What is an Appraiser? What Does an Appraiser Do?

There are a lot of different work opportunities within the real estate industry besides working as a real estate agent. Let’s examine one of those careers – a real estate appraiser. We’ll tell you what an appraiser does, types of appraisers, how to become an appraiser, and more.

After learning what a real estate appraiser does and the benefits of working in the field, you may feel it’s the perfect career for you.

What Is an Appraiser?

An appraiser is someone who determines the monetary value of something. Although appraisers work in many industries, this article will focus on a real estate appraiser. A real estate appraiser is a licensed and certified professional who provides an unbiased estimate of a property’s value.

What Does an Appraiser Do?

A real estate appraiser plays a crucial role in the industry. Their primary responsibility is to assess and determine the market value of a property.

This market value determination is used for various purposes. For example, a property might need to be appraised during the buying or selling process, for property tax assessment, estate planning, or divorce. Lending institutions also rely on data supplied by a real estate appraiser.

Appraiser roles and responsibilities

Here’s a list of real estate appraisers’ various roles and responsibilities.

1. Property inspection: A real estate appraiser may inspect a property to gather relevant information that will affect the value, including the size, condition, or features of the home.

2. Data collection and analysis: Like a real estate agent, an appraiser looks at recent sales of comparable properties in the area. They will use those numbers, as well as current market trends, to determine the value of a property.

3. Prepare appraisal reports: A real estate appraiser will report their findings in a detailed report. An appraisal report typically includes a description of the property, comparable sales data, and the final estimated value.

4. Communicate with interested parties: At times, a real estate appraiser must clarify their findings with interested parties, which may include lenders, real estate agents, homeowners, or government agencies.

While performing these job responsibilities, a real estate appraiser must uphold high ethical standards and maintain objectivity throughout the appraisal process. They also must adhere to industry standards and guidelines and local, state, and federal regulations.

Different Types of Appraisers

Real estate appraisers often specialize in a specific real estate niche. Here are some types of appraisers working in the real estate industry.

Residential appraiser

Residential appraisers focus on single-family homes, condos, or multi-family properties with fewer than four units.

Commercial appraiser

A commercial appraiser values commercial properties, including office buildings and retail spaces.

Industrial appraiser

An industrial appraiser assesses the value of manufacturing facilities, warehouses, distribution centers, and other industrial buildings.

Agricultural appraiser

An agricultural appraiser assesses the value of farms, ranches, and land zoned for agricultural purposes.

Special purpose property appraiser

Some appraisers assess unique properties, such as churches, schools, government buildings, and other structures with specific uses.

Eminent domain appraiser

An eminent domain appraiser determines fair compensation for property subject to eminent domain by the government.

In addition to specializing in a particular real estate niche, there are different real estate appraiser licenses. The Appraisal Qualifying Board (AQB) sets minimum education prerequisites for each license. Some states follow the AQB recommendations. However, to fully understand appraisal licensure, you must look up the requirements in your state, as each state has its own set of requirements and regulations.

Benefits of Working as an Appraiser

Every profession has its pros and cons. Here are some of the benefits of working as a real estate appraiser.

Appraisers report that their job is flexible. While appraisers have deadlines, they often can set their own hours to manage their workload.

In addition, appraisers visit different properties and locations, making the job more enjoyable. This professional also appeals to people who enjoy an independent work environment.

Working as an appraiser can be challenging and rewarding. It’s a good fit for those who enjoy problem-solving and have excellent critical-thinking skills.

How to Choose an Appraiser

Real estate agents often work closely with appraisers to determine the fair market value of a property. The choice of an appraiser can affect the outcome of a deal, so real estate agents typically choose appraisers with stellar reputations.

Real estate agents select appraisers with local market knowledge, excellent communication skills, and those who can provide a quick turnaround time.

Of course, agents only work with appraisers who are licensed and certified. The following section gives details on how to complete the appraisal licensing process.

How to Hire a Real Estate Appraiser

Seek recommendations from your brokerage, other real estate agents, or lenders who have recently overseen similar transactions. Their experiences can help you find an appraiser to hire.

How to Become an Appraiser

Again, each state has its requirements and regulations for becoming an appraiser. There are different levels and types of real estate appraiser certifications, including Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser.

Here are some general guidelines on how to get started.

Step 1: Enroll in an appraisal trainee course.

These courses are meant to be taken as you train under a licensed appraiser. You can take these courses online for all 50 states, and some online real estate appraiser schools also offer livestream courses.

Step 2: Become a trainee appraiser.

Many states require hands-on experience obtained by working as an apprentice under a licensed appraiser. Contact real estate appraisal companies in your area and ask about the trainee program. The number of hours required varies by state.

Step 3: Complete additional real estate appraiser coursework.

Depending on your state, you may need to take additional coursework, state-specific training, or college-level classes. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is not required. However, some states require a college degree for a certain level of licensing.

Step 4: Pass the licensing exam.

After completing the necessary education requirements and gaining the required experience, you must take and pass the state-specific appraisal licensing exam.

Quality test prep material is available to help you study.

Step 5: Apply for your certification or license.

Once you have passed the exam, you must submit your application for your professional license.

Once you have your license, you can start working as a real estate appraiser.

Step 6: Maintain your license.

You will need to take continuing education courses to renew your appraisal license. These courses will help you stay current with industry standards and any changes in state or national regulations.

It can be intimidating to start a new career. However, McKissock Learning is here to help. For more than 30 years, McKissock Learning has provided high-quality appraiser education courses – with more than 50,000 customer reviews rating us as the #1 appraisal school in the nation.

Whether you are just getting started in your state’s appraisal certification process – or you’re a licensed pro with tons of job experience, McKissock Learning has the courses you need to take you to that next level or maintain your certification. Learn your state-specific requirements to become a real estate appraiser by visiting McKissock Learning.