The Truth Shall Set Us Free: Appraisers Serve a Vital Role in U.S. Economy

The Truth Shall Set Us Free: Appraisers Serve a Vital Role in U.S. Economy

I believe the personal and economic freedoms we enjoy in this country are unique in the world. These freedoms are due in part to the high level of transparency and low level of corruption in our economy. Real estate appraisers play a critical role in protecting that transparency and defending against corruption by providing unbiased, high quality and independent property valuations, regardless of the conclusions the clients hope to see. I like to think of appraisers as warriors for the truth: the true client for the appraiser is the public trust.

There’s an appraiser who comes to my mind who is based in Los Angeles and is universally respected by clients and fellow professionals. He’s been in the valuation business for 35 years and has a long list of professional accomplishments. While his market knowledge and deep wisdom is considered second to none, it’s not the sole reason for why he is so admired. The man is an icon because he is known for being “a defender of the truth.” That he owns a neon sign which reads, “The Scorekeepers” doesn’t hurt either.

He’s a prime example for our industry—he understands that the integrity of our profession goes hand in hand with the integrity of our economy. We do not compromise the truth for the benefit of one client, which indirectly helps the economy as a whole.

When we consider the benefits of a truly unbiased and independent valuation function in this country, it is critical to play by the rules. It is wrong to try and mislead an appraiser. A best practice is to establish the facts and consider all relevant market data and trends. With increased transparency and truth in the economy, we all benefit, including the client, the appraiser and the public trust.

Third Quarter Retail Cap Rates

National cap rates in the third quarter indicated pricing stability in the retail sector. National retail cap rates were virtually unchanged from the quarter prior, at 6.99 percent, which is consistent with risk-free rate trends. The average 10-Year U.S. Treasury yield, an indicator for risk free rates, was 2.54 percent in the second quarter of 2014, with very little change in the third quarter at 2.47 percent.

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