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Worthless Diminished Value Appraisals (part 1 of 3)
By autoappraisernews.com 

As you probably know by now, there are many so called Auto Appraisal Companies online.

Recently, a group of members from The American Society of Certified Auto Appraisers anonymously called over 40 appraisal companies across the country to ask them a series of questions about their qualifications and process.

The first and most important question asked was, “Do you inspect the vehicle”?  If they don’t inspect the vehicle then hang up immediately!  If they don’t inspect the vehicle then the appraisal is essentially worthless. You would be surprised how many internet companies out there that don’t inspect the vehicles they are appraising.  If they do inspect the vehicle, ask to speak to the person doing the inspection.  Is the person inspecting your vehicle a certified appraiser (www.certifiedautoappraisers.com)?  Is he going to use an electronic paint meter to check for paint consistency, bondo etc…

Most appraisal companies don’t even use an electronic paint meter.  Uh?  How can that be?  What kind of service are they really providing? 

One of the questions asked was; would they be willing to back up their appraisal in court?  Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, only a small percentage of the companies would be willing to back up their appraisals in court (by signing an agreement to personally back up the appraisal in court).  When asked to explain their methodology, very few could answer that question coherently.  When asked if their methodology complied with USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices) appraisal practices, most of them could not answer that question and a large percentage of them didn’t even know what USPAP was!

Don’t be afraid to ask for references.  Quality appraisal companies will be able to rattle off multiple references immediately.  If they hesitate or refuse to give you references, hang up!  Don’t be afraid to ask the company the methodology they use to appraise vehicles.  For example, on a diminished value appraisal, ask them how they determine pre-accident and post repair value.  Do they directly contact and quote dealers in your county?  If they don’t use the methodology that is consistent with USPAP approved methodologies then they are essentially worthless.

The following companies failed the test miserably:

Houston Auto Appraisers--- Stay away from these folks period!  Copy cat company that has a lot of false information on their website (www.houstonautoappraisers.com).

Austin-Autoappraisers.com---Trying to copy a legit company austinautoappraisers.com.  Affiliated with houstonautoappraisers.com.  A fraudulent company.  Stay away from them period.  They have basically no experience in the auto appraisal field.

Autoloss.com--- They inflate their appraisals just to get your business and won’t back their appraisals in court.  

(Part 2 to appear next week with more companies listed)



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