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A land appraiser is a profession in the construction and real estate industry. Appraisal involves valuing land or property, which is usually done when a land or property is being sold or for insurance purposes. This is certainly a part of the role of a land appraiser, but the role is much more varied than that. A land appraiser can also determine the market value of land or property in terms of value of use, location, development potential, geological surveys and zoning regulations.
Using the factors listed, a land appraiser determines the market value of the land or property. Market value can be enormously important in financial processes related to real estate, both on the buyer and mortgage lender’s end as well as for taxation and insurance considerations. As such, land appraisers provide potential buyers and developers with vital information about the land or property under consideration for purchase or development.
The land appraiser can also facilitate the process of development of a property or piece of land. He or she can put potential buyers in contact with contractors and engineers to move this process forward. Typically, a land appraiser must be hired as a contractor, unless one of the buyers of the land is an appraiser him or herself. Appraisals can be done both for private and commercial development.
While many land appraisers start their own practices. Other land appraisers choose to work for larger property development and holdings corporations. These corporations often purchase property and land for themselves or clients and prefer to have appraisal services on hand for potential development. These corporations benefit from an in-house land appraiser by expediting the process of development of land it purchases.
Municipalities also hire land appraisers to determine the market value of properties. Most times, the land appraisal is done in relation to setting residential and commercial property tax rates. This information is then distributed to the property owners. Depending on the municipality, the property owner can contact the land appraiser to inquire about the process by which the land appraiser arrived at the market value.
The education required to practice land appraisal typically involves engineering and building services degrees. A bachelor’s degree is normally required, but a more specialized diploma may be required as well. In most locations, local, regional and national regulatory bodies monitor the business practices of land appraisers, whether they are independent contractors or part of a larger company. One example of such an organization is the Appraisal Institute, which is a global regulatory organization for land appraisal.