Appraisers are not required to provide identification (in California), even a driver’s license, when they come to a house, do not always look the part and can cause alarm if not expected. One Orange County company says that is a problem.
Six months ago, Mission Viejo-based Comergence rolled out something the appraisal industry has never had – shiny ID badges.
Since the service started, just 22 of roughly 300 appraisers in San Diego County have signed up and the head of local industry group, the Appraisal Institute, says she thinks she knows why.
“A badge doesn’t identify you any differently than a business card does,” local Appraisal Institute president Susan Merrick said. “It’s pretty much typical operating procedure to give a business card when you go to the door… From a residential standpoint, it’s totally useless as far as I’m concerned.”
The state Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers says there is no law requiring appraisers to carry identification and has no opinion on Comergence.
Bureau head Jim Martin said he is not aware of any recent occurrences, at least in the last two years, of someone posing as an appraiser.
A San Diego commercial appraiser with 30 years experience, Gary Rasmuson, has pushed for a badge for the industry for years and even created his own.
My comments: This is controversial among appraisers. Many years ago, the chief appraiser for a lender told me that appraisers should not give a business card to the borrower. Of course, I didn’t agree. I have always give out business cards as that is a good source of referrals for me for non-lender work. I also want to be seen as a professional.