Ask Henry

UAD Updates and Corrections

Dear Henry,

I am going to take advantage of your COMBO offer and order your new Complete UAD Guide and the Illustrated Guide to the URAR form. However...I noticed that the UAD is already being revised. How will you handle that? Will you be emailing updates, blogging about them or what? I realize it is our responsibility to stay up on this; however you might have a great sales tool if you promised to cover all updates on your website or send something by email to us. I have a fear of missing something if it is only up to me to track this monster coming in September! I don't underestimate what a big change this will mean for us appraisers.

Alisa McKeel Willson
CA State Certified Appraiser

Dear Alisa,

You are quite right in assuming that there will be corrections and updates to the UAD instructions. I am putting the final touches on my Complete UAD Guide now. I've already found many inconsistencies between Fannie Mae's Addenda D and Addenda A, which I think they will have to resolve. Other problems will no doubt be uncovered as the UAD is analyzed, considered, added to software packages, and implemented.

Since UAD updates and corrections appear to be a certainty, you'll be glad to know that we do plan to publish all updates to my Complete UAD Guide as they are released, on our Real Estate Valuation Magazine & BLOG. All subscribers will receive email notifications of these changes when they've been posted. (Subscriptions to REV Magazine Online are free. The update link is at the top of the righthand column.)

I'm frankly surprised by how many of our readers seem to be oblivious regarding this major Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac initiative. They apparently do not realize yet just how complex the UAD requirements are, which go into effect for all Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac URAR appraisals with effective dates from September 1, 2011 on.



A New Way to Earn Approved C.E. Credit: Webinars from Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University has teamed up with two well known appraiser-educators to launch web conferencing, in a format that qualifies for state-approved C.E. credit. Richard Heyn, SRA, and Dawn Molitor-Gennrich, SRA, are respected appraisal educators with a long history of teaching C.E. As Webinar developers, they bring many years of strong classroom experience to this project. While conventional on-line education is convenient and eliminates travel costs, many students find that they miss interacting with the instructor and hearing the comments and questions of other attendees. Anyone who has taken a live course knows that the ongoing class discussions can be as important as the course content in making the class interesting, accessible and informative. When you consider your C.E. needs, it's time to explore Webinars -- the new virtual classroom! For more information about NMU's appraisal courses, click this link:

Sound Off

Appraisal Fees: A Reasonable Solution

Dear Henry:

Us 80 year old kids need to share our experience.

I recently received an FHA appraisal assignment on a single family house, from an appraisal management company and when I arrived on the scene I realized that I appraised, also on an FHA refinance, the house directly across the street in 2001. The value of the houses almost doubled in the 10 years in between.

My work to complete the appraisal, with 3 Comp sales (with current non-MLS pictures), 3 listings, interior pictures, market condition forms, etc, also almost doubled. When I pulled up the 2001 file, I found that I had received a fee of $400 for the old 2001 job. My fee for the 2011 appraisal was (drum roll): $400. WOW!

I found that the appraisal fee charged to the home owner was $750. (she offered the information) and asked why my fee which she assumed was the full $750 was so high? I could not find a reasonable answer except: "I'm sorry, I can't discuss it with you..ask your bank."

Reasonable fee solution: Since AMCs are here to stay, even though some states are now (or soon will be) requiring a license, the Feds and/or federal institutions should require the AMCs to pay the Appraiser 75% of whatever fee they charge the homeowner for the appraisal, and be required to show both parties and their fees, on the HUD1. The banks should NOT be allowed to own AMCs. This will stop the AMCs from shopping for the lowest fee and least experienced appraiser to do the job.

Don Betz
Maryland Certified General since 1962

Interview with Henry S. Harrison

Interview with Henry S. Harrison
by his wife
Ruth Lambert, Editor, Real Estate Valuation Magazine Online

Henry - can you explain to our readers what you are working on now?
Henry (H2): For the past few weeks, we have been very involved with the birth of our 5th grandchild, Sterling Harrison Muchnick, born February 23rd. Now I am back at work on my latest book "Harrison's Complete UAD Guide for the URAR."

What is the UAD? How will it affect appraisers?
According to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (aka the GSEs), they "have developed the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP) to enhance the accuracy and quality of loan data delivered to each GSE. The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) is a key component which defines all fields required for an appraisal submission on one of four standard appraisal forms, and standardizes definitions and responses for a key subset of fields." What this means is that soon Fannie and Freddie will no longer accept appraisals on paper — only electronic transmissions from the lenders. In addition, they will require that all these appraisals be formatted exactly as delineated in the UAD, or their computers will reject them.

Ask Henry

E & O Insurance

Dear H2,
Last week I received an email from Corelogic indicating that I should include their company name on my E & O insurance as the certificate holder if I need to receive orders. Although I have been with them for over 4 years, the past 2 years I have received only 2 orders from them. Is this legal on their part? Am I really obligated to put every AMC we do business with on our insurance? I told them that I will not have their name on my policy and they should get their own insurance. I do have my own insurance with $1 million dollars coverage. Any advice will be great. Thanks in advance.

