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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Experience the Best of the Golden State at Assets 2018

Headed to Pasadena for Assets 2018? Here’s a list of cultural spots, entertainment, restaurants, and more to help you make the most of your trip.

While you’re in Pasadena, you’ll have a golden opportunity to explore the rich history, culture and art of California, as well as shop and dine in a beautiful city with great weather. Located just ten miles north of Downtown L.A., Pasadena is unquestionably the place to be this March.

Pasadena's iconic City Hall

Art and architecture

Known as a regional center of arts and architecture, Pasadena has been home to many well-known artists, including Guy Rose, Alson S. Clark, Marion Wachtel, and Ernest A. Batchelder of the Arts and Crafts Movement. You’ll be able to see examples of architecture from every era of California history in Pasadena as well, from historic estates to residential districts like “Bungalow Heaven,” named for its large number of craftsman-style houses.

Bungalow Heaven. Image credit: Eugene Lee

Aside from the places we’ll visit on our Fine Art and Antiques, Furnishings + Decorative Arts specialty tours, the Huntington, Norton Simon Museum, and Gamble House, there are many other museums located in or near Pasadena that have outstanding collections of works from California and beyond.

Be sure to visit the Pasadena Museum of California Art, dedicated to exploring “the cultural dynamics and influences that are unique to California” through art and design. There will be two special exhibitions there during our conference in Pasadena. The first is Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo, whose artwork has been described as mystical, realistic, surreal, and visionary. The second is The Feminine Sublime, presenting the art of L.A.-based artists and their interpretation of the sublime in painting.

Virginia Katz, Land – Into the Abyss [detail], 2017
Close to Pasadena, you’ll find the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, featuring 18th century Mexican paintings, 20th century design in California and Mexico, and more. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles represents the work of artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. In March, they’ll have a large exhibition from Nigerian-American artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. And don’t miss The Broad Museum, where you’ll be able to see a retrospective of works by iconic American artist Jasper Johns. The J. Paul Getty Museum spans two campuses, one featuring a villa modeled after a first-century Roman country house.

Villa at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Shopping and entertainment

The historic town center, Old Town Pasadena, spans 21 blocks and has a wide variety of options for shopping, dining, and entertainment, including many restaurants, cafés, galleries, and comedy clubs. On the second Sunday of every month, you can attend the famous and long-running Rose Bowl Flea Market to browse new, used, and antique items from a variety of sellers.

View of Old Town Pasadena


Vertical Wine Bistro
Did you know that Pasadena has more eateries per capita than New York City? No matter what your taste or budget, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for here. You’ll benefit from the proximity to California’s wine country and the beautiful farms around the state. For California-style comfort food, try the tucked-away Green Street Restaurant, or the seasonal selection at Vertical Wine Bistro.

If Italian food appeals to you, try Briganti in the Mission area. Of course, you can’t miss all the great Mexican food in the area, especially El Cholo Café with its California influence and green corn tamales, and El Metate. If you’re looking for something laid-back, Pasadena's classic Pie’n Burger has hamburgers, milkshakes and fruit pies.

There’s truly something for everyone in Pasadena, and we can’t wait to see you there for Assets this year!

For more information on Assets 2018 and to register, visit the Assets 2018 section of the ISA website.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

USPAP Advisory Opinion 21: Valuation Services and Appraisal Practice

Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP
Director of Education
Your education team and I wanted to share some examples on how USPAP Advisory Opinion 21 applies to your business as you perform appraisals and valuation services. The examples below are taken from the USPAP FAQs, amended to relate to personal property appraisers, and explained how they affect you.

Example 1

Robert Agent is an individual who provides both brokerage and appraisal services. What are Robert’s obligations under USPAP when preparing a broker’s price opinion (BPO)?

    Answer: USPAP provides flexibility for brokers/appraisers and others who have multiple professional roles.

    If providing the service as an agent or broker, USPAP requires only that an appraiser must not misrepresent his or her role. In other words, if Robert was contacted by his client because he is an art consultant or broker and signing his report as a consultant or broker, then Robert need not comply with USPAP except to not misrepresent his role. If Robert is contacted by the client because he is known as an appraiser and is signing his report as an appraiser, then USPAP applies.

What does this mean for an ISA personal property appraiser?
Many ISA members wear multiple hats. You might be an art advisor, antique store owner, fine art gallery manager, estate sale person, auction house representative, broker, etc. The most important thing is that you let the client know up front what services you offer and how the services differ from one another. Once a client chooses a service, make it clear which hat you are wearing for that particular assignment. For example, if you offer art advisory services a client might hire you to advise them on what pieces of art to purchase for their collection. This assignment might involve market research, a suggested purchase price or price range for a particular item, negotiating a deal to purchase a piece of art, etc. In your role as an art advisor USPAP would not apply, except you could not misrepresent your role. However, if after purchasing the art the client then wants you to write an appraisal for insurance coverage you are undertaking a new assignment as an appraiser writing an appraisal. For this assignment, you must follow USPAP.

