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§30-38-1. Real estate appraiser license required; exceptions.

(a) It is unlawful for any person, for compensation or valuable consideration, to prepare a valuation appraisal or a valuation appraisal report relating to real estate or real property in this state without first being licensed or certified as provided in this article. This section shall not be construed to apply to persons who do not render significant professional assistance in arriving at a real estate appraisal analysis, opinion or conclusion. Nothing in this article may be construed to prohibit any person who is licensed to practice in this state under any other law from engaging in the practice for which he or she is licensed.

(b) No person other than a person licensed or certified under this article may use the title of licensed appraiser or certified appraiser or any title, designation or abbreviation likely to create the impression that the person is licensed or certified by the state.

(c) This article does not apply to:

(1) A real estate broker or salesperson licensed by this state who, in the ordinary course of his or her business, gives an opinion to a potential seller or third party as to the recommended listing price of real estate or an opinion to a potential purchaser or third party as to the recommended purchase price of real estate, when this opinion as to the listing price or the purchase price is not to be referred to as an appraisal, no opinion is rendered as to the value of the real estate and no fee is charged;

(2) A casual or drive-by inspection of real estate in connection with a consumer loan secured by the real estate, when the inspection is not referred to as an appraisal, no opinion is rendered as to the value of the real estate and no fee is charged for the inspection;

(3) An employee who renders an opinion as to the value of real estate for his or her full-time employer, for the employer's internal use only and performed in the regular course of the employee's position, when the opinion is not referred to as an appraisal and no fee is charged;

(4) Appraisals of personal property, including, but not limited to, jewelry, household furnishings, vehicles and manufactured homes not attached to real estate;

(5) Any officer or employee of the United States, or of the State of West Virginia or a political subdivision thereof, when the employee or officer is performing his or her official duties: Provided, That such individual does not furnish advisory service for compensation to the public or act as an independent contracting party in West Virginia or any subdivision thereof in connection with the appraisal of real estate or real property: Provided, however, That this exception shall not apply with respect to federally related transactions as defined in Title XI of the United States Code, entitled "Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989"; or

(6) Any evaluation of the value of real estate serving as collateral for a loan made by a financial institution insured by the federal deposit insurance corporation: Provided, That: (A) The amount of the loan is equal to or less than $250,000; (B) the evaluation is used solely by the lender in its records to document the collateral value; (C) the evaluation clearly indicates on its face that it is for the lender's internal use only; (D) the evaluation is not labeled an appraisal; and (E) the evaluation is on a form approved by the board. Individuals performing these evaluations may be compensated for their services. The lender shall notify its customer if it intends to use an unlicensed evaluator and give the customer the opportunity to elect an evaluation, by a certified or licensed appraiser, the cost of which will be paid as agreed between the lender and the customer.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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