Noem’s meeting highlights real estate appraisal regulations in South Dakota

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Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The high-profile removal of a state official who oversees real estate certification in South Dakota could lead to unintended consequences for the state, an industry insider says.

On Monday, ethics questions were raised after the Associated Press reported Gov. Kristi Noem and her daughter, Kassidy Peters, met with state labor and real estate officials as Peters was pursuing a real estate certification.

The administrator for appraisal testing and regulations was in that meeting. Sherry Bren says she was forced to resign and was paid $200,000 to withdraw an age discrimination complaint she had filed against the Department of labor.

Her departure could create a weakness in how appraisals across the state could move forward.

While most states have a board to oversee certifications, South Dakota is among just a few states that have only an administrator.

Joe Ibach, President of the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials says the loss of Bren could result in possible setbacks for the state when the Federal Audits are conducted in the future, since Bren’s replacement lacks experience in that part of the job.

“So those audits are very detailed. very detailed, so I wish them well. They lost a great asset. It’s going to be extremely difficult to replace and I think it was a mistake but that’s just me speaking personally,” said Ibach.

The federal auditors have the power to stop all appraisals in the state should issues arise during the audit. This could affect financing issues for both residential and commercial mortgages and loans.

Congress requires all appraisers to undergo training, log their experience, meet the criteria of credit hours, and successfully complete a pass/fail exam. The exam is created on a federal level.

Sources tell Dakota News Now when Bren received notice of Kassidy Peters’s appraisal test, she arranged to have it scored out of state, to avoid a conflict of interest.

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