Real estate appraisal is the practice of estimating the value of a piece of property. In this, traditions and practice vary from country to country. Many countries have recognised professional standards to which anyone wishing to practice this profession must adhere. In many cases, there will be some form of examination which must be passed before someone can become formally qualified in the discipline and begin to practice the profession. In the United Kingdom, for example, the profession is called chartered surveying and is regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Most countries have a number of different standards of value against which a property can be appraised. The most common is called market value, which is the value the property could be expected to sell for on the open market in normal circumstances. Other standards of value exist too, however. These usually have specific legal definitions and can vary significantly from one country to another.

The practice of real estate appraisal is vitally important in many contexts, including the prospective sale or purchase of a house, in which, for example, the would-be buyer may have to convince a lending institution to grant him or her a mortgage, or in legal contexts where the property owner must pay taxes proportionate to the value of the property.

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