Example 2

Marie Vaughn has a diverse practice with a specialization in litigation services. She commonly aids attorneys in developing cross-examination strategies for expert witness testimony from appraisers. How does USPAP apply to Marie’s "litigation services?"

    Answer: In order to determine Marie’s obligation, it is necessary to understand the nature of her role. If she is acting as an appraiser, her litigation services are part of appraisal practice. The PREAMBLE, the DEFINITIONS, the ETHICS RULE, the COMPETENCY RULE, and the JURISDICTIONAL EXCEPTION RULE will apply to the assignment. As an appraiser, Marie cannot act as an advocate for any party or issue.

    If Marie’s services include providing an opinion of value, she must also comply with the appropriate appraisal standards (STANDARDS 7 and 8). If Marie’s services include providing an opinion about the quality of another appraiser’s work, the appraisal review requirements of STANDARDS 3 and 4 apply. If the service includes providing analysis, recommendation, or an opinion to solve a problem where an opinion of value is a component of the analysis leading to the assignment results, then Marie must comply with the ETHICS RULE, the COMPETENCY RULE and the JURISDICTIONAL EXCEPTION RULE for the entire assignment; and she must also comply with any applicable Rules and Standards if she performs an appraisal or appraisal review as part of the assignment.

    On the other hand, if Marie provides litigation services as an advocate, then she is providing a valuation service outside of appraisal practice. When performing services outside of appraisal practice, Marie can act as an advocate and accept contingent compensation. The only USPAP obligation is that she not misrepresent her role. She must use care to distinguish her role from other roles that would carry an expectation of being impartial, objective, and independent, i.e., acting as an appraiser.

    Marie may provide litigation services by either acting as an appraiser or acting as an advocate for the client’s cause; however, she must not perform both roles in the same case.

Plain English Please?
Sometimes, in the course of litigation, a judge will order an appraisal be performed of personal property. If you have been asked to provide an appraisal for litigation, then you must follow USPAP, specifically Standard Rules 7 & 8. Why? Because where the law requires an "appraisal" be done (for example, most states will require an "appraisal" by statute for probate), then you must act as an appraiser and follow USPAP. If you have been asked to review another appraiser’s appraisal report as an expert witness and submit that report in writing, you are also acting as an appraiser (See USPAP Standard Rules 3 & 4, the rules for Appraisal Review).

When acting as an appraiser, in either an appraisal or an appraisal review, you must maintain your neutrality. Being neutral does not mean that you cannot point out the flaws in another appraiser's report; in fact, that was what you were hired to do. Instead, it means that you must do so in a neutral and factual manner. If the other appraiser did not follow USPAP and claimed to do so in his or her report, simply state that. And, state how the failure to follow USPAP led to either flawed value conclusions or perhaps shows a lack of professionalism. Similarly, if providing values (i.e., an appraisal under Standard Rules 7 & 8), you can also remain neutral. One way to check yourself is to ask whether your final value conclusions would be different if you were working for the "other side." If your answer is no, then you are maintaining your neutrality.

Generally, if giving testimony or providing a written appraisal report that will be admitted into evidence, you should act as an appraiser and maintain your neutrality. First, expert witnesses are expected to be neutral. Of course, this does not always happen. But if the jury suspects an expert is acting as an advocate, their opinion will quickly be dismissed. Second, if a judge determines that the expert is acting as an "advocate" or "hired gun," the expert’s testimony will likely be disqualified. Finally, as an appraiser, and particularly as an expert witness, you have a reputation to protect. Every bit of testimony and every report that goes into a court can become part of the public record and available for anyone to see. That means when you get back on the stand in another case three years later, you should not be surprised if you are cross-examined on opinions that you gave in an earlier case. You cannot "flip" your opinion without good cause. The best way to do this is to remain neutral.

So, when would you be an advocate in litigation? In most instances you might act as an advocate (and NOT an appraiser) when you are acting behind the scenes and providing litigation services. For example, a law firm might hire you to give it opinions about an appraisal report, but not ask you to serve as an expert witness. An attorney might hire you to explain appraisal methodology to him or her and help draft cross-examination questions for an appraiser. Or, you might be hired to help one side develop a strategy for success in a complex case where the appraisal methodology might be particularly complicated. In these situations, you can act as an advocate. And, when acting as an advocate you CANNOT act as an appraiser because then you are not maintaining your neutrality.

Example 3

Chris Filo is an art appraiser and advisor who has an assignment to advise a client regarding a potential art purchase. The client has provided Chris with an asking price for the work. Chris has made the extraordinary assumption that the value provided is credible and will use that value as part of the analysis before making final recommendations. Which parts of USPAP apply to this assignment?

    Answer: Chris must comply with the ETHICS RULE, the COMPETENCY RULE, and the JURISDICTIONAL EXCEPTION RULE for this assignment.

