Purpose - This study describe and analyze authorized property appraisersÕ (APAs) thought patterns when commercial properties are valued, and compare and draw conclusions about their thinking in terms of content, complexity and homogeneity.

Design/methodology/approach - First, a standard set of elements and constructs was included in the grid form (used for data collection). Second, the repertory grid technique and principal component analysis were used to map and analyze the thought patterns of nearly half (67) of the authorized APAs in Sweden.

Findings - Analysis of the individual grids and the mean grid of all respondents demonstrated similarities in the APAs construing and revealed relatively homogeneous thought patterns. Accordingly, the APAs seem encouraged by general guidelines (such as Swedish Annual property Index valuation guidance), and by guidelines and ethical rules prepared by the APAs own organization. At the same time the APAs thought patterns were found to be relatively complex. They focus on several kinds of information and their assessments are perceived to effect property valuation on micro and macro levels differently.

Practical implications - Based on the homogeneity in the APAÕs thought patterns, this study discusses if authorized APAs have begun a Òlegitimacy journeyÓ towards an upcoming establishment of a profession.

Originality/value à - To the auditors knowledge this is the first study using the repertory grid to map and analyse APAÕs thought patterns at an aggregated level.

Keywords - Authorized property appraisers, Valuation judgments, Commercial properties, Profession, Thought patterns, Aggregated level, Repertory grid technique, Sweden

Paper type Research Paper