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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a commercial appraisal?

An appraisal is an opinion of market value as of a given date, performed by a real estate appraiser. 

Who performs appraisals?

An appraisal is typically performed by a licensed appraiser certified in the state where the property is located.  

What is the difference between licensed commercial and residential appraisers?

Certified residential appraisers appraise single and 2-4-unit multi-family dwellings, condominium units, and single units of residential land. 

Certified general appraisers can appraise both residential and commercial properties. Typical commercial assignments involve retail, office, apartment, industrial, and automotive properties. More complex assignments include subdivisions, condominium complexes, hotels, and temporary/permanent easements. 

What is the average turn-around time for a commercial appraisal?

Typically, commercial appraisals take two to three weeks to complete. Depending on the size and type of property, the length of time to complete complex reports can differ. 

What types of appraisal reports are there?

A Narrative Appraisal Report (50-70 pages) contains all the details of the data and analysis.  Banks typically require this type of report because they want to understand the details of the collateral that they’re lending on.   

A Restricted Use Report (20-30 pages) is the shortest report and can only be used by one user, usually the client.  An appraisal performed for the intended use of filing taxes should not be a Restricted Use report because more there is more than one user.

Why do I need a professional commercial appraisal?

Anytime the value of a property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps set the most accurate value of the commercial property. 

Are appraisers licensed?

Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers vary from state to state. Once an appraiser is licensed, they are required to take continuing education courses in order to keep the license current. 

All US states and territories require appraisal licensure for valuation work performed for federally regulated institutions. However, 35 states and territories of the US require appraisal licensure for all valuation work performed, whether federally regulated or for other use.

What is USPAP?

The generally accepted and recognized standards of appraisal practice adopted by the US government.  The standards are revised every two years. USPAP originated in the US, but has been adopted by many appraisal organizations throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. 

What are some reasons for an appraisal?

  • To facilitate the transfer of ownership of real property
  • To help prospective sellers determine acceptable selling prices or prospective buyers decide on offering prices
  • To settle an estate after a property owner has died
  • To divide assets during divorce proceedings.

What is the difference between real and personal property?

Real Property – In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called improvements or fixtures) integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, and roads, among other things. 

Personal Property – All property that is not real property. Generally real estate appraisers don’t value personal property.

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