Commercial Grade is a weekly post by John Cicero, MAI who provides commentary on issues affecting real estate appraisers, with specific focus on commercial valuation. Today John asks the question: “Read any good books lately?”

Disclosure: John is a partner of mine in our commercial real estate valuation concern Miller Cicero, LLC and he is, on Thursdays, one of the smartest guys I know. …Jonathan Miller


The confusion over the new USPAP Scope of Work rules has spawned a cottage industry in new books, seminars and aids to help the appraiser in understanding the changes going forward. For $45, you can purchase Bell’s Appraisal Guide, “handy for your instant reference.” Or from our friends at the Appraisal Institute, you can purchase Scope of Work (Coleman) at the promotional price of only $24. According to the Institute,

While misuse of the scope of work concept can be disastrous, an appraiser who knows how to apply it in practice and to communicate it clearly in an appraisal report can enjoy increased security, opportunity, and success.

Security, opportunity and success!? All for only $24!

I purchased a copy of USPAP in Plain English (Franke, Leary) for only $20. I confess that I haven’t read it yet, but plain English is what I’m after!

Last month I had the opportunity to call in to a national conference call on the subject. Don’t remember the sponsor or the price, but it was in the $150 range.

So, maybe I’m late out of the box, but when opportunity knocks, I feel compelled to answer. In response to the mass confusion that the new USPAP will generate, I will be coming out with:

  • USPAP Coloring Books: start ‘em young I say!
  • Scope of Work Sing-a-long Videos: you’ll be humming your Rules all day long.
  • USPAP 2006 Audio CD’s: play them in your sleepyou’ll get it eventually!

Just hope that nobody beats me to the market.

Tags: ,


One Response to “[Commercial Grade] Opportunity is Knocking USPAP”

  1. Chasing Values says:

    It was with a great amount of glee that I read about the latest travails of USPAP which I always thought was a gynecological test and after reading your epistle I still think it is a gynecological test-certainly it will not help nor aid any appraiser worth his 3 approaches. Which brings me to my suggestion that the appraisal profession (???) would better spend its time devoting its brainpower (???) to perfecting the 4th approach to value which I would categorize and explain as follows:

    Since value is a moving target-whether its for the buyer’s side or the seller’s side or whether its for the landlord’s side or the tenants side or whether its for the lender’s or the borrower’s side I think we can all agree that it’s a moving target say, plus or minus 10% which is the “haggling” or “handeling” (Yiddish) factor. Because it takes 2 sides to establish market value- the buyer & seller-neither acting under duress of course and being of sound and sane mind (to comply with USPAP of course)my suggestion is that value be set by the number that the buyer wants to get and the seller wants to pay. So we have 2 numbers-then it is the appraiser’s task to come up with the ASSUMPTIONS that support those numbers with one set being for the buyer and the other the seller. To adjudicate these differences in assumptions (drafted by the appraiser-(in effect the 4th approach) we then bring in the lawyers to argue which set of assumptions is the more valid. Of course we will then need a revised set of gobbledygook from USPAP which will then spawn a whole new set of manuals, books and classes that have to be taken by the practitioners and of course taught by appraisers who DO NOT want to write appraisals thus creating a continued cadre of people such as you & Jonathan who can then launch into the latest criticism of a profession (???) that needs to be set out to sea in wooden Viking ships and set ablaze. Think what it would do for the economy of shipbuilding in all the towns that have lost that business to the 3rd world low labor cost countries. Finally the appraisers can serve society by NOT serving it….