Archive | Appraisers

The Expert Witness in a Condemnation Trial

The fundamental rule is that the qualifications of a witness as an expert is a determination within the sound discretion of the trial court.  Smith v City of New York, 238 AD2d 500 (2d Dept 1997). An expert, once qualified, is allowed to testify as to the expert’s opinion.  Sec. 7-301, Prince on Evidence (11th Ed. P. 456).  In a condemnation case, the evidence before the court will be expert testimony by appraisers, zoning experts and other valuation experts. As one court has stated, “impartiality should be the touchstone of… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Expert Witness, Independent Expert, Opinion Evidence, Qualifications
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MY ADVICE TO APPRAISERS

          After fifty years of trying condemnation cases, I am consistently surprised at the occasional instance where an appraiser just does not know how to properly testify in court.           On paper, an appraiser may be incredibly impressive.  But is that enough for one to prevail in a case focused on valuation?           Providing expert testimony certainly requires expert knowledge of the subject, but it also requires knowledge of the fundamental rules that should be observed when on the witness stand.  The rules will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  An… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Expert Testimony, Uncategorized
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WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING HUMAN APPRAISER – WE WILL USE A BOT

The November 30, 2018 Wall Street Journal has an article, “Home Appraisals Go High-Tech.”  It seems that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and The Federal Reserve have proposed loosening real estate appraisal rules so that a majority of homes can be bought and sold without being valued by a licensed appraiser.  According to the article, the plan would increase the value of homes that can be sold without an appraiser visiting the property from $250,000 to $400,000.  This does not sound like… read more

Posted in Appraisal, Appraisers, FDIC
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Computer Virus Constitutes “Good Cause” to Amend Appraisal

It is generally difficult to amend an appraisal in an eminent domain or tax certiorari proceeding.  The party attempting to amend an appraisal must show good cause, which is determined by the court’s discretion. 22 NYCRR § 202.61 controls the exchange of appraisal reports in New York Supreme Court eminent domain proceedings and states that “the court may, upon good cause shown, … allow an amended or supplemental report to be filed upon such conditions as the court may direct.”  § 202.61(a)(3).  The same language is used for amended appraisal reports in… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Tax Certiorari
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The Decreasing Number of Appraisers

According to an article published in MarketWatch written by Amy Hoak, the number of real estate appraisers is falling.  This is not good news for the real estate industry or anyone purchasing a home. As condemnation lawyers, we rely heavily on real estate appraisers to prove the appropriate amount of just compensation.  According to Ms. Hoak, the ranks of real estate appraisers stand to shrink substantially over the next five years, which will mean longer waits, higher fees and even lower-quality appraisals as more appraisers cross state lines to value… read more

Posted in Appraisers
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