Real Estate Appraisal or also Property Valuation or Land Valuation are the process of developing an opinion of value for real property based on market data.  Real Estate transactions often require and appraisal because they occur infrequently, and every property is unique.  The location plays a key role in valuation.  Since property can Not change its location, it is often the upgrades or improvements to the home that can change its value.  Appraisal reports form the basis for mortgage loans, settling estates, divorces, taxation and establishing a sales price for a property. Real Estate Appraisers are usually licensed or certified by the state in which they work.  Some are designated by organizations that have been around for years.  One of the most recognized professional organizations of Real Estate Appraisers is the Appraisal Institute (AI).  The Appraisal Institute awards two professional designations to appraisers; the SRA to residential appraisers, and MAI to commercial appraisers.  Review Appraisers also have a designation thru the Appraisal Institute with AI-RRS and AI-GRS designations.  In order to obtain any of these designations an appraiser is put thru a stringent education process and rigorous regulation.