Personal Inspections during a National Health Emergency from the Appraisal Foundation
Question: Do  personal  property  appraisers  need  to  perform  personal  inspections  during  a  national health or other emergency?

Response:Appraisers and users of appraisal services should remember that USPAP does not require an  inspection  unless  necessary  to  produce  credible  assignment  results. (Please  refer  to USPAP Standards Rules 7-2 and 8-2 and Advisory Opinion 2 for further guidance.) When a personal inspection would customarily be part of the scope of work, a health or other emergency condition may require an appraiser to make an extraordinary assumption about the identification, relative quality, etc. of the subject property. This is permitted by USPAP as long as the appraiser has a reasonable basis for the extraordinary assumption, as long as its use still results in a credible analysis, and as long as the appraiser complies with the reporting requirements in Standards Rule 8-2(a)(xiii) or (b)(xv).Thus, if appraisers rely on photographs, purchase receipts, inventories, maintenance logs, etc. to identify the subject property, they must reasonably believe the sources are reliable.

Appraisers must also reasonably believe the sources areadequate for identifying the other characteristics  of  the  property  that  are  relevant  to  the  type  and  definition  of  value  and intended use of the appraisal, as specified in Standards Rule 7-2(e)(i-vi).

Personal property appraisers are cautioned to use great care in the use of an extraordinary assumption  in  lieu  of  a  personal  inspection.  It  may  not  be  possible  to  identify  relevant characteristics   of   some   assets   or   to   perform   certain   assignments   without   actually performing a personal inspection of the subject property. Some examples include, but are not limited to, when the scope of work makes it necessary for the appraiser to: determine whether the subject is a painting or a giclĂ©e print on canvas; obtain technical information about a diamond; ascertain a property’s current condition; or confirm its very existence. In these cases, the appraiser cannot provide a credible appraisal without conducting a personal inspection.
Source: The Appraisal Foundation 

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