Requested by: Oregon
Survey Deadline: February 21, 2007
The Oregon State Highway and Transportation Department would like to send the following
questions out to all the state DOT's. A response is requested by February 21, 2007.
1. Who does Appraisal Review for your DOT? Contracted fee reviewers or DOT staff
2. Where are the appraisal reviewers located? Centralized or Decentralized?
3. If your DOT uses staff appraisal reviewers, how does their pay grade compare to other
senior Right of Way staff in other function areas? e.g. relocation review or oversight;
acquisition oversights, etc. If staff Appraisal reviewers' pay grade is higher, by how many
pay grades or levels?
4. If your DOT uses staff appraisal reviewers, are they required to have an appraisal license
or certification or a professional designation? e.g. MAI
5. If your DOT uses fee appraisal reviewers, who sets just compensation for your DOT?
How does that person or persons pay grade compare to other senior Right of Way staff?
1. Both, probably about 50 – 50
3. Alabama DOT has two appraiser levels. We do not have a separate classification
for reviewers. Most reviews are made by the upper level. These are our highest
paid Right of Way employees other than management level staff.
4. Alabama DOT staff appraisers are not required to have licenses or certifications but
contract appraisers are.
5. While it is subject to review by a Division Appraiser supervisor or the Right of Way
Bureau’s appraisal section supervisor, compensation is set by the appraisal
1. Staff reviewers.
3. Salary is one pay range higher than typical supervisor level of Right of Way Agent
(ROW Agent IV = pay range 20 / Review Appraiser = pay range 21).
4. Staff reviewers must hold Alaska General Appraiser License.
5. We’ve used fee reviewers occasionally; pay is based on a negotiated professional
1. Mostly DOT staff reviewers. We have one fee contracted reviewer being utilized,
with the option of additional, if needed. Currently ADOT has 6 staff reviewers.
2. Both, centralized and decentralized.
3. Pay grade is equal to a senior staff member that manages various right of way
functions, such as acquisitions, titles, plans, property management and project
management. However, the reviewers have historically had higher salaries than the
senior staff managers. Administration personnel is the only higher pay grades in
right of way, e.g., Chief R/W Agent, Deputy, and Assist. Chiefs.
4. Yes, they are required to be licensed or certified according to Arizona Revised
5. A fee appraisal reviewer will determine just compensation, exactly like a staff
appraisal reviewer would. Typically, a fee appraisal reviewer will make double the
salary, if not more.
1. Our appraisal review is done almost entirely by three staff review appraisers. We are
now in the process of entering into a contract for the purchase of right of way where
the appraisal review will actually be contracted. This will be our first contracted
2. The three staff review appraisers work out of the Central Office in Little Rock.
3. A staff Review Appraiser is a grade 17. Relocation Coordinators and Right of Way
Negotiators are a grade 14. All Right of Way Division Section Heads are a grade 18.
4. Our review appraisers are not required to be licensed, although they each have the
course work required for certification. Each of our review staff had from 10-30 years
experience in our appraisal office before they began reviewing appraisals.
5. The Division Head of the Right of Way Division sets the just compensation. The pay
grade for this position in the highest in the Division.
1. DOT staff reviewers.
2. Most of our reviewers are decentralized. Some of the appraisal product approval is
not delegated to the District offices, but must be reviewed and approved in our
Headquarters office. Delegations are generally based on type of property and dollar
3. The pay grade does not differ.
4. Our staff appraisers are exempt from licensing and certification requirements. We
have internal guidelines to help determine when staff are qualified to be reviewers;
years of experience, variety of appraisal assignments and education being a few
1. Appraisal reviews are conducted by staff reviewers.
2. Reviewers are centrally located.
3. There is no difference in pay grade between a staff review appraiser and a senior rights
of way agent.
4. Our staff review appraiser is a licensed "Certified General Real Estate Appraiser".
5. All appraisal reviews are conducted by staff review appraisers. Just compensation is
established by the Appraisal Division Chief. This position is at a higher pay grade than
the other classifications (review appraiser/senior agent).
