How can I produce a credible appraisal report without having visited the property myself? Isn’t that not allowed under USPAP?
USPAP does not require an appraiser to personally inspect a property. If an appraiser is able to produce credible assignment results based on available information without performing an inspection, that is permitted under USPAP.
If the CubiCasa floor plan was created by an interested party like the homeowner or listing agent, can I rely on it in the appraisal report?
Yes, because the GSEs deem a scan performed using CubiCasa takes the interested party out of the equation. In other words, the CubiCasa app is providing the floor plan, not the homeowner or listing agent. These floor plans are acceptable because they provide exterior dimensions that the appraiser can use to verify the GLA of the subject property. The GLA floor plan is deemed unbiased because the person who performs the scan will not change the outcome.
How can an appraiser rely on information obtained from third-party technology services like CubiCasa?
Consistent with Standards Rule 1-2(e) in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), appraisers are permitted to consider any information which the appraiser reasonably believes to be reliable. The appraiser may obtain information from sources that include private third-party websites, remote mapping, and floor plan technologies, public record providers, among others.
I have concerns regarding properties scanned with the CubiCasa app to generate GLA. Especially when it comes to liability. How to ensure that information from third-party services is reliable?
The GSE forms clearly describe the appraiser’s scope of work, so it is clear what the appraiser did and did not do. In addition, the appraiser’s liability should be solidly protected, since both the desktop and hybrid forms include a pre-printed Limiting Condition stating: “The appraiser has relied on data provided by third parties in this appraisal report…After examination of the data and data sources, the appraiser has used only the data he or she considers reliable. The appraiser assumes there are no material omissions and makes no guarantees, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of this data.”
What do I do if the GLA differs from public records or MLS? Do I have to use the Floor plan GLA?
Public Records are a great resource for general facts about a home. But the public records database is subject to the accuracy of the data that was input. Plans for homes change as they are being built and those changes are not always reflected in public records. After extensive testing, the CubiCasa GLA has been found to be more accurate than public records and more consistent than appraisers. That being said, the appraiser ultimately determines the most reliable source of data. If an appraiser has reason to believe that the actual GLA differs from CubiCasa, and has another source that the appraiser reasonably believes to be more accurate (as required by USPAP) that decision rests with the appraiser.
If I already have a reliable source of GLA, how do I benefit from a CubiCasa scan?
While CubiCasa GLA has shown to be more accurate than other sources, that isn’t the only benefit to an appraiser. The high-fidelity, detailed floor plan clearly shows interior walls and allows an appraiser to fully understand the functional utility of the home’s floor plan. This is important to ensure the property does not suffer from functional obsolescence.