Section 3: Use of Fee and Staff Appraisers

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Staff appraisers may be used in the same capacity as contract fee appraisers. Other than the scope of practice and value limitations placed upon a staff appraiser by his or her state appraisal credential, there is no limitation on the value or type of parcel on which the staff appraiser may be used.

Staff appraisers and review appraisers operate under the same job classification titles, and the individual employee’s duties may include both review and appraisal work, provided there is no conflict between the two.

A staff appraiser may not appraise and be the appraisal reviewer on the same parcel. Staff appraisers may perform negotiation duties, but not on the same parcel in which they participated in the appraisal or review work. However, the same person may both appraise and negotiate an acquisition where the value of the acquisition is $10,000 or less, when necessary, per federal regulations contained in 49 CFR 24.102(n).

ROW Division HQ will:

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  • maintain a list of department-certified, contracted, and staff appraisers, including their license and certification status;
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  • provide legal and technical assistance and support to R/W-PD;
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  • maintain communication with contract appraisers;
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  • maintain current contact information for department-certified and PREAS contract appraisers;
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  • process payments;
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  • act as the office of record for all contracts, work authorizations, appraisal reports, and payments with supporting documentation; and
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  • issue work authorizations to TxDOT staff members for Contract Appraisers.
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Legal Guidance

All appraisers will encounter legal issues involved in the appraisal process and procedures. Care must be exercised to see that legal opinions are clearly defined and resolved. Appraisers should contact TxDOT R/W-PD when such problems are first encountered. R/W-PD personnel may provide the appraiser with copies of case law so the appraiser can develop their own opinion. R/W-PD personnel may need to request legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General or ROW Division legal staff. It may be desirable to obtain legal advice for matters concerning general and special benefits, compensable damages, extent of the larger parcel, personal property versus real property, valuations of dedications, and encroachments.

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Creating a Work Authorization

R/W-PD recommends a PREAS contract appraiser for appointment to an appraisal assignment by submitting a completed work authorization to ROW Division HQ, after checking with ROW Division HQ for the availability of funds under the appraiser's PREAS contract. ROW Division HQ will assign an Oracle® PeopleSoft PO number to the work authorization. ROW Division HQ will use Docusign® to circulate the work authorization for signatures. After the work authorization is completely executed, all parties will receive an executed copy of the work authorization. ROW Division HQ is the office of permanent record for all real property transactions generated in the right of way process. The execution date of the work authorization is the date the work authorization is signed by TxDOT's representative with signatory authority.

The preparation and execution of work authorization must precede any work by the appraiser on the parcel involved; otherwise, the appraiser will not be entitled to payment.

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Receipt of Appraisal

Upon receipt of an acceptable appraisal report, and its accompanying invoice, R/W-PD shall:

The payment request will then be processed by the ROW Division HQ.

Should the appraisal report be deemed unacceptable by the review appraiser, the review appraiser will document the deficiencies and request that the original appraiser rectify the deficiencies. The original appraiser shall make the appropriate corrections and resubmit the report to R/W-PD. In the event of an address or telephone change for an appraiser, the R/W-PD office using that appraiser will send such change notification electronically to ROW Division HQ, Acquisition Section, Appraisal Branch.

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