1. We've used both, mostly staff.
3. Currently there is no difference in pay, hence the reason we only have 2 review
4. Must have Certified General Appraisal license.
5. Chief Review Appraiser, pay grade same as other senior agents.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
1. Primarily staff reviewers. We do use a modest amount of fee reviewers depending
2. Decentralized, located throughout Florida in 8 districts.
3. Staff reviewers typically earn approximately 15% higher than other senior (non-
management) R/W staff; however, the pay grades are comparable. Staff reviewers
typically earn approximately 25-30% more that acquisition agents who are three pay
4. No, they are exempt from this requirement under Florida Statutes; however, several
of our staff reviewers maintain state certification at their on expense.
5. If a fee appraiser is used, a staff reviewer sets what FDOT calls Recommended
Compensation, which is typically the initial offer. The pay grade assigned this
responsibility would be comparable to senior (non-management) R/W staff.
1. Primarily appraisal review is done by in-house review appraisers in most all districts,
with the exception of two or three district that contract out this work.
2. Illinois is comprised of five regions which are further broken down into nine districts.
Appraisal review is performed out in our nine district offices.
3. There is no differentiation in pay grade to other senior Right of Way staff.
4. Neither by state law or DOT policy are staff review appraisers required to be
licensed/certified. Our Review Appraiser requirements and recommendations mirror
those for state certification. If a staff appraiser is licensed/certified, he/she has a
better chance for advancement.
5. In those districts which utilize fee review appraisers, the fee review appraiser will
recommend compensation and the Regional Engineer will ultimately have the final
approval. As for how their pay compares with senior Right of Way staff, that is not
easy to discern since their fees are contracted with different districts throughout the
state and vary widely based on the complexity of the assignment.
If you have any questions pertaining to answers to your survey, please direct them to the
person listed below.
Teresa S. "Teri" Pointe
Appraisal Unit Manager/Acting Relocation Manager
Illinois Department of Transportation
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, Illinois 62764
Phone: (217) 782-3982
Fax: (217) 782-3813
1. Iowa DOT staff reviewers.
3. The same.
4. Our staff and review appraisers are required to be licensed with the Iowa Appraisal
Board. All hold the Certified General Real Property Appraiser certification.
1. Most of our work is done by staff review appraisers but contract fee reviewer
appraisers are used.
2. If a staff review appraiser are centralized; if a fee review appraiser is used - the fee
reviewer will come from the geographical area that the project is located in.
3. Review appraiser (R/E Appraiser 4) is 1 AS Level higher than the real estate agents
handling negotiations and relocation assistance.
4. Staff Review Appraisers are required to have their General Appraisal License.
5. When fee review appraisers are used, the fee review appraiser recommends
compensation on a parcel by parcel basis but it is set by the Real Estate
Administrator. For comparison purposes, you would have to compare the Staff
Review Appraiser's AS Level to the Administrator's AS level. The Administrator is 6
AS levels higher.
1. MaineDOT uses staff reviewers
3. The pay grades are comparable
3. Staff review appraisers are a ROW Agent lll's as are area supervisors for the
projects section so pay grades and levels are similar for different ROW Sections.
4. All reviewers are Certified General Appraisers.
5. When fee reviewers are used they set just compensation unless the value of the
acquisition is above $150,000 in which case an independent group of 5
professionals called the Real Estate Review Board are tasked with reviewing each
case over $150,000 and determining the appropriate value.
Fee reviewers are compensated at about twice that of staff reviewers but they
receive no benefits.
1. Primarily DOT staff reviewers. There are a few occasions where fee reviewers are
2. Reviewers are located in the Central Office with the exception of the Metro District
that has two staff reviewers.
3. The pay level is BELOW Senior Staff by a minimum of $8,000 per annum.
4. License is required, designation is not.
5. Compensation is negotiated by staff reviewers.
Please call or E Mail if there are any further questions.
