It is a tough business, real estate appraisal, especially the kind of work that I do. The data can be scattered and imperfect. All I can do is be reasonable, logical and credible.

It would seem, for example, that it is not credible to be above or below the price range expressed in the data. It would seem so, but what if the subject property is demonstrably superior or inferior? In these situations, I think it is incumbent on the appraiser to bring in one more piece of data, even if it well outside geographic or time parameters, to show that there is at least one instance that backs up your conclusion.

The really tough situation is the pushy client. The pushy client does not care what the data shows, they just care about their result. I totally get that. It is human nature to want what one wants, the facts be damned.

I have been in my own business for 17 years and I have honed my ability to sniff out problem clients early. Actually it is not that difficult, because pushy clients are often pushy right from the start. But sometimes I miss the hints, which can lead to a tense conversation later.

And all I can say at the end of the day is, “A conclusion like that would not be credible based on the data currently available.” I am sorry.

All professionals have this issue to one degree or another. We can’t always deliver what the client wants. Facts can be pesky things.

So if you need a reason, this is perhaps the best reason to get paid up front.