The various U.S. appraisal groups and international professional appraisal organizations have started collaborating in recent years towards the development of International Valuation Standards. This will facilitate global real estate appraisal standards, a much-needed adjunct to real estate investment portfolios which cross national boundaries. Some appraisal groups are already international organizations and thus, to some extent, already incorporate some level of global standards.
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There are also voluntary professional bodies for real estate valuation such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors ('RICS') and the Property Institute of New Zealand ('PINZ'). Both of these bodies have a wider membership, beyond real estate valuers. PINZ has over 2,500 members in New Zealand and overseas (such as ex-pats in the UK, Asia and Australia). PINZ has a service level agreement with the NZIV, whereby PINZ contracts to perform tasks for the statutory professional body, NZIV. PINZ was formed in 2000 to act as the voice of the property professions. There have been 'political divisions' within the valuation profession in New Zealand, expressed at AGMs and through 'proxy wars' over the last 20 years or so. Many valuers are supportive of amalgamation of the NZIV functions under the multi-disciplinary voluntary body PINZ, whilst many others wish to retain a separate statutory professional body for valuers (the NZIV). There are various reasons in the debate and the governing legislation is under review and amendments or repeal is being considered. At present, the Act remains in force and the NZIV is legally a distinct body with statutory functions, powers and duties.
The scope of work is the first step in any appraisal process. Without a strictly defined scope of work, an appraisal's conclusions may not be viable. By defining the scope of work, an appraiser can properly develop a value for a given property for the intended user, and for the intended use of the appraisal. The whole idea of "scope of work" is to provide clear expectations and guidelines for all parties as to what the appraisal report does, and does not, cover; and how much work has gone into it.
Appraisal practice in the United States is regulated by state. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) is the primary standards body; its Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) promulgates and updates best practices as codified in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), while its Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) promulgates minimum standards for appraiser certification and licensing.
At other times, a buyer may willingly pay a premium price, above the generally accepted market value, if his subjective valuation of the property (its investment value for him) was higher than the market value. One specific example of this is an owner of a neighboring property who, by combining his own property with the subject property, could obtain economies-of-scale. Similar situations sometimes happen in corporate finance. For example, this can occur when a merger or acquisition happens at a price which is higher than the value represented by the price of the underlying stock. The usual explanation for these types of mergers and acquisitions is that "the sum is greater than its parts", since full ownership of a company provides full control of it. This is something that purchasers will sometimes pay a high price for. This situation can happen in real estate purchases too.
Because the appraisal primarily protects the lender's interests, the lender will usually order the appraisal. According to the Appraisal Institute, an association of professional real estate appraisers, a qualified appraiser should be licensed or certified (as required in all 50 states) and be familiar with the local area. Federal regulations state that the appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. Fannie Mae requires appraisers to certify that they have experience appraising similar properties in the same geographic area.
In Russia, on par with many other former Soviet Union economies, the profession emerged in the first half of 1990, and represented a clean break with the former practice of industry-specific pricing specialists and with activities of statutory price-setting authorities in the Soviet Union. Currently, property valuation, as it is called, is a specialism within general-purpose "valuation profession", which functions in a self-regulatory mode overseen by "self-regulated professional organizations" of valuers (SROs), i.e. public supervisory entities established under provisions of special legislation (which very loosely can be likened to trade unions). The principal among those is Russian Society of Appraisers, established in 1993 and presently exercising oversight over about half of the valuation profession membership. Among its 6000+ members a sizeable majority are real property valuers, rubbing shoulders with business and intangible assets appraisers. The latter categories of valuers are also allowed to value property, though valuation professionals tend to specialize. In late 2016, it was mandated that valuers should pass through compulsory state-administered attestation process to verify their competence, the details of which as to breakdown in specialization or otherwise remain to be hammered out.