Understanding State and Federal Laws for Realtors in Florida: Appraisals, BPOs, and CMAs

Home appraisal sign

Real estate professionals must follow strict guidelines and regulations when dealing with property appraisals in Florida. These guidelines help ensure that appraisals are accurate, reliable, and unbiased. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the state and federal laws regarding appraisals for realtors in Florida.

Data for Forming Market Value Opinions

When providing a market value opinion, appraisers must analyze all available agreements of sale, options, and listings of the subject property that are current as of the effective date of the appraisal. Additionally, the appraiser must analyze all sales of the subject property that occurred within the three years prior to the effective date of the appraisal, if such information is available in the normal course of business. This is in accordance with Standards Rule 1-5 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

BPOs/CMAs and Appraisals

A broker price opinion (BPO) or comparative market analysis (CMA) conducted by someone who is not a state-licensed, state-certified, or registered trainee appraiser cannot be referred to as an “appraisal.” It is important to note that only real estate licensees are authorized to perform a BPO or CMA for a customer. However, they should not be referred to as an appraisal. A violation of this provision could result in disciplinary action against the licensee’s license. BPOs must be performed under the direction and control of a broker, and payment for BPOs must be made to the broker. (Sections 475.25(1)(t) and 475.01, Florida Statutes).

Sharing Appraisal Reports

Appraisers are required to maintain the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship. This means that an appraiser must not disclose confidential information or assignment results prepared for a client to anyone other than the client and individuals specifically authorized by the client. This is in accordance with the Ethics Rules of USPAP.

Continuing Education Credits

Licensed and certified appraisers or trainees are eligible to receive up to seven hours of continuing education credit per renewal cycle if they attend a meeting where disciplinary cases are heard. To receive the credit, appraisers/trainees should fax their name, license number, and current address to the Division of Real Estate at 850-488-8040 at least seven days before the meeting. Each attendee’s name will be placed on a roster, and they must sign into and out of the meeting. (61J1 4.003(7) Florida Administrative Code)

Types of Inspection

Appraisers may use any combination of a property inspection and documents to identify the relevant characteristics of the subject property. The extent of the inspection process is an aspect of the scope of work, which may vary based on assignment conditions and the intended use of the assignment results. The appraiser determines the degree of inspection necessary to produce credible assignment results for the intended use of the appraisal. This is in accordance with USPAP.


As a real estate professional in Florida, it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding property appraisals. By following these guidelines, realtors can ensure that their appraisals are accurate, reliable, and unbiased. These regulations help protect both the consumer and the industry as a whole.