Excerpt from the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies - 2010

This weeks excerpt from the Journal of Advanced Appraisal Studies is by Brian Hiatt. of Collectorpro software.  Brian's firm produces software packages for the appraisal and collecting communities.  He is well familiar with the different types of reports personal property appraisers use. Brian breaks the software down in a comparison chart for using a word processor, spreadsheet, database and industry specific programs.

Next week is the final installment of the excerpt series I have been running from the Journal.  Robert J Corey, Ph.D. and Robert W. Cook, D.B.A. write an article entitled Lack of Objectivity Leaves Appraisers at Risk: Index Adjusted Good-Better-B est Appraisal Model Offers Partial Solution.

The following is on using a word process to prepare appraisal reports.

  • The appraiser has complete control over the layout and format of the report. Since a word processor allows the writer to place anything anywhere on a page, the appraiser can create a custom appraisal report layout for each and every object in the appraisal.
  • Word processors are easy to use and easy to learn and require little technical knowledge to begin creating documents and reports.
  • Word processors are “what you see is what you get.” This allows the appraiser to view how the report will look as they create the report.

The cons to using a word processing program include:

  • Providing consecutive object numbering may be time consuming. For example, if an appraiser enters 200 objects numbered 1-200 in a word processing document, and then notices the need to remove object number 52, the appraiser must manually renumber every object after number 52 so as not to have skipped numbers in the report.
  • Images may be difficult to manage and insert into the word processing document. When an appraiser inserts images into a word processing document, the word processor will push everything below that image down to accommodate for the space needed for the image. This can cause objects after the image to drop to the next page, be split across pages, or cause blank pages. The appraiser must spend time adjusting the image size to make everything fit properly.
  • Total valuation calculations must be done manually. The appraiser must use a calculator or adding machine to add up the valuations for each object in order to get a total valuation for the appraisal report.  I talked to one appraiser that told me that he would call out the values and his partner would add them up. He said they did this multiple times to make sure the totals were correct and every time they ended up with a floor full of adding machine paper to wade through.
All proceeds from the sale of the Journal support the educational initiatives and scholarships of the Foundation for Appraisal Education. The cost of the journal is only $55.00, a bargain for the amount of content supplied, and for a short time shipping is free. For more information visit www.appraisaljournal.org to order your copy.

No comments: