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Real estate appraisal, property valuation or land valuation is the process of valuing real property (usually market value). Real estate transactions require appraisals because they occur infrequently and every property is unique (especially their location, 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). Appraiser reports form the basis for mortgage loans, settling estates and divorces, taxation, and so on. Sometimes the report is used by both parties to set the sale price of a property. Most, but not all, countries require appraisers to be licensed or certified. Appraisers are often known as “property valuers” or “land valuers”; in British English they are “valuation surveyors”. If the appraiser’s opinion is based on market value, then it must also be based on the highest and best use of the real property. For mortgage valuations of improved U.S. residential properties, appraisals are generally reported on a standardized form like the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report.Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (Form 1004): PDF Appraisals of more complex properties (e.g., income-producing, raw land) usually include a narrative appraisal report.

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