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General Q&A

Q. What are the Continuing Education requirements? Who do I contact if I have questions?
A. Delaware Information regarding the license renewal process is mailed to licensees approximately 6 weeks prior to the license expiration date. Verification of continuing education must be submitted evidencing completion of courses taken to fulfill the continuing education requirements. Twenty-eight (28) hours of continuing education are required during a 2-year licensure cycle. Delaware Regulation 2.3.2 requires that at least 7 of those hours must be the 7-hour National USPAP update course or an approved equivalent, and 3 hours must be a 3-hour course on Delaware law, Rules and Regulations. For specific questions regarding state requirements, please contact: Delaware Council on Real Estate Appraisers Phone: (302) 739-4522 Fax: (302) 739-2711 URL: Maryland Information regarding the license renewal process is mailed to licensees approximately 6 weeks prior to the license expiration date. All licenses and certifications are issued for a three- year period in Maryland. 42 hours of verifiable Continuing Education (CE ) are required to renew any category of appraiser license/certification (this equates to 14 hours/year), of which 7 hours must be the National USPAP Update Course. Please Note: You are now required to take the 7-hour National USPAP Update Course every two years to satisfy the revised AQB requirements for continuing education. It is important to note that this requirement is out of sync with Maryland's three-year license renewal cycle. It is the appraiser's responsibility to ensure compliance with this requirement. As of January 1, 2005, the 15 hour National USPAP Course can no longer be used to satisfy the USPAP continuing education requirements. For specific questions regarding state requirements, please contact: The Maryland Commission on Real Estate Appraisers and Home Inspectors Phone: (410) 230-6270, ext 5 Fax: (410) 333-6314 URL: Pennsylvania Certificates expire June 30 of every odd-numbered year. The board mails renewal notices 2 to 3 months prior to the expiration date. Notices are mailed to the most recent address the certificate-holder has reported to the Board. The Postal Service does not forward licenses. Continuing Professional Education - Completion of twenty-eight (28) hours in programs approved by the Board. A minimum of seven (7) continuing education hours are required on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and two (2) continuing education hours on the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act or Assessors Certification Act and the Board's regulations and policies. For specific questions regarding state requirements, please contact: The Pennsylvania State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers Phone: (717) 783-4866 Fax: (717) 787-7769 URL:
Q. Who needs an Appraisal
A. An appraisal is a valuation tool used by mortgage lenders to verify a property's worth for prospective financing. The mortgage industry relies upon a qualified independent real estate appraiser to guide them in their financing decisions. Other common reasons for a real estate appraisal include evaluation of investment property, divorce, prenuptials, private mortgage insurance removal, probate, equity loans, property tax abatement, eminent domain foreclosure, estate tax planning, insurance claims, employee relocation.
Q. When and why was The Appraisal Foundation established?
A. In 1986, the instability in the real estate and mortgage lending professions led nine leading professional appraisal organizations in North America to form the Ad Hoc Committee on Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. These groups agreed upon a generally accepted set of standards that were then adopted by the eight American appraisal organizations. With the adoption of the Standards, The Appraisal Foundation was established in 1987 to implement the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) through an independent board, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB). The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) was later incorporated in the Foundation structure in order to facilitate the development of meaningful qualification criteria for appraisers.
Q. What is the relationship between The Appraisal Foundation, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB), and the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)?
A. The Appraisal Foundation serves as an umbrella organization for two independent Boards, the Appraisal Standards Board and the Appraiser Qualifications Boards. While these boards are independent, the Board of Trustees of The Appraisal Foundation is responsible for funding the activities of the ASB and AQB as well as appointing members to the Boards and providing oversight of their activities.
Q. What is the relationship between The Appraisal Foundation and the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC)?
A. These two entities are often confused by the public. The Appraisal Subcommittee is the federal agency charged with oversight of the state appraisal regulatory programs. In addition, the ASC is responsible for monitoring the activities of The Appraisal Foundation and the ASB and AQB as well as providing a federal grant to assist in the operations of these Boards.
Q. What is the Appraisal Practices Board (APB)
A. The APB offers voluntary guidance to appraisers, regulators and users of appraisal services on recognized valuation methods and techniques for all valuation disciplines.
Q. What is the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB)
A. The ASB develops, interprets and amends the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the generally accepted standards of the appraisal profession.
Q. What is the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)
A. The AQB establishes the minimum education, experience and examination requirements for real property appraisers to obtain a state license or certification. In addition, the AQB performs a number of ancillary duties related to real property and personal property appraiser qualifications.
Q. What is an Appraisal Management Company?
A. An Appraisal Management Company (AMC) offers appraisal services to the public by making use of professional appraisers acting as independent contractors; a fee-sharing arrangement compensates both the AMC for their marketing efforts and the appraisers for their expertise.
