Ask an Instructor: Is It Permissible to Include Hyperlinks to Comparables in a Digital Appraisal Report?
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Ask an Instructor
ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to ISA's instructors. One of ISA's instructors will share answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: When I am writing an appraisal report that is being sent digitally is it permissible to just include the hyperlinks to my comparables in the report?
Answer: This is a question that comes up more and more as appraisers send their reports digitally to their clients. Although there is no specific requirement, the best practices in report writing include the full citation of the comparable sales used to determine the value. Links often break, and you do not want the intended users of the report directed to a “page not found”. Also, some links to databases require a password to view the information to which your client may not have access. Thus, just including a link from any auction database does not give the client or any other intended user enough information to understand your value conclusion. Links are often a helpful addition to the sale information that is written out completely but are not recommended as the sole source.
And don’t forget to include the lot number when citing the auction record. The industry standard for a citation is to include the name of the auction house, the location, the date, and the lot number, a full description, and the price realized with buyer's premium. Thumbnail images are also suggested.
Alan Wolton (American B. 1934)
Title: Lonesome Sunset
Price: $3,125.00 including 25% buyers premium
Signature : Signed in black lower right
Size 39” x 59” overall framed
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Sale Date: Hill Auction Gallery, Lot 320, Nov. 17, 2021
Image of Venice at sunset , empty gondola on water front lower left, sunsetting behind city buildings rear right. Titled on verso on canvas.