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    When it comes time to buy or sell a house or other real estate, and available financing and the sale price are at stake, you want to know "What is the property worth?".

    Real estate appraisal, property appraisal, property valuation, or land valuation is the process of valuing "real property".  Real property is any subset of land that has been legally defined, and the improvements to it made by human efforts; any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth.

    For mortgage valuations of improved residential property in the United States, the appraisal is most often reported on a standardized form, such as the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report.  Appraisals of more complex property, such as income producing, raw land, are usually reported in a narrative appraisal report.

    A common misunderstanding is that the appraisal amount is only for the house itself.  In fact, the figure appraises the total value of the home and any other permanent structures, along with the land on which the house is built.