Appraisals can be assigned to nearly any item, including real estate. Appraisals are conducted by individuals called appraisers. Appraisers are educated in a variety of market valuation methods and are recognized by a regulatory authority as being capable of issuing an accurate valuation. For instance, an appraisal on an antique will take into account such variables as age, condition, origin, and availability of authenticating documentation.
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.
Property taxes may be affected with change in ownership. When buying real estate property, you should not assume that property taxes will remain the same. Whenever there is a change in ownership, the assessed value of the property may reset to full market value, which could result in higher property taxes. Please use our Tax Estimator to approximate your new property taxes.