By David Braun, MAI, SRA


In this new millennium appraisers find themselves not only in a new time, but in a new environment as well, which places new and different expectations on the real property appraiser. Appraisers are responsible for the ramifications that their opinions and conclusions have on the consumers they serve. The value of the appraisal is becoming measurable so the cost of our services must be less than the benefits we provide. Here appraisers must evolve from form-fillers and template masters to problem solvers. The purpose of this booklet Due Diligence & Scope of Work is threefold; first, to identify and explain these new surroundings so that the appraiser can regain his/her bearings, second, to develop concepts and theory, and third to provide a practical means of putting this knowledge to work in an appraisal practice. The first and second require knowing what to do; the third requires having the skills and tools to do it.

Make no mistake about it, the profession has changed; appraisal practice is more complicated, competitive, critical, and demanding than ever. The rate of change in the appraisal industry has exceeded the rate of adaptation of most appraisers. As the demand for the traditional URAR report for mortgage lending continues to dry up, many appraisers are providing new and different services without understanding what the users of appraisals, USPAP, supplemental standards, or local laws expect of them. This practice of operating in the dark and hoping for the best is a state of chrysalis that places the appraisal profession, and appraisers, in a most vulnerable position.

The appraiser’s growth and evolution in response to the changing environment is no longer optional. Appraisers must have the fortitude to transform their potential into competence and expertise. Much like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, appraisers are discovering that not only have they emerged into a new environment, they themselves are quite different as well. They are finding that adaptation to change is becoming more natural. Preparing for the challenges ahead is just another part of their job. This booklet was written for this new breed of appraiser. It provides some of the basic knowledge and tools that are necessary for the appraiser to perform his/her job professionally in the new millennium.

Be forewarned that much of the knowledge and tools required to succeed in this new environment do not yet exist in the appraisal “body of knowledge”. This booklet is not a rehashing of old principles and ideas, but is a presentation of several new concepts and tools resulting from an analysis of the new challenges and problems appraisers are facing. These new concepts and tools are rudimentary and will need to be expanded and improved upon in the future. Over 35 definitions that are unique and specific to the understanding of this material are presented and prefaced with the infinity sign “∞”.

Free Booklet and free software available for download at