1. Both. We have 4 staff review appraisers and Montana has only a dozen or so
appraisers who regularly do eminent domain work. We will contract with these
appraisers for appraisal and appraisal review services on an as needed basis.
2. Both. Larger districts have a staff review appraiser in their local office. Centralized
staff review appraisals from smaller districts and overflow from larger districts. All
review appraisers are supervised by the Appraisal Manager located in headquarters.
3. Montana has relatively few senior Right of Way staff. The Operations Manager and
Acquisition Manager are three pay grades higher than Review Appraisers. The
Plans Section Manager, Access Management Section Manager, and Real Estate
Supervisor Section Manager are two pay grades higher. The Appraisal Section
Supervisor is one pay grade higher than the Review Appraisers.
4. Until a few years ago, all staff reviewers were certified. Today, among three
reviewers (one position currently vacant) and the Appraisal Section supervisor, two
are general certified and two have no license or certification. Reviewers are not
required to be certified or licensed however it has preference in the hiring process.
5. Fee appraisal reviewers may provide an opinion of Just Compensation; however,
this compensation must be reviewed and approved by a staff review appraiser who
has the ultimate authority for the Department. See Number 3 above regarding pay.
3. The staff review appraisers (who are also the direct supervisors of the appraisal
staff) are in the same pay grade as the Chief of Negotiation and Relocation
Assistance and the Property Management Supervisor.
4. They are required to hold a general certified license.
5. We do not use fee appraisal reviewers.
1. Currently all the appraisal review work is done by two staff ROW supervisors. Each
appraisal supervisor manages 4 staff appraisers and review appraisals done by staff
and fee appraisers. In the recent past, when one of these staff ROW supervisors
positions was vacant, we used fee reviewers to do appraisal reviews for some of the
appraisals done by fee appraisers.
2. Appraisal reviewers are located in the same centralized office as the staff
appraisers. NHDOT only has one office location for the entire state.
3. The appraiser supervisors that do the review work are LG 29. Land Title Supervisor
is LG 25. Negotiation/Relocation Supervisor is LG 27. Property Management
Supervisor is LG 23.
4. Staff review appraisers are required to be Certified General Appraisers with the NH
State Appraisal Board. Renewal fees are at the expense of the staff reviewer;
however, the state typically pays for instate continuing education courses. One of
our review appraisers has an MAI designation but this is not required for the position.
5. When we use fee review appraisers an RFP is sent to qualified fee appraisers who
have a contract to do work for NHDOT. The low bid gets the review work. The
salaries of fee review appraisers are typically about twice as much as a staff review
1. Both types are used. For condemnation updates, we exclusively use contracted fee
2. Appraisal Reviewers are found in each Regional Office
3. ROW Negotiator - Range 17, Sr. ROW Negotiator - Range 21, Staff appraiser is a
Real Estate Appraiser I (formerly Sr. Appraiser) - Range 22, Principal ROW
Negotiator - Range 24, Staff reviewer is a Real Estate Appraiser II (formerly Principal
ROW Appraiser) - Range 25, Team Leader (ROW Supervisor I) Range 27, Appraisal
Section Supervisor is a Real Estate Appraiser III - Range 29 (formerly Asst.
Team Leaders (ROW Supervisor I) serve as the heads of acquisition teams with
reviewers under them. Both Staff reviewers and ROW Supervisor I can register a
case based on a fee review. The fee reviewer is NOT permitted to register any
The Technical Support Subject Matter Experts are:
Acquisition Section, Relocation and Property Management Section
Supervisors, ROW Supervisor I
Appraisal Section Supervisor is a Real Estate Appraiser III Beyond these titles are the
Regional and Bureau Managers, they typically do not register cases.
The only other titles are those in the Title Section and Legal Processing, as they do
no negotiations or appraisals, they were not included.
4. Staff Reviewers must hold a State Certified General Appraiser designation. Same
requirement for Appraisal Section Supervisor (Appraiser III). No current requirement
for Staff Appraisers (Appraiser I) at present.
No professional designation is required for any appraisal position.
