Data is collected on recent sales of properties similar to the subject being valued, called "comparables". Only SOLD properties may be used in an appraisal and determination of a property's value, as they represent amounts actually paid or agreed upon for properties. Sources of comparable data include real estate publications, public records, buyers, sellers, real estate brokers and/or agents, appraisers, and so on. Important details of each comparable sale are described in the appraisal report. Since comparable sales are not identical to the subject property, adjustments may be made for date of sale, location, style, amenities, square footage, site size, etc. The main idea is to simulate the price that would have been paid if each comparable sale were identical to the subject property. If the comparable is superior to the subject in a factor or aspect, then a downward adjustment is needed for that factor.[clarification needed] Likewise, if the comparable is inferior to the subject in an aspect, then an upward adjustment for that aspect is needed.[clarification needed] The adjustment is somewhat subjective and relies on the appraiser's training and experience. From the analysis of the group of adjusted sales prices of the comparable sales, the appraiser selects an indicator of value that is representative of the subject property. It is possible for various appraisers to choose a different indicator of value which ultimately will provide different property value.
Onsite appraisals of antiques or residential contents are usually done to appraise multiple items. The average onsite appraisal of an entire home’s contents or collections generally takes 3-4 hours for the onsite evaluation and typically an equal amount of hours off site for research and report development. This is an estimate only. The time spent on site is dependent on multiple factors (please see preparing for an on site appraisal)
The leading appraisal organization for personal property valuation is the American Society of Appraisers which is a sponsor member of the Appraisal Foundation and awards the ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) designation to candidates who complete five years of documented appraisal experience, pass a comprehensive exam along with required commercial and/or residential appraisal coursework, and submit two appraisal reports for review.
Mathematically the distinction between land and improvements in the income approach will have no impact on the overall value when the remaining economic life is more than thirty years. For this reason, it has become quite common to use the Vereinfachtes Ertragswertverfahren (simplified income approach), omitting the land value and the Liegenschaftszins. However, the separate treatment of land and buildings leads to more precise results for older buildings, especially for commercial buildings, which typically have a shorter economic life than residential buildings.
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.
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.
Although appraisers and assessors of real estate work in offices, they may spend a large part of their time conducting site visits to assess properties. Time spent away from the office depends on the specialty. For example, residential appraisers tend to spend less time on office work than commercial appraisers, who might spend up to several weeks analyzing information and writing reports on one property. Appraisers who work for banks and mortgage companies generally spend most of their time inside the office, making site visits only when necessary.
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