“Where’s my report!?”

“Where’s my report!?”  It’s the phone call most appraisers dread.  A few days into the assignment, a previously calm and friendly client calls to say she’s waited long enough and wants her appraisal report NOW.

Here are some things to consider before making that call:

  • Try to remember your appraiser has a busy schedule. Ideally, he or she could allot all their work hours to your probate case or antique appraisal, complete your assignment in 24 hours and get the completed appraisal report back to you in time for dinner.  But that’s not how the process works.  Appraisers often work on many appraisals at the same time.  They’re also researching several assignments.  All of this means that when a client calls asking of the status of a report, the appraiser must arrange time in his or her schedule to respond.  This will likely involve getting access to that client’s file, viewing its contents, writing an email or making a phone call to satisfy the client’s demands.  While genuine client questions are always encouraged, please remember there is a cost associated with everything.  Appraisers charge for their time.
  • Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” If you need a professional response to a business inquiry, it’s probably not a good idea to leave an angry message on an appraiser’s voicemail.  Likewise, refrain from sending your appraiser an insulting email threatening legal action unless he calls you back at once.  Such behavior will land you in the “difficult client” category, a place of no return.  Be respectful with your appraiser, and in return you will be treated with respect.
  • Finally, read your agreement for services before you call or email the appraiser. Most of your questions for the assignment—including delivery dates—will be answered in the contract.  If anything is unclear and you still need to speak with the appraiser, go ahead and make the call.  We’d love to hear from you.
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