5. The just compensation under federal regs and NJDOT policy must be set by a DOT
employee. This can be the team Reviewer (Appraiser II) or the Team Leader (ROW
Supervisor I). Pay ranges were noted above.
1. The appraisal review is done by North Carolina DOT staff reviewers.
2. The appraisal reviewers are decentralized in five area offices.
3. The appraisal reviewers pay grade is 10% above the acquisition/relocation positions.
4. All NCDOT staff appraisers and reviewers are required to be a N C State Certified
General Real Estate Appraiser.
5. The review appraisers determined fair market value. Just compensation is
recommended by senior right of way to management for approval or change.
1. Chief Review Appraiser prepares reviews of complex appraisals; reviews of
uncomplicated appraisals are prepared by staff review appraisers. Our state does
not use contract appraisers to conduct appraisal reviews.
3. At present, staff negotiators, title personnel, relocation personnel, appraisers, review
appraisers, and the Chief/Review Appraiser all fall within the same four-level Realty
Officer classification series. Staff reviewers and the Chief Review Appraiser are in
the senior-level Realty Officer IV classification -- that pay grade is the same as that
of other senior-level right of way personnel, such as senior negotiators and
relocation personnel. Chief/Review Appraiser formulates the agency opinion of just
compensation; the authority to do this is delegated to staff reviewers in his absence.
4. Board certification has essentially become the "minimum" qualification among fee
appraisers, such that not having it conveys perception of under-qualification. This is
not desirable for an appraiser, but is even less so for a review appraiser, whose role
effectively provides a level of Agency oversight to the valuation phase. We,
therefore, encourage the state certification of our staff appraisers and reviewers as a
minimum qualification. The trend toward fewer appraisal assignments, however, is
making it increasingly difficult for staff to meet Board experience requirements.
Consulting appraisers are being used more frequently for the more difficult
assignments, while increased use of Waiver Valuations has eliminated other
opportunities that, in earlier years, would have generated appraisal (and review)
assignments. We are encouraging staff appraisers and reviewers to pursue
certification and/or alternate methods of "higher-order" accreditation through
professional organizations, specifically, the certification programs offered by the
Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers, and
the International Right of Way Association.
5. N/A. There is no difference in pay grade.
1. The Ohio Department of Transportation utilizes both DOT staff Review Appraisers
and independent Fee Reviewers to perform the appraisal review function in Ohio.
2. DOT Staff Review appraisers are located in both Central Office where they are
primarily used as instructors for in-house training classes and in the Region Real
Estate Offices where the lion’s share of production occurs. The fee reviewers are
located throughout the State.
3. DOT staff are all lumped into one catchall category call Realty Specialist and pay is
based upon which level of Realty Specialist classification they obtain and not on
which level of appraisal expertise they acquire.
Our organization recognizes three levels of Realty Specialist:
Realty Specialist 1 - (apprentice)
Realty Specialist 2 - (journeyman level of skill in two disciplines)
Realty Specialist 3 - (expert in two disciplines)
The Realty Specialist classification includes title agents, negotiators, appraisers,
review appraisers, relocation counselors, and closing agents. The title review,
negotiation review, relocation review, and acquisition package review functions are
carried out by senior level realty specialists. Appraisal reviewers are considered to
be either journeyman or experts in two disciplines and therefore are found in the
Realty Specialist 2 and Realty Specialist 3 classifications.
4. No, there are (currently) no legal requirements that staff appraisers or staff review
appraisers be licensed or certified in Ohio. However, as an internal policy the ODOT
has required that all staff performing appraisal review functions at a minimum,
successfully complete appraisal classroom training requirements equivalent to a
State-Certified General Real Estate Appraiser (as they exist currently in Ohio at 183
classroom hours) by January 1, 2008. Our own internal deadline coincidently
matches the national deadline for implementing the new national Appraisal
Qualification Board requirements. We have not yet discussed what changes (if any)
we will implement after the new January 1, 2008 national Appraisal Qualification
Board criteria goes into effect.
