The Appraisal Process

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a professional  appraiser’s opinion of value. The preparation of an appraisal involves  research into appropriate market areas; the assembly and analysis of  information pertinent to a property; and the knowledge, experience, and  professional judgment of the appraiser. Appraisals may be required for  any type of property, including single-family homes, apartment buildings  and condominiums, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial sites,  and farms. The reasons for performing a real property appraisal are  just as varied. They are usually required whenever real property is  sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed. For example, appraisals  are prepared for:

Mortgage lending purposes
Tax assessments and appeals of assessments
Negotiation between buyers and sellers
Government acquisition of private property for public use
Business mergers or dissolutions
Lease negotiations

What is the Role of the Appraiser?

The  role of the appraiser is to provide objective, impartial, and unbiased  opinions about the value of real property—providing assistance to those  who own, manage, sell, invest in, and/or lend money on the security of  real estate. Appraisers assemble a series of facts, statistics, and  other information regarding specific properties, analyze this data, and  develop opinions of value. Each appraisal assignment challenges the  appraiser’s ability to put analytical skills into practice, exercise  sound judgment, and communicate effectively.

What Qualifications Must Appraisers Have?

All  states require appraisers to be state licensed or certified in order to  provide appraisals to federally regulated lenders. Some states require  appraisers to be licensed or certified to provide appraisals for other  parties as well. To become licensed or certified, you must pass an  examination that is administered by your state’s appraisal board.  Because state requirements vary, contact your state’s regulatory agency  for specific requirements. The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of  The Appraisal Foundation is authorized by Congress to establish the  minimum requirements for Certified General Real Property Appraiser and  Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser classifications, and the  AQB provides recommended minimum requirements for the Licensed Real  Property Appraiser and Trainee classifications. Descriptions for the  four categories can be found on The Appraisal Foundation Website.

Source: Appraisal Institute (