A homeowner wants to sell his house and move to a new city. A corporation wants to rent out an unused warehouse to generate additional revenue. The homeowner and the corporation both wonder what they should charge for their properties, so they call in a real estate appraiser.
Real estate appraisal aims to determine the value of an individual property. This value can be calculated in many ways: as fair market value, investment value, insurable value, value-in-use, foreclosure value, liquidation value, or other valuations. These valuations may be used to assess property tax, set a sale price, settle a dispute, etc.
Real estate appraisers may use sales comparisons, geographic information, location considerations, and the state of the property in their work to determine the value of a particular property. They must then write detailed reports of their research, observations, and final conclusions for each client.
Real estate appraisers in the U.S. must be licensed and certified at the state level. This may include training requirements as well as the need to take an exam.