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.
Today, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, CFA, was awarded the 2018 Ian W. McClung International Award by the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) for his exemplary leadership in developing valuation professionals around the world. Mr. Singh was chosen to receive this award for “Theme Park Valuation,” a presentation made in October 2017 at the IAAO International Symposium during which he shared the methods, techniques, and magnitude and importance ...More  
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.
Most of valuations in the country tend to be performed for statutory purposes envisaged by the Federal Valuation Law (the latest amendment in 2016) and other related laws, such as the Joint Stock Companies Law. Such pieces of legislation provide for more than 20 so-called "mandatory cases of valuation", including valuations for privatization purposes, lending purposes, bankruptcy and liquidation etc. Valuations for corporate accounts used to be much more prominent before 2000, when the national accounting regulator ceased to incentivize the accounting fair value option. At present, the mass appraisal of property for taxation purposes is also starting to be outsourced by the Government to the institution of professional valuers.

While the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) has always required appraisers to identify the scope of work needed to produce credible results, it became clear in recent years[when?] that appraisers did not fully understand the process for developing this adequately. In formulating the scope of work for a credible appraisal, the concept of a limited versus complete appraisal and the use of the Departure Rule caused confusion to clients, appraisers, and appraisal reviewers. In order to deal with this, USPAP was updated in 2006 with what came to be known as the Scope of Work Project. Following this, USPAP eliminated both the Departure Rule and the concept of a limited appraisal, and a new Scope of Work rule was created. In this, appraisers were to identify six key parts of the appraisal problem at the beginning of each assignment:


I just wanted to let you know how helpful Mike Nichols was in helping us through a complicated situation in a real estate transaction where a tax certificate had been sold on the subject property. He went above and beyond the call of duty, patiently explaining the situation separately to all three parties involved. The issue was resolved with his help and his response was excellent.

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.[18] 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.

Other leading appraisal organizations include the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and the National Association of Master Appraisers, which were also founding sponsor-members of the Appraisal Foundation.[29] The Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MBREA), founded in 1934, is the only state appraisal association that has been named a sponsor of the Appraisal Foundation.[30] In recent years, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has become highly regarded in the United States, and has formed a collaboration with the Counselors of Real Estate, a division of the National Association of Realtors. RICS, which is headquartered in London, operates on a global scale and awards the designations MRICS and FRICS to Members and Fellows of RICS. The Real Estate Counseling Group of America is a small group of top U.S. appraisers and real estate analysts who have collectively authored a disproportionately large body of appraisal methodology and, the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NAREA), founded in 1966, with the goal to elevate the professionalism and success of the Appraisal Industry.

These appraisers also perform valuations on commercial property ranging from single to multiple tenant office buildings, shopping centers, retail, industrial, malls, hospitals, health care facilities, warehouses, and hotels to multi-family apartment buildings, co-ops, senior housing, condominium developments, and even vacant land, agricultural, and golf courses.  Regardless of the property type or local zoning, they'll determine the highest and best use of the project and assess the value using the actual or projected cash flow from the property's rent roll and financial statements, using both cap rates for capitalizing year one net operating income (NOI) and discounted cash flow (DCF) of multiple future income streams.  If you're a commercial lender, investor, builder, contractor, architect, or agent, you'll want to use these appraisers to conduct a feasibility analysis of any income producing real estate project you may be considering.  They can also help consult on construction costs and projected absorption rates.  They generally produce a commercial narrative appraisal when engaged for any commercial assignment.
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