustworthiness” component. Under Rule 702 as amended, a experienced witness may possibly only offer professional testimony “if (1) the testimony is based mostly on sufficient information or knowledge, (2) the testimony is the solution of trustworthy rules and approaches, and (3) the witness has used the ideas and techniques reliably to the facts of the situation.” Therefore, for the appraiser expert, the issue of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has 3 factors: whether the appraiser competently considered the related market place attributes, regardless of whether the specialist testimony is “based on enough information or info,” and no matter whether the professional has “applied the ideas and strategies [she employed] reliably to the facts of the circumstance.”

Whether the appraisal skilled happy the aspects of geographic competence will be decided as a precondition for admissibility. Nevertheless, in most circumstances the troubles will go with the bodyweight of the proof instead of admissibility.

Acquiring geographic competency will not be an issue for the more seasoned/notable out-of-town skilled who will be completed in comprehension the industry qualities relevant to the valuation troubles.


The most complete literature on appraisal expert witness assortment does not recommend the assortment of an expert witness to be geographically proximate to the topic property. Nevertheless, the common attorney favors the “local” appraisal professional with the rationale becoming a single or more of expense minimization, attorney convenience, consumer desire and prior knowledge of the subject’s neighborhood or marketplace.

There will be instances when price necessitates the employing of a regional appraisal expert. Additionally, there will be situations the place an appraisal specialist is essential but, considering that valuation is not the disputed situation, any additional price for a non-neighborhood or far better experienced specialist is not justified.

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