Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter of the
American Society of Appraisers
The International Society of Professional Valuers®
What is the ASA?

The American Society of Appraisers is an organization of appraisal professionals and others interested in the appraisal profession. International in structure, it is self-supporting and independent. The oldest and only major appraisal organization representing all of the disciplines of appraisal specialists, the society originated in 1936 and incorporated in 1952. ASA's headquarters is in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

The society is dedicated to the benefit of the appraisal profession. It is one of eight major appraisal societies that, in 1987, founded The Appraisal Foundation, a national nonprofit organization created to establish uniform criteria for professional appraisers. Since 1989 The Appraisal Foundation has been recognized by the U.S. Congress as the source for the development and promulgation of appraisal standards and qualifications.

When you hire an ASA-accredited appraiser, you are assured the best valuation expertise on the market, because ASA-accredited appraisers bring knowledge of the market and profession, experience, and solid reputation to the job.

What is an appraiser?

In short, ASA-accredited appraisers are valuation experts in their respective specialties of all types of tangible and intangible properties. The meticulous ASA accreditation process ensures that ASA-accredited appraisers are accurate, impartial, and credible. They are educated and experienced in their fields and are respected members of their communities. They can deliver independent valuations that assure your property is appraised at its fair market value.

What is an Appraisal Report?

An Appraisal Report is any written or oral communication of an opinion of value based on research conducted by a professional appraiser. Based on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), Appraisal Standards Board, there are basically three types of written reports, including:
  • Self-Contained Appraisal Report (presents and describes the data, reasoning and analyses used in the development of the opinion of value with all appropriate information included within the Report)
  • Summary Appraisal Report (presents summaries of the data, reasoning and analyses used in the development of the opinion of value)
  • Restricted Use Appraisal Report (presents the conclusions of the appraiser's opinion of value, excluding supporting data, reasoning and analyses used in the development of the opinion of value)

The purpose and scope of an assignment determine the type of appraisal report needed.

How does an appraiser determine the fee to conduct an appraisal?

In general, business appraisal fees are similar to other professionals in the legal and accounting fields. Appraisers usually quote their fees either as an hourly rate, which can vary depending upon the level of expertise of those working on the assignment, or as a flat fee for the appraisal report. Most all appraisers quote their fees for litigation support, such as testifying as an expert witness, on an hourly basis.

What are the appraisal disciplines or categories?

Members of ASA are grouped into the following six disciplines: Appraisal Review and Management, Business Valuation, Gems and Jewelry, Machinery and Technical Specialties, Personal Property and Real Property. ASA offers testing and accreditation in these disciplines and specialties.

In the descriptive material, reference is made to "professionally qualified" appraisers. This refers to individuals who have been tested and accredited in their particular fields of expertise/specialization under the auspices of ASA's International Board of Examiners.

What are the types of ASA membership accreditations?

Each accredited member of the American Society of Appraisers has earned a professional designation in one or more specialized areas of appraisal. To receive the accreditation, the appraiser must pass intensive written examinations, submit representative appraisal reports for peer review and bescreened for his or her ethical behavior.

Every accredited appraiser must start his or her ASA membership as a Candidate member. In order to be accepted for Candidate membership, the prospective Candidate must be interviewed and approved by his or her local chapter. Subsequently, each Candidate must pass ASA's Ethics  Examination and an examination on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) within a specified period of time. (The Uniform Standards are published each year by The Appraisal Foundation, authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.)

The Candidate's technical appraisal proficiency and understanding of the fundamentals of appraisal ethics, principles and concepts are evaluated by intensive written and oral examinations. Copies of the Candidate's appraisal reports are reviewed and must meet professional criteria. When the Candidate has met all these requirements and has gained the necessary experience, he or she may apply for advancement to Accredited Member or Accredited Senior Appraiser status.

To qualify for the Accredited Member designation (AM), an individual must have at least two years of full-time equivalent appraisal experience and a college degree or its equivalent.

To qualify for the Accredited Senior Appraiser designation (ASA), an individual must have a minimum of 5 years of full-time equivalent appraisal experience and a college degree or its equivalent.

To attain the Master Gemologist Appraiser® designation, an individual must:

  1. Hold the ASA designation;
  2. Be a Graduate Gemologist (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America or hold the designation Fellow, Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA); (
  3. Own or be employed by an owner of an ASA-registered gemological laboratory; (
  4. Pass the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue test for color discrimination; and (
  5. Successfully complete the Master Gemologist Appraiser Program, in residence, which includes a hands-on test of the appraiser's ability to correctly identify and qualitatively rank gemstones and jewelry.

To achieve the Fellow designation (FASA), an Accredited Senior Appraiser must be recognized by ASA's International Board of Governors for outstanding services to the appraisal profession and/or the society.