5. In Ohio, the Agency’s offer is called the Fair Market Value Estimate (FMVE) because
there is a notion in Ohio law that Just Compensation can only be established by a
court of law. The review appraiser may only recommend F.M.V.E. not set it.
Establishment of F.M.V.E. is restricted to employees in the management ranks. Pay
is commensurate with senior managers in the R/W Division. Establishment of
F.M.V.E. is described in Ohio law and the procedures for doing this are outlined
below in an excerpt from the ODOT Policies and Procedures Manual.
4107.08 Step 8: Establishment of FMVE
A. FMVE is the acronym for Fair Market Value Estimate. Establishing FMVE is
required by Section 163.59 (C) of the Ohio Revised Code which is:
Before the initiation of negotiations, the head of the acquiring Agency concerned
shall establish an amount he believes to be just compensation.....
B. Establishment of FMVE is required to be performed by the acquiring agency
based upon the recommended or approved appraisal. FMVE is not established
by the appraiser, the appraisal reviewer, or any fee contractor or consultant.
FMVE is established only by someone in authority within the Agency.
NOTE: An Agency may not delegate its authority for establishment of
FMVE to any fee consultant. This policy is based upon 49 CFR Part 24,
Subpart B, Section 24.102 (d) which states:
Establishment and offer of just compensation.
Before the initiation of negotiations, the Agency shall establish an amount which
it believes is just compensation for the real property. The amount shall not be
less than the approved appraisal of the market value of the property, taking into
account the value of allowable damages or benefits to any remaining property.
An Agency official must establish the amount believed to be just
compensation. (See § 24.104.) Promptly thereafter, the Agency shall make a
written offer to the owner to acquire the property for the full amount believed to
be just compensation. (See appendix A, § 24.102(d).)
C. The establishment of FMVE is a three step process.
1. The appraiser delivers an appraisal report to the Region that is compliant with
policy and procedure and that fairly compensates the owner for the part taken
and damages, if any to the part not taken.
2. The reviewer reviews the report and, if in agreement that the report has been
completed in compliance with policy and procedure and represents fair and
reasonable compensation, prepares the form RE 22. The reviewer’s
signature signifies accepting or recommending the appraisal as the basis for
the agency establishing FMVE.
3. A person of authority within the Agency establishes FMVE by signing the form
This process requires three different people.
D. Therefore, only a person of responsibility from the Agency can establish FMVE.
For the ODOT Office of Real Estate, the authority to establish FMVE has been
delegated from the Director through the Office Administrator to each Region
Projects Manager (RPM) by virtue of Agency policy.
The Office Administrator may delegate this authority to any ODOT Real Estate
Manager. This delegation of authority must be confirmed in writing.
The RPM may delegate this responsibility to any subordinate manager when the
award is less than $500,000. (See Item H for procedures when FMVE is greater
than $500,000.) The RPM may delegate limited authority for various reasons.
When the RPM delegates authority to establish FMVE, the limits of the authority
must be clearly stated in writing and a copy must be maintained within the
E. At the Local Public Agency level (LPA), the person of authority to establish FMVE
may be the Mayor, the City Manager or the County Engineer. If it is another
person within the local Agency then a letter delegating the authority from the
head of the Agency must be on file and available for inspection within that
F. If the Regional Projects Manager or Agency Administrator is unavailable to
establish FMVE, the authority reverts upward through the Agency’s/Office’s chain
G. The person who establishes FMVE is to consider the information given by the
review appraiser as well as any other information that is available. The
established FMVE must be supported by an appraisal which was approved by a
qualified reviewer. FMVE shall be the offer made to the owner(s) of the real
property to be acquired and is a commitment of public funds. The person
establishing FMVE must wisely consider this act of establishing value as it is a
major responsibility of the Agency.
H. Limits on Authority to Establish FMVE:
1. The Region Projects Manager/Agency Administrator may establish FMVE
after an initial review is completed by the staff reviewer or fee reviewer for
awards up to $500,000. Appraisal reports with an FMVE over $500,000 must
have a second review. (See Section 4107.09 for FMVE procedures for
secondary review.) After the secondary review is completed and the
appraisal report is approved the Region Projects Manager/Agency
Administrator may establish FMVE.
