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Because an appraisal provides a basis for a decision concerning real property, the type of an appraisal used depends on the decision the client wishes to make. An appraisal may be requested in a number of situations. The following list does not reflect all possible uses for appraisals, but it does provide a broad sampling of professional appraisal activities:

Transfer of ownership
· To help prospective buyers set offering prices
· To help prospective sellers determine acceptable selling prices
· To establish a basis for real property exchanges
· To establish a basis for reorganizing or merging the ownership of multiple properties
· To determine the terms of a sale price for a proposed transaction

Financing and credit
· To estimate the value of the security offered for a proposed mortgage loan
· To provide an investor with a sound basis for deciding whether to purchase real estate mortgages, bond, or other types of securities
· To establish a basis for a decision to insure or underwrite a loan on real estate property

Litigation
Eminent domain proceedings
· To estimate the market value of a property as a whole - i.e., before a taking
· To estimate the market value of the remainder after a taking
· To estimate the damages to a property created by a taking

Property divisions
· To estimate the market value of a property in contract disputes
· To estimate the market value of real estate as part of a portfolio
· To estimate the market value of partnership interests

Environmental litigations
· To estimate damages created by environmental violations
· To estimate damages created by environmental accidents

Tax matters
To estimate assessed value
· To separate assets into depreciable (or capital recapture) items such as buildings and nondepreciable items such as land, and to estimate applicable depreciation (or capital recapture) rates
· To estimate the value of the real estate component of an estate plan which represents the foundation for future capital gains and inheritance taxes
· To determine gift or inheritance taxes

Investment counselling and decision making
· To set rent schedules and lease provisions
· To determine the feasibility of a construction or renovation program
· To help corporations or third parties purchase homes for transferred employees
· To serve the needs of insurers, adjusters, and policyholders
· To facilitate corporate mergers, the issuance of stock, or the revision of book value
· To estimate liquidation value for forced sale or auction proceedings
· To counsel clients by considering their investment goals, alternatives, resources, and constraints and the timing of their activities
· To advise zoning boards, courts, and planners, amoung others, on the probable effects of proposed actions
· To arbitrate between adversaries
· To determine supply and demand trends in a market
· To ascertain the status of real estate markets