One of the most recognized professional organizations of real estate appraisers in America is the Appraisal Institute (AI). It was formed from the merger of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Founded along with others in the 1930s, the two organizations merged in the 1990s to form the AI. This group awards two professional designations: SRA, to residential appraisers, and MAI, to commercial appraisers. The Institute has enacted rigorous regulations regarding the use and display of these designations. For example, contrary to popular belief, "MAI" does not stand for "Member, Appraisal Institute". According to the institute, the letters "do not represent specific words", and an MAI may not use the words "Member, Appraisal Institute" in lieu of the MAI mark. The primary motive for this rule is to prevent trademark dilution.
In Germany, real estate appraisal is known as real estate valuation (Immobilienbewertung). Real estate appraisers (Immobilienbewerter or Gutachter) can qualify to become a Öffentlich bestellter und vereidigter Sachverständiger (officially appointed and sworn expert). However, this formerly very important title has lost a lot of its importance over the past years, but still is of some value in court procedures. The title is not generally required for appraisals.
Real estate appraisal, property valuation or land valuation is the process of developing an opinion of value, for real property (usually market value). Real estate transactions often require appraisals because they occur infrequently and every property is unique (especially their condition, a key factor in valuation), unlike corporate stocks, which are traded daily and are identical (thus a centralized Walrasian auction like a stock exchange is unrealistic). The location also plays a key role in valuation. However, since property cannot change location, it is often the upgrades or improvements to the home that can change its value. Appraisal reports form the basis for mortgage loans, settling estates and divorces, taxation, and so on. Sometimes an appraisal report is used to establish a sale price for a property.
WertV's general regulations are further supported by the Wertermittlungsrichtlinie (abbr. WertR, "directive on the determination of value"). The WertR provides templates for calculations, tables (e.g., economic depreciation) and guidelines for the consideration of different influences. WertV and WertR are not binding for appraisals for nonofficial use, nonetheless, they should be regarded as best practice or Generally Accepted (German) Valuation Practice (GAVP).
The Florida Constitution and Florida Statutes §119 and §286 safeguard every Floridian’s right of access to government meetings and public records. In Florida, disclosure is the standard, unless the Legislature allows an exemption or the records are otherwise confidential. Every citizen has the right to obtain public records that are not exempted or confidential. Citizens and the media can easily request public records from Pinellas County government. The requester is responsible for any cost of providing the documentation, which includes staff time, cost of copies and other costs that are associated with the request.