One of the most recognized professional organizations of real estate appraisers in America is the Appraisal Institute (AI). It was formed from the merger of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Founded along with others in the 1930s, the two organizations merged in the 1990s to form the AI. This group awards two professional designations: SRA, to residential appraisers, and MAI, to commercial appraisers. The Institute has enacted rigorous regulations regarding the use and display of these designations. For example, contrary to popular belief, "MAI" does not stand for "Member, Appraisal Institute". According to the institute, the letters "do not represent specific words", and an MAI may not use the words "Member, Appraisal Institute" in lieu of the MAI mark. The primary motive for this rule is to prevent trademark dilution.
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.
A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of what a home is worth. All lenders order an appraisal during the mortgage loan process so that there is an objective way to assess the home’s market value and ensure that the amount of money requested by the borrower is appropriate. The appraisal can include recent sales information for similar properties, the current condition of the property, and the location of the property, i.e., insight as to how the neighborhood impacts the property’s value.
U.S. Regulatory and Professional Standards and Guidelines  USPAP complia​nt valuation and independent-appraisal reviews for federally regulated  banks and financial institutions, asset-based lenders, family offices, endowments and foundations, high net worth individuals, private-equity investors and managed funds and, independent appraisal review expert witness and litigation support services to attorneys and in arbitration / mediation and as umpires.
Data is collected on recent sales of properties similar to the subject being valued, called "comparables". Only SOLD properties may be used in an appraisal and determination of a property's value, as they represent amounts actually paid or agreed upon for properties. Sources of comparable data include real estate publications, public records, buyers, sellers, real estate brokers and/or agents, appraisers, and so on. Important details of each comparable sale are described in the appraisal report. Since comparable sales are not identical to the subject property, adjustments may be made for date of sale, location, style, amenities, square footage, site size, etc. The main idea is to simulate the price that would have been paid if each comparable sale were identical to the subject property. If the comparable is superior to the subject in a factor or aspect, then a downward adjustment is needed for that factor.[clarification needed] Likewise, if the comparable is inferior to the subject in an aspect, then an upward adjustment for that aspect is needed.[clarification needed] The adjustment is somewhat subjective and relies on the appraiser's training and experience. From the analysis of the group of adjusted sales prices of the comparable sales, the appraiser selects an indicator of value that is representative of the subject property. It is possible for various appraisers to choose a different indicator of value which ultimately will provide different property value.
Mail: Request public records by mail. Send your request to: Public Records Request, Pinellas County Marketing & Communications, located at, 333 Chestnut St., Clearwater, FL 33756. To help us expedite and avoid delays in processing your request, please be as detailed as possible with the information you are requesting. The request will be reviewed and forwarded to the department liaison responsible for processing your request. You will be notified by mail to let you know that your request has been received and the steps required to complete your request.
×