ASA has a mandatory re-accreditation process whereby designated members must regularly submit evidence of professional growth through participation in professional activities and continuing education. This ensures that ASA appraisers keep their knowledge up-to-date.


Real Estate

I recently took out a mortgage. The appraiser will not give me a copy of the appraisal without the lender's written permission. I paid for the appraisal. Why won't the appraiser give me a copy?

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which have force of law in most states for real estate appraisal, define a client as "the party or parties who engage an appraiser (by employment or contract) in a specific assignment". Many residential mortgage lenders are subject to federal regulation, and federal law requires that the appraisal be ordered by the lender.

That makes the lender the client, regardless of who actually paid for the appraisal. As the client, the lender "owns" the appraisal, and the appraiser cannot issue copies to or even discuss the appraisal with anyone else without the client's permission. However, federal law also requires that, if you paid for the appraisal and request a copy in writing, the lender must provide you with a copy of the appraisal.

Last year we installed a swimming pool in our back yard that cost $25,000. Recently, my home was appraised for a refinance. Why did the appraiser only give me $10,000 for the pool in the appraisal?

Residential appraisals for lending purposes develop an opinion of the market value of the subject property. It is important to keep in mind that cost does not necessarily equal value. Market value is an opinion of what a typical buyer would pay for something, not what it cost the seller.

Swimming pools and other major improvements are frequently considered overimprovements, that is, the cost of the item is not recovered in the market. The contributory value of a pool depends primarily on the location of the property and the overall range of values in the neighborhood. A $25,000 pool in an average quality tract subdivision will likely only bring a portion of its cost at sale, while the cost of the same pool may be fully recovered in a neighborhood of custom luxury homes.

What is the difference between a "licensed" and a "certified" appraiser?

In Arizona, all real estate appraisers are required to be either licensed or certified by the Arizona Board of Appraisal. There are three levels in Arizona. A licensed appraiser may appraise only 1 to 4 unit non-complex residential properties valued at less than one million dollars.

A certified residential appraiser may appraise all 1 to 4 unit residential properties, including those considered "complex" or valued over one million dollars. A certified general appraiser may appraise any type of real estate, including residential, commercial, industrial, apartments, farms and ranches, subdivisions, etc. Each level of license or certification is determined by experience hours, educational hours, and testing.


Business Valuation

Can a business appraiser value the real estate and machinery & equipment for my company?

Appraisers tend to specialize in specific appraisal disciplines falling into the following categories often with many sub-categories within each.

  • Business Valuation
  • Real Estate
  • Personal Property including Machinery & Equipment, residential contents,vehicles, antiques, coins, art, jewelry, boats, and other specialized assets

Appraisers should be qualified to conduct an appraisal by virtue of education, experience, and professional designations. Professional appraisal organizations typically specialize in providing education and professional designations for its members who meet their minimum requirements. It is a violation of USPAP to accept an appraisal assignment without having the necessary credentials to conduct the type of property to be appraised without so informing the client.

Why would I need a business appraisal?

The Purpose and Use of an appraisal plays a large part in determining the scope of the assignment, the type of appraisal to be conducted, the type of report to be completed, and the methodologies to be utilized. USPAP Standards and most standards promulgated by the professional appraisal organizations require that the Purpose and Use of an appraisal be stated in the appraisal report. Business appraisals can generally be categorized into three groupings:

  • Transaction Based — Mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, ESOP's, buy-sell agreements, exchange ratios, roll-ups, leveraged buyouts, initial public offerings, fairness and solvency opinions, and debt and equity financing.
  • Tax Based — Gift & estate taxes, estate planning, S corporations conversions, charitable contributions, creation of family limited partnerships, ad valorem taxation, and the granting of stock options.
  • Litigation Based — Divorce, condemnation, bankruptcy, shareholder actions, breach of contract, and a variety of damage determinations.

Can a value be placed on a company logo, its Website and the tenure of its work force?

Yes, these are intangible assets that are frequently appraised by business appraisers utilizing standard appraisal methodology.

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual properties are considered intangible assets which (for valuation purposes) must have the following characteristics:

  • Have a legal existence
  • Have economic substance
  • Can be legally transferred
  • Have a practical business reason
  • Are actually used, or used up, in normal business operations
  • Can be associated with a determinable royalty rate or other transfer pricing

Examples of intellectual properties include trademarks, trade names, books, recordings, and computer software


Will you appraise art from a photograph?

In most instances, no. Condition issues are not always clearly delineated in a photograph. Quality of execution can also be hard to read in a photograph. Appraising art is about judging its quality and condition and then finding how the proper market values it.

When the artwork has been stolen or no longer exists, a hypothetical appraisal can be performed using photographs in combination with other information gathered.