For further clarification or questions regarding this response to the AASHTO Survey,
Richard K. O'Grady
ODOT - Appraisal Unit Manager
voice (614) 466-5054 FAX (614) 466-0158
1. We have both in-house staff and service providers that perform appraisal review
2. In-house staff are centralized. Service providers are located throughout the state.
3. The salary is the same as individuals in similar positions, we have generalized job
descriptions so there is no pay differential. We are researching this issue to
determine if there are any viable opportunities to justify changing from generalized
job descriptions to specialized job descriptions. To date, we have not found
sufficient justification, i.e. opportunity to increase compensation, within the state
system. Another issue we have faced is that moving to specialized job descriptions
could very well limit career advancement opportunities for some individuals.
4. Our service providers are required by the Department to hold State Certification.
Our in-house staff are not required by law to hold a state certification, even though
they all do. While we cannot pay for their annual license fees, currently $350 per
year, we do provide access to the necessary training for their CEU's.
5. In accordance with the CFR, the Agency shall set just compensation for any project
subject to the federal guidelines. However, we rely on the recommendation provided
to us by the contracted fee appraisal reviewers in almost every case. Their
recommendations are subject to several levels of review and approval, our in-house
appraisal staff review the work of our contracted service providers to ensure
compliance & consistency, our in-house Appraisal Branch Manager has oversight of
the process, and ultimately the Chief has the responsibility to authorize the
negotiation offer amount for every parcel.
2. Staff reviewers are centralized.
3. Staff reviewer pay scale is equal to the District Chief Appraiser and District Chief
4. They must have a Pennsylvania General Appraisal Certificated. Professional
designations are not required.
5. The fee appraisal reviewer recommends the just compensation. The District Right-
of-Way Administrator (DRA) is in concurrence with the recommendation when
he/she signs the offer letter. The DRA is the senior right of way person in the District
Offices and their salary is comparable to the appraisal, acquisition, and
administrative unit heads in Central Office.
1. South Carolina uses both staff and fee reviewers.
2. Staff reviewers are decentralized.
3. Appraisers pay grade is typically one grade higher than Acquisition staff.
4. All staff appraisers are expected to carry State certification.
5. SC has used appraisers and lower level acquisition supervisory staff to set just
compensation. Pay grades are comparable.
1. DOT staff reviewers.
3. Similar pay for staff.
5. NA. NA.
1. Staff Reviewers.
2. Reviewers are located at all four Regional Offices and at Headquarters.
3. There are 4 grades for appraisers. Lower grades are equal to the lower grade ROW
staff. The higher grades are equal to the higher grade senior ROW staff. Grade
level depends on experience and qualifications.
4. Requires a state issued license/certification. TN licenses are also tiered by
qualification and experience.
1. The State of Washington uses both WaSDOT reviewers on staff and contracted fee
reviewers. The fee reviewers that WaSDOT has used are former WaSDOT
reviewers on staff, so the trust level is high.
2. The State of Washington currently has a combination of centralized and
decentralized review appraisers. Each of the 7 region offices may have a review
appraiser on staff. Not all regions do, though. Our HQ has a core staff of 4 review
appraisers who do quality assurance/quality control on the reviews done by region
staff reviewers and contracted fee reviewers. The HQ core staff also provides
review services to the regions who do not have a review appraiser on staff.
3. The review appraisers on WaSDOT staff are at the same pay grade as the reviewers
of the other R/W functions.
4. Review appraisers on WaSDOT staff are required to have a General Certification, as
are the contracted fee appraisers. No professional designation is required.
5. When a fee review appraiser is used, the just compensation is set by the Region
Real Estate Services Manager. This position is the highest pay grade of the R/W
staff in each Region.
If you have further questions concerning this issue, please feel free to contact me.
Shirley E. Hughes
Appraisal and Appraisal Review Program