MBREA Code of Ethics
CODE OF ETHICS, STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE AND CODE OF CONDUCT
(Revised October 15, 2020)
Members of the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MBREA) recognize our obligation to maintain the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards in our appraisal practice.
Members shall not base, either partially or completely, their analysis and/or opinion of market value on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, employment status, or military status of either the present or prospective owners or occupants of the subject property, or of the present owners or occupants of the properties in the vicinity of the subject property, or on any other basis prohibited by law.
MBREA members, staff, and volunteers further agree to acknowledge, confront, and address unconscious biases that may impact our professional work. It is understood that any bias, regardless of source or intent, is unacceptable.
We acknowledge that our responsibilities extend beyond our duties to our clients, to our relationship with fellow appraisers, to our professional organizations, our profession at large, and to our community.
We are granted membership in this organization because we pledge to uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice and Conduct contained herein, and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice as promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation.
CODE OF ETHICS
1. Members shall conduct their appraisal practice in a manner that will reflect credit upon the real estate appraisal profession and the MBREA. All Members shall refrain from conduct that is detrimental to the MBREA, the real estate appraisal profession, and the public.
2. Members shall assist the MBREA in carrying out its responsibilities to the users of appraisal services and to the public. They shall cooperate with the MBREA, its officers and committees in all matters with respect to discipline against other Members whose conduct is detrimental or prejudicial to their professional status and/or to the reputation of the MBREA.
3. Members shall maintain the confidential nature of the appraiser/client relationship. They shall not disclose the analyses, opinions or conclusions of an appraisal to anyone other than: the client and those persons specifically authorized by the client to receive such information; third parties as legally required to do so by statute, ordinance or order of the court; and in connection with duly authorized committees of the MBREA.
4. Members shall accept only those appraisal assignments for which they have the time and the competency to complete in a professional manner. They shall not accept appraisal assignments in which they have a present or contemplated future interest or personal bias unless such personal interest or bias is disclosed to the client prior to acceptance of assignment. Said personal interest or bias shall be disclosed in each report resulting from such assignment. The Member shall use care in soliciting appraisal services and shall avoid advertising or solicitation that is misleading or otherwise contrary to the public interest.
5. Members shall comply with the requirements of the Standards of Professional Practice of the MBREA and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice which have been promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation and adopted by the MBREA.
6. Members shall prepare and adequately document a written report for each assignment and shall retain adequate written records for each appraisal assignment, which at a minimum shall conform to the MBREA Standards of Professional Practice. Documentation and support for the value conclusions reached in any appraisal report shall be retained for future review as required by the Code of Conduct.
7. Members shall develop properly supported, unbiased objective value conclusions and shall abide in all respects to the Code of Ethics, the Standards of Professional Practice and Code of Conduct, and the Bylaws of the MBREA.
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
In conjunction with and adherence to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the Appraisal Foundation, MBREA has established the following minimum requirements. The MBREA considers these requirements representative of prudent, professional real estate appraisal practice. With respect to both written and verbal appraisal reports, every Member shall develop and retain such information in their files as part of the appraisal assignment.
For each appraisal assignment, the appraiser shall:
1. identify the property being appraised
2. identify the real property interest being appraised
3. state the purpose of the appraisal
4. define the value to be estimated
5. set forth the effective date of the appraisal and the date of the appraisal report
6. describe the extent of the process of collecting, confirming, and reporting data
7. set forth all assumptions and limiting conditions that affect the analyses, opinions and conclusions
8. set forth the information considered, the appraisal procedures followed and the reasoning that supports the analyses, opinions, and conclusions
9. set forth the appraiser's opinion of the Highest and Best Use of the real estate, when such an opinion is necessary and appropriate
10. explain and support the exclusion of any of the usual valuation approaches
11. set forth any additional information that may be appropriate to show compliance with these Standards
12. certify that the Member has/has not personally inspected the property, that no pertinent information has/has not knowingly been withheld, and that the Member has/has no present or contemplated future interest in the property
13. include a signed Certification in accordance with the above containing, where appropriate, acknowledgement of any work performed in the course of the appraisal process by others. When appropriate, other persons also may suitably sign the appraisal report and the Certification.
14. state prominently in the report that the assignment was/was not prepared in accordance with USPAP
15. identify type and license number
CODE OF CONDUCT
It is unethical for a Member of the MBREA:
1. to accept an appraisal assignment of a type with which he/she has had no previous experience unless, in making the appraisal, the appraiser associates with a qualified appraiser who has had experience with this type of assignment, and makes full disclosure of the degree of his/her experience, background and training to the client.
The appraiser shall: disclose lack of knowledge and/or experience to the client before accepting the assignment; take all steps necessary or appropriate to complete the assignment competently; and, describe the lack of knowledge and/or experience and the steps taken to complete the assignment competently in the report. This provision also extends to appraisers who perform appraisal assignments in geographic areas where they have had no recent appraisal experience.
2. to accept compensation for appraisal services on a commission or contingency basis; or contingent upon reporting a predetermined value conclusion or recommendation, or a direction in value that favors the cause of the client. The restriction on contingent compensation does not apply to consulting assignments where the appraiser is not acting in a disinterested manner and would not reasonably be perceived as performing a service that requires impartiality. Any form of permitted contingent compensation must be properly disclosed in the report.
3. to make the compensation for an appraisal on any basis other than a fair professional fee reflecting the time, responsibility and expenses involved. It is unethical to accept payment of undisclosed fees, or undisclosed items of value in connection with the procurement of appraisals, review appraisals, consulting, or mass appraisal assignments.
4. to receive or pay referral fees with respect to appraisals, review appraisals, consulting, or mass appraisal assignments.
5. to become an advocate of anything other than their unbiased, impartial, objective, and independent opinion.
6. to fail to prepare written records of appraisal, review appraisal and consulting assignments. All records shall be retained for a period of at least 5 years after preparation and 2 years after final disposition of any judicial proceeding in which testimony was given, whichever period expires last.
7. to prepare an appraisal report pertaining to a part of a property without stating that it is a fractional interest being appraised, and as such, subject to use in a manner consistent with said limitation.
8. to advertise or solicit assignments in any manner which is false, misleading, deceptive, or exaggerated or which is inconsistent with current accepted appraisal industry standards.
9. to claim professional qualifications which are not held or may be subject to erroneous interpretation. Designations and membership categories of the MBREA must be referred to accurately and not in a manner that would be inaccurate or misleading.
10. for Associates to imply that Associate membership carries any certification or qualifications or to refer to his/her membership in any manner other than as specified by the Board of Trustees.
a. Associates may include reference to their associate membership in the Qualifications section of an appraisal report or in an oral or written resume under "Associate Membership" only.
The following statement must be included within any statement of Associate membership: "Associate membership does not imply any certification or qualifications or experience by the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers. It does, however, bind the Associate to its Code of Ethics, Standards of Professional Practice and Conduct and Code of Conduct".
b. Associates may publicly advertise as an Associate Member of the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers.