If you do not know a doctor nor know anyone who has been to a doctor recently, your best bet is to hire someone who at least has been state certified. The same is true, at least as a minimum, for appraisers. To practice as a real estate appraiser in New Jersey, a practitioner must be licensed or certified. At least one state (Pennsylvania) has eliminated the licensed appraiser category. To become a designated appraiser, however, takes the field of real estate appraising to a higher practice level. The Appraisal Institute awards designations at the SRA (residential) level and at the MAI (non-residential and residential) level. This is a question of not only what you know but how you know it. Appraisal Institute designated appraisers receive the best real estate education available. The Appraisal of Real Estate 14th Edition and the Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 6th edition are considered the “Bibles of real estate appraising”. Designated members of the Appraisal Institute learn from those books. The Appraisal Institute publishes both of those books, and many more dealing with the practice of appraising real estate. If you want your real estate appraised and analyzed, hire a designated Appraisal Institute appraiser. Charles A. McCullough has been active as an appraiser in the South Jersey and Southeastern PA area for over thirty years with a focus on valuation of commercial/industrial properties.