It’s Only An Opinion

By Henry J. Wise
Illustrated by Daniel J. Middleton


This book explains, “what an appraiser thinks about when his client is the court.” It is based on real world experiences that are interesting to appraisers, attorneys and businessmen. The stories are also interesting to the general public who usually don't have to think about the meaning of the value of something. The most likely market for the book consists of the 50,000 or more commercial real estate appraisers and business appraisers working here and in other countries that follow our general models for valuation, the thousands of attorneys in eminent domain condemnation or real estate practice, bond financing, estates and tax who have to rely on appraisers, people and companies whose property is being taken under eminent domain, and the tens of thousands of people who find themselves in court because the value of something is an issue.

“Most of my work has been as an expert witness in civil cases wherein the critical issue to be decided is ‘what is it worth?’ My clients include the U.S. Department of Justice, states, cities, counties, and many national and regional law firms. I have appraised the Everglades and Big Cypress, tourist attraction caves, wells, mountains, air rights, mineral rights, even when all parties agreed that there were no minerals, as well as the usual panoply of shopping centers, apartments, office buildings and other commercial real estate properties. I am also a business appraiser, and have appraised privately held companies, fractional interests, limited partnerships and tenancies in common. My book, It's Only An Opinion, uses interesting and unusual cases to illustrate the appraisal process and the reasoning that makes an appraisal credible.”

Author Bio

Mr. Wise has a MA degree in Political Science from Emory University, a MS degree in Economics and a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate from Georgia State University. He has been an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, The University of West Georgia and Georgia State University. He is designated as a MAI by the Appraisal Institute and a CBA (Certified Business Appraiser) by the Institute of Business Appraisers. He served as President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Appraisal Institute in 2007, and on several regional and national committees. He was admitted as a Counselor of Real Estate in 2004.

His articles in professional journals include:

Chapter 17 "The Appraiser in the Workout Process: What Is Your Property Worth Today,” The Real Estate Workout Desk Book; Howard Z. Zuckermen, Ed., Probus Publishing, Chicago, 1992.

Journal of Applied Real Estate Research, Vol. 1, No. 1, GSU Press, “Valuing Land In The Floodplain”

Valuation Insights & Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 2, The Appraisal Institute, “The IRS’s New Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation Process.”

Georgia Eminent Domain Trial Practice, Program Materials 2001-2003; “The Business and Real Estate Appraisal From The Point Of View Of A Forensic Appraiser, 1/25/01,

The Appraisal Journal, The Appraisal Institute, Chicago: “Appraising Interesting Holes In The Ground”, Spring, 2009

Valuation Review, October Research, LLC: “The Value Of A Messy Business”, September 24, 2012, Volume 11, No. 10


Daniel J. Middleton began his career in book publishing in 2001 by proofreading and copy editing galley proofs for a small Brooklyn-based press. Since that time, he has developed a love of graphic design and illustration. He has had the good fortune of working with a number of successful self-published authors and small presses with unique offerings. He is the author and illustrator of the Naomi "Redflower" children's book series, which is set in his Central New York hometown.


This book is dedicated to the memory of James Hill Pritchett, MAI, SRPA, SRA. Jim was my mentor, boss, partner and great friend from the time I met him in 1984 until his death in 2002. Along this path I met many other guides, teachers and friends, including Joe W. Ball, MAI, who served as President of Pritchett, Ball & Wise, Inc., for much of my career. I am also indebted to Danny White, MAI, who was a partner in Pritchett, Ball and White, Inc., which was the firm I joined and later became Pritchett, Ball and Wise, Inc. I am pleased that the firm still exists, although there is no longer a Pritchett, Ball or Wise left to answer the phone. The legacy persists under the capable guidance of George Petkovich, MAI, and Andy Sheppard, MAI. I hired Andy out of his graduating class at GSU, which may be the best thing I ever did to further the appraisal profession. As I write this, Andy is presently the President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

Awards and Publicity

The Florida Bar Review

"It's Only An Opinion: An Appraiser in Court"

NACVA Review

"Mr. Wise provides readers with far more than just an Opinion. This is a humorous, yet insightful book that provides business appraisers, real estate attorneys and property appraisers with information on unique valuation issues presented when real estate is the subject of a valuation dispute." —  Senior Attorney with the Gravis Law, PLLC group North Central Washington Offices 

OPINION Review - NACVA Quickreads

Independant Press Award

2019 Independent Press Award
Distinguished Favorite
Business - General

Author Appearances

September 3, 2019 - The Authors Show interview

May 21–23, 2019 - Georgia Department of Revenue (CAVAET) Training with Jim Vernor, Ph.D, MAI - a presentation to Georgia tax assessors and tax appraisers on separating tangible assets from intangible assets for property tax purposes.

October 12 , 2019 - A reading at Story in the Square, McDonough, Georgia - a "local authors" event scheduled from 12:-2: PM.

October 17, 2019 - Appraisal Institute Chapter, Fishkill, New York. The Mid-Hudson Chapter has scheduled a day long continuing education event for their members and have included my reading from "It's Only An Opinion" and talking about the care and feeding of an expert witness.

October 22, 2019 - Appraisal Institute Chapter, Little Rock, Arkansas - luncheon speaker.

November 6, 2019 - Appraisal Institute Annual Event, Atlanta, Georgia. "The State of Atlanta" event - a featured speaker

March 2020 - Appraisal Institute, North Carolina. A featured speaker at Spring meeting.


High-resolution Images

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