    Because this assignment does not include an appraisal or appraisal review, neither the SCOPE OF WORK RULE nor the RECORD KEEPING RULE applies. In addition, there are no development or reporting standards applicable to this assignment.

What’s the message here?
Remember that if you are acting an appraiser and providing appraisal services (i.e. a valuation analysis without a full appraisal report), then you are still subject to the USPAP ETHICS RULE, the COMPETENCY RULE, and the JURISDICTIONAL EXCEPTION RULE. If you are an advisor and providing valuation services, then you must not misrepresent yourself.

Example 4

Jane Doe is an antique dealer who offers a variety of professional sales and advisory services to her clients. She is an antique dealer, consultant, authenticator, advisor, and is also a certified appraiser. Jane has been asked by a client to perform a service that is viewed by Jane and her client as a consulting service that relates to value, but is to be undertaken by her in the role of a broker/consultant, not as an appraiser. Which parts of USPAP apply to Jane in this assignment?

    Answer: Individuals may fulfill different roles in different assignments. In general, USPAP applies only when an individual is acting as an appraiser. As long as it is clear that Jane is not performing as an appraiser, Jane’s only obligation when acting as a broker/consultant is stated in Conduct section of the ETHICS RULE, which states,

      "An appraiser must not misrepresent his or her role when providing valuation services that are outside of appraisal practice."

What’s the take-home?
Remember that the "main purposes of USPAP are to protect the public and to promote public trust in the appraisal profession." This means that you must:
  1. Make it clear up-front which hat you are wearing.
  2. If you switch hats mid assignment, then it is a new assignment.
  3. Properly advertise your services. If you currently advertise only as an appraiser, but perform other services, you should change how you are advertising your services. Why? Because if you advertise only as an appraiser, the public is calling you as an appraiser. If you then try to "switch hats," you will be misrepresenting yourself.

Meredith Meuwly, ISA CAPP,

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Antiques, Furnishings + Decorative Arts Specialty Tour

Maureen Winer, ISA CAPP
While so many of you were making plans for the Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day, I was finalizing my travel plans to Pasadena, California, for March 9-12, where I will be joining my friends and colleagues for ISA’s annual Assets conference, which promises to be its own super event this year! If you haven’t already signed up, be sure to register today.

I'm looking forward to our sold-out Antiques, Furnishings + Decorative Arts Specialty Tour, which has two phenomenal visits scheduled at the Huntington and the Gamble House, with both promising something for everyone.

The Huntington is a Beaux-Arts mansion which was built by Henry E. Huntington in the early 1900s and houses fine and decorative art collections, a library and research center, and botanical gardens. After a short introduction, we will split up into small groups, which will enable everyone to explore the collections with experienced and knowledgeable guides.

The Huntington

The galleries at the Huntington hold an exceptional collection of French furniture and decorative objects; American decorative arts and furniture from the Arts and Crafts Movement, including silver, ceramics, metal, needlework; and much more. The collection includes works by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, George Washington Maher, and the Roycrofters, Steuben glass, silver by Paul Revere and Allan Adler, and ceramics by Glen Lukens and many others.

Chair by Arthur Heygate
Mackmurdo, c. 1883
In addition to prints and photographs, the Huntington library houses over 7 million letters and manuscripts including those by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln; 430,000 rare books, and 275,000 reference books. You can spend days exploring the Huntington’s extensive gardens; so you may choose to extend your stay in Pasadena if you feel the need to see more than our morning tour offers.

ISA Fine Art and AF+DA tour members will join together for lunch at The Raymond, a Craftsman-style restaurant with 4-star Zagat rated cuisine. Thanks to fellow ISA appraiser Wendy Gerdau, ISA CAPP, we will have the exclusive use of the restaurant during our meal.

Not to be outdone by the morning’s tour, we spend our afternoon at the Gamble House, aka Doc Brown’s mansion from the movie Back to the Future. It is an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. Designed by Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble (Procter & Gamble Company), they also designed the furnishings. AF+DA members will experience a “Behind the Velvet Ropes” tour; one and a half hours with experienced and passionate docents.

Dining Room at the Gamble House

The Gamble House sports three sections; the main hall features examples of their designs for furniture and decorative arts; the second section is a reassembled stairway from the 1905 Arthur A. Libby house; and the third part is a re-creation of the dining room of the Henry M. Robinson House, designed and built in Pasadena between 1905 and 1907. A quick note – wear comfortable shoes, no heels and no flash photography allowed.

The AF+DA Specialty tour is currently sold out. To be added to the wait list, please contact ISA Headquarters. For more information on the many other events happening at Assets, see what we have planned for social events and check out the full conference program.

- Maureen Winer, ISA CAPP, is chair of the Antiques, Furnishings, + Decorative Arts Committee and Vice President of PWP Appraisers - Parting with Possessions, Inc.