The Departure of Departure

One of the most confusing aspects of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), for both appraisers and their clients, has been the Departure Rule. Departure has been around for about 12 years and allowed appraisers to “depart” from certain requirements, which resulted in a “Limited” appraisal. Knowing when a limited appraisal was allowable was difficult for the appraiser and the client to determine. Indeed, Complete and Limited appraisals were often confused with Self-contained, Summary, and Restricted Use reports.

Well, Departure has departed. Departure, along with Complete and Limited appraisals, left the USPAP vocabulary as of July 2006 and the Scope of Work Rule has arrived to take its place. The Scope of Work Rule allows the appraiser to determine the type and extent of research and analysis needed to satisfy the client’s needs and objectives. USPAP spells-out the minimum requirements.

The standard to which the Scope of Work is designed for a given appraisal assignment is credibility. Whatever the Scope of Work, the resulting appraisal must be credible. Appraisers and prospective clients should discuss Scope of Work and Credibility before commissioning the appraisal.

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