Jim Severson, CAI, MPPA, of Appraisal One Auctions in Eau Claire, Wis., says he has seen a drastic increase in the need for appraisals tied to divorce.
“I have started doing two, three, sometimes more divorces a week,” he says. “I am going through the contents of a shed right now for a couple splitting up.”
“People are fighting because they don’t have any money, which leads to divorce. This is a hard time of life for a lot of people.”
While Severson has seen an increase in demand for divorce appraisals, he says appraisal demand is slowing in areas such as high-end antiques, partnerships and buyouts.
He says he also has seen an increase in demand for certified appraisers. The NAA offers appraisal education, including its designation program, Master Personal Property Appraiser.
The demand, he says, is due to a shift away from basing value solely on replacement cost and toward approaches using cost, market and income.
“It used to be that any loan officer at a bank or anyone with a Sears Roebuck catalog was an appraiser, and that is no longer the case,” he says.
The state of the economy has brought tougher banking regulations, which has made appraising of personal property and business property more complex and difficult, says Ronald Dover, MPPA, of Southeast Equipment Appraisal Services Inc., Stone Mountain, Ga.
“The standards are greater than they ever have been,” Dover says. “Our clients are expecting a higher level of professionalism, and they are expecting a great deal more credibility in our reports.”
Banks and attorneys are increasingly relying on appraisals, Dover says. In addition, he says he’s seeing more appraisal reviews.
“Our reports are seeing more scrutiny, and at the same time, they are growing in utilization,” Dover says. “It’s become quite sophisticated.
“It is alarming what demands are being placed on our industry.”