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Common Statistical Errors and Mistakes: Valuation and Reliability

Item No. taj_F13_statistical

Price: $19.00


16 pages, PDF Download

Feature article originally published in The Appraisal Journal Fall 2013 issue.

This article looks at common statistical errors valuers may encounter in appraisal practice.

The article challenges a fundamental assumption of traditional appraisal practice, the use of samples in valuation. It is no longer necessary to use samples where complete, electronically-delivered data sets are available. This legacy error stems from inertia within the profession and the lack of clarity in problem identification. The article offers a suggested approach for the use of statistics in appraisal practice based on the two-fold nature of the appraisal analytical process. The article also addresses the deeper error of use of complex inferential sample statistics when simple descriptive population parameters will do. A related issue concerns the application of common sense in a discipline where results can often be counterintuitive. An important case example is provided. Finally, other lesser statistical mistakes are described.


George Dell, MAI, SRA

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