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. 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.
At minimum, the province of Alberta requires appraisers to be licensed and certified in order to provide appraisals. Appraisers have fulfilled rigorous educational and experience requirements and must adhere to strict standards and a code of professional ethics. Qualified Alberta licensed appraisers bring knowledge, experience, impartiality and trust to the transaction. In so doing, they help their clients make sound decisions with regard to real property.
Most appraisals are reported in writing, although in certain circumstances, an appraiser may provide an oral appraisal. A written appraisal report generally consists of: a description of the property and its locale; an analysis of the "highest and best use" of the property; an analysis of sales of comparable properties "as near the subject property as possible"; and information regarding current real estate activity and/or market area trends. The value indicated by recent sales of comparable properties, the current cost of reproducing or replacing a building, and the value that the property's net earning power will support are the most important considerations in the valuation of real property.
In addition to Agricultural, Residential or Commercial appraisals - and depending upon an appraiser's designation and qualifications - he or she may be able to assist with the following:
- Estate planning and estate settlements
- Tax assessment review and advice
- Advice in eminent domain and condemnation property transactions
- Dispute resolution-including divorce, estate settlements, property partition suits, foreclosures, and zoning issues
- Feasibility studies
- Expert witness testimony
- Market rent and trend studies
- Cost / benefit or investment analysis, for example, what will be the financial return on remodeling
- Land utilization studies
- Supply and demand studies