Occasionally, appraisers are asked to provide opinion letters based on a review of another appraiser’s work product or from a company’s internal analysis for which they need independent validation. This process can seem more simple and informal than a typical valuation project, however, the time involved with completing the effort can be as much or even more than an appraisal.
Those businesses looking for a less expensive and time-consuming alternative to a complete appraisal will find the result can often be the opposite. Reviewing third-party work and commenting on their opinions and estimates for reasonableness, creates a two-fold process that can be more complicated than reviewing financial and asset data while estimating value.
At the very least, the appraiser needs to complete a high-level valuation of their own in order to comment on whether third-party opinions make sense or not. In many cases, the analysis required to provide a supportable opinion of another’s work product involves a similar amount or even more work compared with simply providing an independent appraisal of their own.
Opinion letters typically need to be generated from scratch given each project is unique and the requested deliverable will change with each engagement. With standard appraisal reports, most valuation professionals rely on a boilerplate framework that provides a more efficient way in which to develop their narrative summary.
Another issue with requests for review opinion letters is that many certified and accredited valuation professionals are not comfortable providing this type of report. The need to go outside the lines of their normal framework may create too many inconsistencies with the formal appraisal practice requirements that are adhered to in the normal course of business.
“Informal” is not a word appraisers like to use when providing opinions given the uniform standards they must commit to in their profession.
Typically, it will make more sense to have the appraiser complete their own analysis and valuation report which can then be compared to the other party’s work effort. This may seem repetitive and more costly; however, you may be surprised at the additional benefits you will reap when your auditors have an easier time approving the total work product. And there is a high likelihood that the time and cost involved will be very similar or even less when you ask for a more straightforward scope of work to complete the task at hand.