Appraisals can be assigned to nearly any item, including real estate. Appraisals are conducted by individuals called appraisers. Appraisers are educated in a variety of market valuation methods and are recognized by a regulatory authority as being capable of issuing an accurate valuation. For instance, an appraisal on an antique will take into account such variables as age, condition, origin, and availability of authenticating documentation.
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.

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 income capitalization Approach (often referred to simply as the "income approach") is used to value commercial and investment properties. Because it is intended to directly reflect or model the expectations and behaviors of typical market participants, this approach is generally considered the most applicable valuation technique for income-producing properties, where sufficient market data exists.
In the course of evaluating a property, an appraiser is expected to be alert and take notice of aspects and characteristics of the property, as well as the surrounding area, that could affect the value. This can include assessing the overall noise levels of the area, proximity to sources of recurring loud disturbances such as an airport or a railroad line, as well as the view offered by the property. Obstructions by neighboring buildings, for instance, could reduce the value of a property.
To qualify, the homestead property must have been uninhabitable for at least 30 days and affected owners must file a sworn application for Abatement of Taxes for Homestead Residential Improvements (DR-463) along with supporting documentation to the Property Appraiser. If approved, the Property Appraiser will issue an official written statement to the Tax Collector, who will calculate and issue the credit.
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.
In person: When requesting public records in person, you can stop by Pinellas County Marketing & Communications, located at, 333 Chestnut St., Clearwater, FL 33756. (727) 464-4600. Also, you may make a Public Record Request at any Pinellas County Department, click on the link for department information. http://www.pinellascounty.org/departments.htm. When you arrive, provide your public records request. 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 through your preferred communication method of updates relating to your request.
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