An “ASA appraisal” generally means an appraisal done by an Accredited Senior Appraiser (“ASA”) who has attained this designation by completing education given by the American Society of Appraisers, and has completed the required professional appraisal experience, in compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (“USPAP”). By this definition, yes, all appraisals done by BCAM are completed by ASA designated professionals in compliance with USPAP.
I was given a copy of an appraisal completed by an ASA designated professional. Can I use if for my lending decision?
You can make any financial decision you want based on whatever information you want, but USPAP specifies that an ASA appraisal is intended for and is valid for only the client specified in the original appraisal engagement and only for the purposes spelled out in this engagement agreement. The appraiser can be held responsible, as in court or in arbitration, only for the opinions of value, the appraisals, given according to the agreements and according to the express written purposes specified in the written appraisal engagements to which he contracted and agreed.
I am looking at a financing transaction and I have a copy of the appraisal which says the subject asset has a certain fair market value. Should I trust this appraisal and fund my transaction?
The definition of appraisal is “an opinion of value”. Some opinions are more valid and more correct than others. But the appraisal is one person’s opinion of value – it is not engraved in stone. If the appraisal was produced by an ASA designated professional and was done in compliance with USPAP, then the appraisal opinion is likely to be valid and credible. But, as in any transaction decision, you should always test whether the appraiser is qualified and competent to appraise the asset in the industry and market in question. Has the appraiser done dozens of other appraisals of this asset type?
To whom and for what? A glass of water is worth more to the guy starving in the desert for a week than to the rich guy by his backyard pool in Beverly Hills. Always consider the circumstances surrounding any valuation question. Is the person desperate to get rid of this asset? How motivated is the seller? Is the used market flooded with this type of asset? Are there aspects of this asset that are unique and therefore create more or less value? If there is an appraisal, who is paying for the appraisal and for what purpose?