“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 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 immediately allot all their work hours to your probate case or equitable distribution 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 typically have commitments to multiple clients simultaneously.  They’re also researching several assignments.  All of which means that when a client calls with a status report inquiry, the appraiser must arrange time in his or her schedule to respond to that question.  This will likely involve getting access to that client’s file, reviewing its contents, composing an email or making a phone call to satisfy the client’s information demands.  While legitimate client inquiries 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 immediately.  Such behavior will land you in the “difficult client” category, a place of no return.  Be respectful in your interaction 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 regarding 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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