Appraisal reports come in three forms: self-contained, summary and restricted use. According to the Appraisal Foundation, the restricted use report is the only one that can be used when "the intended users do not include parties other than the client."
The client is the person or company that commissions and pays for the appraisal.
A few of the many different users of an appraisal include a real estate owner, a bank/lender, an insurance company, governmental agency, and divorce or probate court. Users are not always clients.
The differences between the three different types of reports involve the content and level of reporting.
Restricted Use Report
The use of this report is limited to the client and has minimal reporting requirements such that the "report may not be understood properly without additional information in the appraiser's work file."
Describe, Summarize and State
Briefly put, the difference between the three reports is this: describe, summarize, state. A self-contained report is the most comprehensive, with the highest level of analysis and with all supporting information included as part of the report. A summary report summarizes the information, and a restricted use report states specialized information.
Before ordering a restricted use report, be aware of your intended use and the reporting level you will want to receive. Because of the limited reporting requirement, the cost is usually less than the other two types. However, this should not be the deciding factor.
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