In the United States, the most common usage relates to real estate and personal property appraisals, while the term is often used to describe a person specially appointed by a judicial or quasi-judicial authority to put a valuation on property, e.g. on the items of an inventory of the Tangible Property of an Estate (IRS law) of a deceased person or on land taken for public purposes by the right of eminent domain. Appraisers of imported goods and boards of general appraisers have extensive functions in administering the customs laws of the United States. Merchant appraisers are sometimes appointed temporarily under the revenue laws to value where there is no resident appraiser without holding the office of appraiser (U.S. Rev. Stats. § 2609).
A physical appraisal is necessary to evaluate a property. Depending on the size of the property, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours or more. After this step is complete, the appraiser will need to compare the results against recent area sales of similar properties to draw some conclusions regarding value. A report is provided once the appraisal is completed, and this is typically sent to the client within a week of the property inspection.
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