What it is:
An appraisal is an estimate of the market value of an item by a certified professional.
How it works (Example):
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.
Why it Matters:
Property appraisals are done primarily for taxation and insurance purposes, but may also serve as the basis for an asking price should the owner of a piece of property wish to sell. Appraisals are also valuable for business purposes, as many takeovers are based on a fair valuation of the company’s assets.