Q. What is an online appraisal?
A. Online appraisals are electronically-transmitted personal property appraisal reports based on client-provided digital images and written descriptions.
Q. Should online appraisals be written to any recognized standards?
A. Most certainly. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), promulgated by The Appraisal Foundation of Washington, DC, clearly states that any opinion of value offered by one holding him/herself out to be an appraiser is an appraisal, and as such should be performed in accordance with USPAP. The AOA is in agreement with The Appraisal Foundation, and has developed its own online-specific and USPAP-compliant standards with which members agree to conform. In addition, the AOA has developed a Code of Ethics to guide its members in ethical behavior in the course of conducting appraisals.
Q. Is this a new type of appraisal?
A. No. Appraisers have done appraisals using photographs for many, many years. Doing so is often required by the circumstances. For instance, if an item is stolen or destroyed by fire, photographs are frequently invaluable to arriving at a value conclusion. Indeed, the IRS Art Advisory Panel uses photographs extensively when reviewing the accuracy of a taxpayer's claimed deduction for the charitable contribution of works of art. The only difference with online appraisals is that the images are now digital in form. But whether using contact print photographs or digital images, it is always critical that the appraiser note within his appraisal report any extraordinary assumptions being made because of the inability to personally inspect the item in question.
Q. How can I use my online appraisal?
A. Unless otherwise stated within the report, only you, the client, can use your online appraisal. Typical intended uses for online appraisals include gathering information such as identity, value and history in contemplation of selling or buying an item. Another use would be for personal planning. For instance, one may wish to equitably divide several items of personal property among a number of children. Online appraisal can help support a claimed deduction for a non-cash charitable contribution of less than $5000, and can assist in the fair and equitable settlement of a transit-related or insurance casualty loss damage claim. The use of online appraisals are also valid in situations in which the use of photographs have traditionally been considered a typical appraisal practice, including, but not limited to damage claims or casualty losses where the property is no longer available for inspection. Do not use an online appraisal for functions requiring a more traditional appraisal in which the appraiser must have the opportunity to personally inspect the property. Uses requiring this more formal (and necessarily more costly) appraisal process include obtaining insurance, claiming an IRS non-cash charitable contribution deduction of over $5000, determining estate tax liabilities, for divorce, and for any function in which litigation is a possibility. Click here to learn how to contact a professional appraiser for a hands-on inspection and appraisal report.
Q. Who appraises the items?
A. There are no state-mandated licensing, education, or qualification requirements for personal property appraisers, so you should interview the individual appraiser or review his or her professional profile before making a selection. The appraiser you use should have experience in his/her area of specialization, and should have training in the theory and principles of online appraising. Membership in the AOA helps ensure that the appraiser is a professional in good standing, has at least three years of appraisal or market-related experience within the area of specialization, will abide by a Code of Ethics, and will prepare appraisal reports in accordance with a recognized standard.
Q. Will the online appraiser authenticate items?
A. No. Online appraisers cannot authenticate. Authentications can only be performed by experts who can personally examine and, if necessary, perform tests on the item. Online appraisals are based on the readily apparent identity of the item being appraised, i.e., what is immediately apparent to the appraiser from the information that has been provided. No further guarantee of authenticity, genuineness, attribution or authorship is represented or possible given the limited nature of doing appraisals without personal inspection. Should issues of authenticity be in question, the request for an online appraisal should be declined.
Q. Can any item be appraised online?
A. While virtually any type of personal property can be appraised by the traditional appraiser who has the ability to personally inspect the item, not all items qualify for online appraisals. Clients with non-qualifying items should be referred to a professional appraiser who can personally examine the property. See below to learn how to contact a professional appraisal society for a free referral to a qualified, hands-on appraiser. While many items of property can be professionally appraised through the use of photographs and digital images some types of property simply should not be appraised online. Examples of items that should not be appraised online include: -Items requiring testing or certification to prove identity or authenticity -Items in which questions as to condition, identity or age exist and cannot be resolved even with the use of extraordinary assumptions -Items which are potentially so valuable as to warrant a hands-on appraisal
Q. How can I locate a professional appraiser?
A. When seeking a professional appraiser to conduct a formal appraisal of your personal property, choose one who is not only knowledgeable about the items being appraised but who is also educated, trained, and tested in appraisal theory, principles and techniques. To locate a professional appraiser in your area, contact one or more of the following: -Association of Online Appraisers -Appraisers National Association -American Society of Appraisers -Appraisers Association of America -International Society of Appraisers -American Gem Society (gems & jewelry only) -National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (gems & jewelry only)