Sargon Simon
Tri-Valley Appraisal Services

Dear Sargon,

It is quite common for companies to ask their vendors to be added to their policies as "additional insured" or to provide a certificate of insurance. I have never heard of this practice being illegal. This is not the same as getting their own insurance, which if obtainable, would be very costly. I suggest that you contact your insurance agent/company and ask what the cost would be to comply with their request and what steps you would have to take to obtain what they want. With this information, you would be in a better position to decide whether or not to comply with their request. My overall advice is that whenever you can do something to accommodate a client, you should try do it if you can, as it builds good will.


Book Review

Real Estate Valuation in Global Markets (Second Edition)
By Howard C. Gelbtuch, MAI, with Eunice H. Park

Soft Cover; 618 Pages $75.00
Appraisal Institute
550 W. Van Buren, St
Chicago, Il 60607
312 355-4140

The author's note in the introduction spells out the purpose of this book: “The world has changed since the first edition was published more than a dozen years age." The book would be overwhelming if it were not divided up into separate chapters for each of the 47 countries covered. In effect, there are more than 47 other authors besides the two named on the cover. Having "been there and done that", I suspect getting the material each author supplied in a timely manner was a daunting task. Read More...



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Ask Henry

USPAP Compliance: Confidentiality

Hi Henry,

I was sent an email by an attorney's office, stating that he is the attorney for one of my clients. He attached an affidavit and requested that I sign and notarize it. Basically, the affidavit is asking that I swear to the value of a report that I had done in the past. Additionally, he asked for a copy of my curriculum vitae.

I replied in an email that he is not my client and as a licensed real estate appraiser, I'm bound by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; therefore, I can't discuss any aspects of the report with him. He then left a voice message stating he "didn't understand" my email and to please call him. This person is a real estate attorney and also handles corporate law. I'm sure he understood my email. I replied to him in an additional email that he is not my client and I can't discuss any aspects of the report with him. The scope of work on this report was market value and in the limiting conditions it states: "the appraiser is not responsible for matters of a legal nature."

By the way, my client has not contacted me regarding this issue. Do you have any advice on how I should proceed if my client contacts me about signing the affidavit? I appreciate your time and any advice you may have for me. Thanks!

Nola Beehler

Dear Nola,

The USPAP restricts you from having any dialogue about your appraisal report with anyone except the lender/client who is identified in the report (with a few specific exceptions). In my opinion this includes even acknowledging that such a report exists. I believe the only acceptable answer when asked about an appraisal is to tell whoever asks you that they should contact the lender/client named in the report for further information. If the lender/client wants you to amend the report to include an additional user, it is a change of the scope of work, which requires a new appraisal report. You can comply with such a request -- and charge for your additional time.

In general, whenever you add any information about an appraisal report either in writing or verbally, it becomes part of the report. I would limit any affidavit I signed -- only at the request of the lender/client -- to a statement that you made the report and that the report speaks for itself. When pressed further, I recommend that you refuse to do anything without the advice of an attorney representing your interests, and ask the requesting party agree to pay for the cost of the attorney. Whenever a lender/client asks for additional services you have to decide if charging an additional fee is good business practice. Excessive accommodation may lead to regular requests for "extras", but in the current climate, keeping a good client may require this.



I Wish You Good Luck with the Blog

Dear H2,

I see that you had a glitch in your recent email when the URL for your Blog was mistyped! Accidents will happen... By the way, I still have purple rubber worms from the Forms and Worms days! I have been a fan of yours for 30 years now. Thanks and I wish you a great New Year in 2011 -- and let's hope for the same in the Appraisal Industry.

John Welter
Welter Appraisal Group

Featured Article

The 5 Rules of Working From Home
based on an article by David Prince in Real Simple Magazine

How to structure your time, avoid distractions,
and keep yourself, your boss and your family happy.

1. Figure Out if It’s Right for You
If you thrive on the camaraderie of water cooler chitchat or are tempted to rush off to a sale at the mall without a watchful eye to tether you down, you probably aren’t the best candidate for working alone at home. Notes Tory Johnson in her book Fired to Hired ($14, Berkley Trade, add our AMAZON link here): “Many of us would opt to work from home. We think we'll save on childcare expenses and commuting time, but it isn’t for everyone.”

If you want to try telecommuting which is certainly gaining in acceptance, put your request in writing, address your communication strategy (e.g., your planned email and phone check-ins at specific times of day) and suggest that you and your company arrange a trial period. You may decide to telecommute just one day a week to start, or one week each month.

If you are a sole practitioner, learn about the legal aspects of self-employment at, a website for small businesses. (To find out about health-care options by state, go to

2. Set Up a Real Office
The most crucial factor in successful home-based work arrangements is creating a work-friendly environment. You need a dedicated, conducive, ergonomic, streamlined space. Don't imagine you can hunker down comfortably at your children's Play-Doh table, or the diningroom table.

When you sit at your desk, facing your computer or desk top workspace, be sure to follow these rules:

• Angle your pelvis so that it’s slightly open, to avoid back and hip pain.
• Keep your torso relaxed but erect.
• Rest your hands comfortably on the desktop with elbows at 90 degrees
• Keep your feet flat on the floor.