Choose the Out-Of-City Appraiser: New Social Science Study on Real Estate Expert Witness

This paper provides to the literature on the selection of the true residence appraisal specialist witness. The current appraisal specialist witness variety literature implies that when the out-of-town expert witness overshadows the expertise and expertise of the regional professional, the out-of-town expert is the distinct option but most attorneys foundation their appraiser variety on factors that are irrelevant to winning the circumstance such as ease, proximity to their place of work, proximity to the topic home, a client’s recommendation or the expert’s cost. The outcomes of this two-portion social science analysis examine reveal that in conditions the place there will be contentious valuation troubles or, where the appraisal skilled witness will be named on to criticize the perform of the opposing appraiser, it may possibly be in the ideal interest of the shopper and end result of the situation to choose an appraisal professional who is situated outside the house of the appraisal services spot of the opposing appraiser.

Preface to the Paper

Right after practically 25 a long time as a genuine property valuation skilled witness, this creator has observed that, in the majority of genuine estate litigation cases, attorneys usually select their appraisal professional from within the basic vicinity of the subject matter house. However, this practice is opposite to the literature on the specialist witness selection procedure that does not deal with the location or geographic proximity of the professional to the subject residence 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 motives why a lot of attorneys decide on a “local” appraiser and details persuasive new research suggesting that, at minimum for essential or higher benefit circumstances, lawyers ought to seem to the greatest appraisal skilled witness from over and above the common geographic spot of the topic home and the opposing valuation expert.

Typical Rational for Employing the “Regional” Appraiser

A overview of the appraisal specialist witness assortment literature indicates a constrained variety of cases from the secondary literature (e.g., non-peer-reviewed or journal quality) exactly where the hiring of a “nearby” appraiser is advised. The factors for picking the nearby appraisal professional witness contain:

• Cost cost savings
• Comfort and simplicity of meeting/conversation
• Shopper feels cozy with and/or has previously employed their neighborhood skilled
• Knowledge of microeconomic problems, and past developments in the location as a foundation for opinions about potential marketplace problems and
• Where a jury will be affected by in which the expert resides, grew up or went to faculty.

A commonly stated disadvantage of an out-of-city skilled is the extra expenditure of journey. Even so, ” Antares Showflat can be value it… when the faraway witness totally overshadows opposing counsel’s nearby specialist” (p. 567).

An additional downside, when the out-of-town specialist is also a a lot more distinguished specialist with far better credentials, are higher expenses. The legal professional have to think about this practical consideration in the context of what costs the client can fairly bear, how prolonged the motion is probably to run and the envisioned use of the witness.,

In situations where the neighborhood appraiser/expert is a client’s suggestion, the attorney must evaluate whether or not the client’s guidance is based on a wish to toss a pal some company and/or wants to employ the service of the specialist (irrespective of qualifications) most probably to favor the pursuits of the client simply because of personal or economic ties. Haig’s (2011) suggestions to counsel on likely alongside with the shopper-picked skilled is:

“Keep in mind, it is the legal professional to whom the consumer will probably give credit rating or blame for the outcome of the litigation. As repeatedly noted, the professional usually performs a considerable-if not the essential-part in the litigation approach. Accordingly, there are no substitutes for an legal professional performing his personal owing diligence with regards to a proposed specialist and for an legal professional participating in very clear communications with the shopper relating to the professionals and disadvantages of any proposed professional” (p. 563).

Despite the fact that not explicitly said in the literature on the price savings of a neighborhood specialist, the out-of-city appraisal professional may possibly need additional time and associated fees to comply with the Competency Rule of the Uniform Requirements of Expert Appraisal Practice (USPAP) (2014-2015), particularly:

(a) compliance with rules and restrictions that use to the appraiser this sort of as the State’s appraisal licensing regulation and

(b) “the place geographic competency is essential, an appraiser who is not common with the relevant industry characteristics must purchase an knowing necessary to produce credible assignment final results for the specific property variety and marketplace included” (p. U-11).

Referring in this area exclusively to USPAP’s geographic competency, the Federal Rule of Proof 702 calls for that “scientific, technological or other specialized expertise will support the trier of reality,” and in that scenario, (b) “a witness qualified as an skilled by information, ability, knowledge, or training, might testify thereto in the type of an view or or else… ” Rule 702 was amended in 2000 with the addition of a “dependability” element. Underneath Rule 702 as amended, a competent witness could only supply skilled testimony “if (1) the testimony is primarily based on sufficient specifics or information, (2) the testimony is the product of trustworthy principles and techniques, and (3) the witness has utilized the concepts and techniques reliably to the details of the case.” As a result, for the appraiser skilled, the situation of geographic competence as it relates to Rule 702 has 3 elements: no matter whether the appraiser competently regarded as the related market attributes, whether the specialist testimony is “primarily based on sufficient specifics or data,” and regardless of whether the expert has “utilized the principles and methods [she used] reliably to the details of the circumstance.”

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 fat of the evidence instead of admissibility.

Obtaining geographic competency will not be an situation for the more skilled/notable out-of-town expert who will be achieved in knowing the marketplace qualities appropriate to the valuation problems.


The most comprehensive literature on appraisal professional witness assortment does not advise the variety of an skilled witness to be geographically proximate to the topic property. Nevertheless, the normal legal professional favors the “regional” appraisal expert with the rationale becoming one particular or a lot more of cost minimization, attorney usefulness, customer choice and preceding information of the subject’s community or market.

There will be occasions when price necessitates the hiring of a regional appraisal professional. Moreover, there will be situations in which an appraisal specialist is needed but, given that valuation is not the disputed problem, any extra price for a non-nearby or better certified skilled is not justified.