An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home's value. Appraisals are almost always used in purchase and sale transactions and commonly used in refinance transactions. In a purchase and sale transaction, an appraisal is used to determine whether the home's contract price is appropriate given the home's condition, location, and features. In a refinance, it assures the lender that it isn't handing the borrower more money than the home is worth. 

There are also voluntary professional bodies for real estate valuation such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors ('RICS') and the Property Institute of New Zealand ('PINZ'). Both of these bodies have a wider membership, beyond real estate valuers. PINZ has over 2,500 members in New Zealand and overseas (such as ex-pats in the UK, Asia and Australia). PINZ has a service level agreement with the NZIV, whereby PINZ contracts to perform tasks for the statutory professional body, NZIV. PINZ was formed in 2000 to act as the voice of the property professions. There have been 'political divisions' within the valuation profession in New Zealand, expressed at AGMs and through 'proxy wars' over the last 20 years or so. Many valuers are supportive of amalgamation of the NZIV functions under the multi-disciplinary voluntary body PINZ, whilst many others wish to retain a separate statutory professional body for valuers (the NZIV). There are various reasons in the debate and the governing legislation is under review and amendments or repeal is being considered. At present, the Act remains in force and the NZIV is legally a distinct body with statutory functions, powers and duties.
The leading appraisal organization for personal property valuation is the American Society of Appraisers which is a sponsor member of the Appraisal Foundation and awards the ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) designation to candidates who complete five years of documented appraisal experience, pass a comprehensive exam along with required commercial and/or residential appraisal coursework, and submit two appraisal reports for review.
Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty and his staff are dedicated to producing fair and equitable Property Value Assessments. We strive to provide exceptional service to the citizens of Pinellas County. The information on this site has been prepared as a public service, and to give you an overview of some of the activities in the Property Appraiser's Office.
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