In Germany, real estate appraisal is known as real estate valuation (Immobilienbewertung). Real estate appraisers (Immobilienbewerter or Gutachter) can qualify to become a Öffentlich bestellter und vereidigter Sachverständiger (officially appointed and sworn expert). However, this formerly very important title has lost a lot of its importance over the past years, but still is of some value in court procedures. The title is not generally required for appraisals.
The cost approach was once called the summation approach. The theory is that the value of a property can be estimated by summing the land value and the depreciated value of any improvements. The value of the improvements is often referred to by the abbreviation RCNLD (for "reproduction/replacement cost new less depreciation"). Reproduction refers to reproducing an exact replica; replacement cost refers to the cost of building a house or other improvement which has the same utility, but using modern design, workmanship and materials. In practice, appraisers almost always use replacement cost and then deduct a factor for any functional dis-utility associated with the age of the subject property. An exception to the general rule of using the replacement cost is for some insurance value appraisals. In those cases, reproduction of the exact asset after a destructive event like a fire is the goal.
Other leading appraisal organizations include the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers and the National Association of Master Appraisers, which were also founding sponsor-members of the Appraisal Foundation. The Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers (MBREA), founded in 1934, is the only state appraisal association that has been named a sponsor of the Appraisal Foundation. In recent years, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has become highly regarded in the United States, and has formed a collaboration with the Counselors of Real Estate, a division of the National Association of Realtors. RICS, which is headquartered in London, operates on a global scale and awards the designations MRICS and FRICS to Members and Fellows of RICS. The Real Estate Counseling Group of America is a small group of top U.S. appraisers and real estate analysts who have collectively authored a disproportionately large body of appraisal methodology and, the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NAREA), founded in 1966, with the goal to elevate the professionalism and success of the Appraisal Industry.
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In most instances, an appraiser will spend their time determining the value of one piece of property at a time. Building up their expertise in making their assessments often leads appraisers to specialize in a particular area of real estate. For example, a commercial appraiser could focus on the market for office buildings, hotels, retail locations, and other properties that include an income generating quality.
PINZ incorporated much of the membership of the NZIV, the Institute of Plant & Machinery Valuers (IPMV) and the Property & Land Economy Institute of New Zealand (PLEINZ). PINZ now represents the interests of valuers, property and facilities managers, property advisors and plant and machinery valuers. PINZ has developed into one of the largest professional bodies for standards, qualifications and ethics across all facets of the property profession within New Zealand. It works with government, industry and other professional associations, education stakeholders and the media to promote its standards and views.
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As mentioned before, an appraiser can generally choose from three approaches to determine value. One or two of these approaches will usually be most applicable, with the other approach or approaches usually being less useful. The appraiser has to think about the "scope of work", the type of value, the property itself, and the quality and quantity of data available for each approach. No overarching statement can be made that one approach or another is always better than one of the other approaches.
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