Michael S. MaRous, Founder, Owner

Mr. MaRous graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Urban Land Economics and shortly after began his career working with a Chicago real estate appraisal and consulting firm. He founded MaRous & Company in 1980. During his career, he has appraised all types of real estate located in more than 30 states reflecting a total value of more than $20 billion.

MSM Qualifications

Properties appraised have included:

  • General industrial
  • Commercial
  • Suburban and CBD office
  • Residential properties
  • Vacant land properties with different property rights interests
  • Air/development rights
  • Billboards
  • Cemeteries
  • Easements
  • Golf courses
  • Gambling facilities
  • Schools
  • Data centers
  • Interstate and road right of way
  • Tank farms
  • Waste transfer stations

Expert Witness Experience

Michael S. MaRous is well recognized as an expert witness in real estate and has received the recommendations of judges and lawyers. Mr. MaRous has been retained to act as an expert witness by many law firms; financial institutions and corporations; builders, developers, and architects; school districts; and an array of local, county, state, federal governments and agencies.

He has been deposed on more than 200 occasions and has testified at upwards of 100 trials in circuit and federal courts. He has provided testimony in more than 150 hearings before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) and has testified on numerous occasions before the Boards of Review of various counties. His varied testimony includes more than 150 matters regarding the rezoning of certain properties and he has also been involved in several arbitration and mediation proceedings both as a witness and as an arbitrator.

Redevelopment and Property Valuation

MaRous & Company has been involved with many major redevelopment projects in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the extension of Interstate 355; the expansion of McCormick Place; and the expansions of O’Hare International, Midway International, and DuPage airports. MaRous & Company also has gained extensive valuation experience regarding various types of properties related to:

  • Partial interest
  • Damage impact analyses
  • Easements, including permanent, temporary, aerial, and subsurface
  • Marital dissolution’s
  • Title insurance litigation
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Condemnation
  • Eminent Domain and Acquisitions

MaRous & Company consults with municipal and taxing bodies and with property owners to determine the highest and best use of properties and the just compensations due the respective property owners. MaRous & Company has consulted with government entities regarding multiple acquisitions related to major redevelopment and roadway construction projects.

Renewable Energy

The development of renewable energy has grown at a rapid rate in recent years as the nation gears toward green energy. The development of these large-scale projects create complex real estate value impact situations with which MaRous & Company has experience.

MaRous & Company consults renewable energy developers, public bodies, law firms, and private parties. Testimony has been given before local and county zoning boards and state public utility commissions.

These large renewable energy developers in the United States include:

  • Alliant Energy
  • Apex Clean Energy
  • Avangrid
  • Duke Energy
  • Invernergy
  • Liberty Power
  • Nexamp
  • NextEra
  • Savion
  • Swift Current Energy

On the cutting edge of this burgeoning field, MaRous & Company has significant experience with the following found in the United States:

  • Wind farms
  • Solar farms
  • Transmission lines

With certain developments costing over $1 billion, these projects have footprints ranging from 4,500 acre solar farms to over 50,000 acre wind farms, with energy generation spanning between 5 and 1,500 megawatts.

Professional Licenses & Designations

– Appraisal Institute, MAI designation, #6159
– The Counselors of Real Estate, CRE designation
– Real Estate Counseling Group of America (RECGA), Member
– Illinois Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #553.000141
– Illinois Licensed Managing Real Estate Broker

Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in multi-states including:

  • Indiana Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, #CG41600008
  • Iowa Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #CG03468
  • Michigan Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #1205004587
  • Minnesota Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, #40330656
  • South Dakota Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, License #1467CG
  • Wisconsin Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, #1874-10

Author, Speaker

An award-winning leader in his profession, Mr. MaRous has penned numerous articles. In addition to being an author, Mr. MaRous has reviewed and/or has been cited in numerous books published by the Appraisal Institute. He also has been a speaker at more than 20 seminars and continuing education programs related to real estate appraisal and consulting matters.

