Our Mission

Old Mission What is my mission?

Appraising is a trade and not a profession. You may be wondering, why a trade? After all every valuation society states that appraising is a profession. Well, the difference between a profession and a trade is the way courses are presented. A profession has centralized testing and certification whereas a trade handles testing and certification by various groups.

Of course, to have various groups controlling education invites differences in methodology, levels of education, as well as standards.

The appropriate approach requires the gathering of all data, analyzing the data, and forming a conclusion. That conclusion is offered for critical peer review. Afterwards, the result is presented as a theory. If new data comes to light that changes the theory, a new theory can be devised.

The trade of appraising, instead, starts with a conclusion, then the developers either selectively gather data or gather no data at all, dispense with critical peer review, and present their conclusion as a fact. This unscientific approach is often based on a consensus rather than research. A group of appraisers decide what is the valuation methodology and make it mandatory for their members.

In a profession, there is a central body of testing and certification. Your education can be from any school, but you must pass a centralized exam to be a professional.

How to evolve from a trade to a profession?

One must start by researching valuation methodology. Each appraisal is, essentially, a legal document. The legal arena has developed laws, regulations, guidelines, et cetera for valuations. Thus, the place to gather data for methodology is the legal arena. For example, if a law having a jurisdiction mandates a specific date of value and value definition, does that not override anything that a consensus developed?

The ratio of untrained appraisers compared to appraisers with training is enormous. And, considering the idea that even trained appraisers have been trained differently, makes appraising a trade.

The Insurance Appraising course is a contribution to the trade. Hopefully, it will expose the untrained to education and they will see the need to seek more education. And the trained appraisers will experience education based on research and not consensus. The ultimate quest is to experience a revolution in appraisal education that will trigger a profession’s evolution.

The result will be a stronger public trust in personal property appraisers, fees that will match the effort and education of the appraisers, as well as encourage appraisers to have higher standards and not rely on fast-food level reports.

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Copyright © by William D. Hoefer, Jr./Appraising Demystified