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).
Real estate appraisal in Germany is partly codified by law. The federal Baugesetzbuch (abbr. BauGB, "German statutory code on building and construction'") contains guidelines on governing authorities, defines the term market value and refers to continuative rules (chapter 3, articles 192 ff.). Each municipality (city or administrative district) must form a Gutachterausschuss (appraisal committee), consisting of a chairman and honorary members. The committee gathers information on all real estate deals (it is mandatory to send a copy of each notarial purchase contract to the Gutachterausschuss) and includes it in the Kaufpreissammlung (purchase price database). Most committees publish an official real estate market report every two years, in which besides other information on comparables the land value is determined. The committees also perform appraisals on behalf of public authorities.
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In Israel, the real estate appraisal profession is regulated by the Council of Land Valuers, an organ of the Ministry of Justice; the largest professional organization, encompassing the majority of appraisers/land valuers is the Association of Land Valuers. Valuers must be registered with the Council, which is a statutory body set up by law, and which oversees the training and administers the national professional exams that are a prerequisite for attaining registration. In 2005 the Council set up a Valuation Standards Committee with the purpose of developing and promulgating standards that would reflect best practice; these have tended to follow a rules-based approach.
In the UK, real estate appraisal is known as property valuation and a real estate appraiser is a land valuer or property valuer (usually a qualified chartered surveyor who specializes in property valuation). Property valuation in the UK is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a professional body encompassing all of the building and property-related professions. The RICS professional guidelines for valuers are published in what is commonly known as the Red Book. The 2011 version was the RICS Valuation Standards 7th Edition (2 May 2011), superseding an edition published in 2007 with later amendments. The RICS Valuation Standards contains mandatory rules, best practice guidance and related commentary. Changes to the standards are approved by the RICS Valuation Professional Group Board, and the Red Book is updated accordingly on a regular basis. While based in the UK, RICS is a global organization and has become very active in the United States in recent years through its affiliation with the Counselors of Real Estate, a division of the National Association of Realtors.
The income capitalization Approach (often referred to simply as the "income approach") is used to value commercial and investment properties. Because it is intended to directly reflect or model the expectations and behaviors of typical market participants, this approach is generally considered the most applicable valuation technique for income-producing properties, where sufficient market data exists.
For example, single apartment buildings of a given quality tend to sell at a particular price per apartment. In many of those cases, the sales comparison approach may be more applicable. On the other hand, a multiple-building apartment complex would usually be valued by the income approach, as that would follow how most buyers would value it. As another example, single-family houses are most commonly valued with the greatest weighting to the sales comparison approach. However, if a single-family dwelling is in a neighborhood where all or most of the dwellings are rental units, then some variant of the income approach may be more useful. So the choice of valuation method can change depending upon the circumstances, even if the property being valued does not change much.
The Federal German Organisation of Appointed and Sworn Experts (Bundesverband Deutscher Sachverständiger und Fachgutachter, abbr. BDSF) is the main professional organization encompassing the majority of licensed appraisers in Germany. In recent years, with the move towards a more global outlook in the valuation profession, the RICS has gained a foothold in Germany, somewhat at the expense of the BDSF. Another German Organisation of Appointed and Sworn Experts is the (Deutsche Sachverständigen Gesellschaft, abbr. DESAG) This organization also includes a large number of licensed appraisers in Germany.
Unfortunately, recent distressed sales in the surrounding area can lower your home's appraisal value. If you feel that your home's value has been dragged down by the sales prices of nearby foreclosures and short sales, you may be able to convince the appraiser that your home is worth more if it's in significantly better condition than those properties. Sellers should also know that federal guidelines (intended to eliminate the inflated appraisal values that contributed to the 2008 housing crisis) sometimes cause appraisals to come in below fair market value and can make low appraisals difficult to challenge.
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