Books Reviewed by or Cited

MaRous has been cited in and has reviewed more than 20 appraisal or valuation books, including four editions of the Appraisal of Real Estate, as well as multiple editions of Real Estate Damages. His reviews and citations can be found in books on the valuation of apartments, hotels, movie theaters, shopping centers, and billboards.

Professional Service & Awards

  • Appraisal Institute and Real Estate Counselors.
  • Appraisal Institute, Past President, Chicago Chapter
  • Appraisal Institute, Publications Committee; Editorial Board, The Appraisal Journal
  • Appraisal Institute-National: George L. Schmutz Memorial Award
  • Appraisal Institute Chicago Chapter: Heritage Award and Herman O. Walther (Distinguished Chapter Member) Award
  • American Society of Real Estate Counselors: Past Chair, Midwest Chapter;
  • Chair and/or member of more than 15 other committees
  • Counselors of Real Estate, Midwest Chapter; Editorial Board, Real Estate Issues; Liaison Vice Chair, National Board of Directors 2011-2019
  • Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals, Past President

Public Service

City of Park Ridge: Retired Mayor, Alderman, Liaison to Zoning Board of Appeals, Liaison to Planning and Zoning, Public Safety Committee Chair, Finance Chair

Charitable Service

– The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, Mentor and Speaker
–  Avenues to Independence, Retired Board Member
–  The Center of Concern, Honorary Board Member

MAI Designation Requirements

The Appraisal Institute was organized in 1991, when the American Institute of Real Estate Appraiser and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers joined ranks. The largest professional organization of real estate appraisers in the United States, the Appraisal Institute has more than 23,000 members worldwide. The publisher of real estate appraisal books, journals, magazines, etc., The Appraisal Institute also lobbies on behalf of the interest of the real estate appraisal industry and the public. The Appraisal Institute also offers the MAI- and SRA-designated membership programs.

The MAI membership designation is held by professionals who provide a wide range of services on all types of real property related to providing opinions of value, evaluations, review, consulting, and advice on investment decisions, among other things. Property types may include commercial, industrial, agricultural, residential, and vacant land.

Individuals seeking MAI-designated membership must complete prerequisites and have good moral character to be eligible to enter the General Candidate for Designation program. Most individuals will complete these prerequisites as a Practicing Affiliate, and once finished, transition into the Candidate for Designation program pursuing designated membership.


  • Certified General Real Property Appraiser
  • Standards requirement
  • AI Business Practices and Ethics
  • Degree requirement (if not a certified general real property appraiser)
  • Pass exam: Advanced Income Capitalization
  • Pass exam: Advanced Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use
  • Pass exam: Advanced Concepts and Case Studies
  • Pass exam: Quantitative Analysis


  • General Comprehensive Examination
  • General Demonstration of Knowledge
  • 4,500 Hours Specialized Experience
  • MAI Membership application

CRE Qualifications

The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) is a professional organization, founded in 1953, whose membership is comprised of real estate advisors. Internationally, the organization includes 1,100 members, who have been invited to join the organization and who have been designated as CREs.

The CRE® designation is awarded to those individuals who are invited by their peers into the membership of The Counselors of Real Estate, and who accept the invitation by fulfilling the entry requirements of the organization. One must have at least 10 years of industry experience, and three years in real estate advisory work.

Counselors of Real Estate have varied professional backgrounds. The terms below describe key qualities exhibited by every Counselor:

  • Ethics
  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Influence
  • Prominence

Real Estate Counseling Group of America (RECGA)

RECGA was founded in 1970 by Dr. William Kinnard and consists of an elite group of no more than 30 individuals, each of whom is a principal of his own firm and is recognized for their expertise in the area of real estate valuation and consulting. The requirements to join RECGA require at least one of the following: an MAI designation, a CRE designation, or previous experience as a professor at a real estate focused university.

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice

USPAP represent the standards that are promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board of The Appraisal Foundation and to which professional appraisers generally are required to adhere according to the Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), professional appraisal organizations, and to governmental agencies in the United States.