Ask Henry

Final Utilities Inspection
Dear Henry
I'm a huge fan of your articles and Q and A for a long time.

I’ve been asked by a lender to do a "final inspection" on a HUD resale for just the utilities hookup. The original appraisal was done a few months ago by a different appraiser for a different client. The new lender (my client) is asking specifically that only the utilities be checked. Can I do that? And what form would I use (all the standard forms imply that the appraiser doing the final inspection is the one that did the original appraisal). Any suggestions on what form might protect me from being tied to the original appraisal?

Paul Ryan

Dear Paul,
It does not make any difference what form you use (or maybe just a letter) as long as it is crystal clear that you are not making an appraisal or rendering any opinion as to what affect the connection of the utilities will have on the value of the property. If you give such an opinion, you are making an appraisal and must conform to all the USPAP requirements for making an appraisal.

Thanks for your kind comments.