Legal Blog - Standards and Ethics


Can An Appraiser Show Listings?

Aug 19, 2016

Standards and Ethics

A listing agent called with a question. An appraiser had contacted her about a listing and informed her that he wanted to show her listing to some buyers. The appraiser said that he was working with the agents as a "consultant" and that this entitled him to show a property. The listing agent wanted to know if this was true.

The state licensing regulations say that anyone who receives compensation or other valuable consideration for working with a buyer to assist them in buying or offering to buy a property must have a real estate salespersons or brokers license unless they fall under one of the exemptions to the licensing regulations.

An Appraiser does have license from the state; however, this license authorizes him or her to perform an appraisal of property. An appraisal is defined in the Code of Virginia as follows:

'" 'Appraisal' means an analysis, opinion, or conclusion relating to the nature, quality, value, or utility of specified interests in, or aspects of, identified real estate or identified real property. An appraisal may be classified by subject matter into either a valuation or analysis. A 'valuation' is an estimate of the value of real estate or real property. An 'analysis' is a study of real estate or real property other than estimating value. The term 'appraiser' or 'appraisal' may be used only by a person licensed or certified by the Board.

The key question is what kind of "consulting" was the appraiser doing? If the buyers only wanted someone to tell them what the house was worth or would appraise for when the buyers are writing their own offer to purchaser a house that may reasonably fall under an Appraiser's licensed activities. However, if the appraiser was trying to "show" the house to the buyers, negotiating the terms of the offer with the sellers, or obtaining information about the property for the buyers then I believe that may cross over the line to the activities that require a real estate salespersons or brokers license.

However, since these issues involve the state licensing regulations I spoke with Regina Green at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to get the official answer to this question.

Regina indicated that I might be correct in believing that showing a property falls outside the area of an appraiser's license and recommended that the listing agent file a complaint with the DPOR to determine if it was a violation of the regulations. Complaints on this issue can be filed by calling 804-367-8504.

I would also recommend looking up the appraiser's license status with both the Real Estate Appraiser Board and Real Estate Board to ensure that the individual in question does not have a real estate salespersons license. Remember that many people do have both licenses and therefore can perform appraisals and show properties. You can check for both licenses at the DPOR's Licensee Lookup website by clicking the link below:
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