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Why Use an MAI?

November 02, 2022

When selecting an appraisal professional, it is important to ensure that the professional you select has the experience, education, competence, and integrity necessary to serve you properly.

As a bare minimum, check to see that the appraiser is licensed and certified by his state’s licensing authority. An appraiser must meet specific minimum education and experience requirements and also pass a thorough written exam in order to attain such licensing.

One might expect that all licensed appraisers have the competence and professionalism necessary to produce accurate and meaningful valuations. Nevertheless, as in any field, there are good appraisers, and then there are great appraisers. (There are also some just plain bad appraisers, but we will leave those out of the discussion for now!)

A great appraiser has the in-depth knowledge of his market area that can come only from many years of experience. A great appraiser goes beyond the minimum requirements and enriches himself with advanced continuing education courses and seminars in order to stay up-to-date and keep abreast of the latest trends and techniques in the profession. A great appraiser maintains the highest degree of trust and integrity in every aspect of his appraisal practice.

How does one find the best appraisers? It’s not as hard as it may seem. The Appraisal Institute (the leading appraisal association in the U.S.) maintains a professional designation known as the MAI. (Originally, this stood for “Member of the Appraisal Institute”, though nowadays it is a trademark that, according to the Appraisal Institute, is not an acronym at all.)

The MAI designation is held by appraisers who have extensive experience in the valuation of a wide variety of commercial, residential, and other types of real estate. MAI appraisers perform appraisals and advise clients on real estate investment decisions.

To become an MAI, an appraiser must meet rigorous education requirements, pass a notoriously difficult comprehensive examination, show proof of specialized experience meeting strict criteria, and submit a thorough demonstration appraisal report that indicates the appraiser’s high level of competence.

Furthermore, every MAI must conduct his or her professional activities per the Appraisal Institute’s Code of Professional Ethics. The Appraisal Institute subjects MAIs to a peer review process to ensure enforcement of this code. MAI appraisers are also required to meet strict continuing education requirements, ensuring that they are always up-to-date with the constantly evolving real estate field.

In light of the above, it should be clear that selecting an MAI appraiser is the best way to ensure the highest standards of competence and professionalism. Steven Romer, the President of WestRock, is an MAI with three decades of appraisal experience and is ready to help you with all of your valuation needs. You can call him at 845-625-2761 to get more information or request an appraisal.