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How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

Do you aspire to become a real estate appraiser, one day? Apart from making a livelihood out of a job in hand, you may like to open a window to real estate market. If not, you may be the kind of person who feels the crunch and wants to make quick bucks. Whatever may be the reason, it’s high time you educate yourself about how to become an appraiser.

Before getting started…

To become a real estate appraiser, you have to appear in state exams. Before that, make sure you are eligible to apply for the examination. State governments set forth a set of educational criteria that you should fit in. Watch out! Each state frames its own exam standards. Learn that the majors you earn at college may or may not suffice for obtaining an appraiser credential. 

But, in common, most of the states follow these two criteria:

  • if you need to specialize as a residential appraiser, you have to have done an associate’s degree; and
  • if you want to train yourself as a commercial appraiser, a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite.

Check this out…

Aspiring real estate appraisers can either be licensed or certified. Depending on what properties you like to appraise after being qualified, you can be a

  • Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser, or
  • Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser, or
  • Certified General Real Property Appraiser

Licensed or certified residential appraisers pitch in residential floors whereas certified general appraisers have the privilege of appraising all sorts of assets.

But, what sets certified appraisers apart? Well, certified appraisers have no constraint in transaction value, and they can appraise as many assets they intend to.

Titbits

Is it worth choosing an appraisal career? Here are the facts and figures:

  • Till the end of 2013, the number of active real estate appraisers in the U.S. stood at 81,050. It has decreased at an average rate of 3% per year over the past five years. This attrition rate would deepen over the next 5 to 10 years due to retirements, various job options, economic factors, and the like.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate appraisal workers would see a job growth of 6% from 2012 to 2022.

Get prepared…

To breeze through the exams, you have to gear yourself up with proper training and prior experience. First up, scan your abilities. You may get things done better or so-so. Then, think over whether you can afford a bit of an extra time and money. If you are pretty sure it’s not a big deal, opt for obtaining an appraiser certification. Else, go for getting an appraiser license. Sometimes, due to unfit situations, you are tied up to tout simply as a trainee. Whatever your plan is you can have those credentials under your belt in not more than donkey’s years.

Getting a hang of real estate appraisal course is not a piece of cake. You have to take in theoretical as well as practical stuff. Theoretical stuff in the sense learning online or through classrooms; practical stuff means gaining experience through apprenticeship. Read the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) manual to know more about real estate appraisal classes. It is better you find a dedicated mentor who can put in his valuable time and efforts to enlighten you with appraisal skills.

In terms of hours spent to get coaching,

  • If you prefer being licensed, it will account for 150 educational hours and 2,000 hours of experience.
  • If you want to be certified, 200 educational hours and 2,500 hours of experience will do to take up the exam.

Where will this gets you…

Having learnt by heart what you have to do to become a real estate appraiser, it’s time to ponder over which way to head after you crack exams fair and square. In the haste to make a move, you would hardly know that you’ve stepped into real estate market filled with lavish job opportunities.

Delighted to have sensed reality, ah? Who knows? You may show up as a fee appraiser or an in-house appraiser at your client’s doorstep. With a timely interview call, you may be hired by assessors and appraisal trade associations and management companies, whatsoever. By far, you can always hope for the best with the completion of an appraisal course. You soon get the feel of your new job and perhaps, work your way up the corporate ladder.

Blog Author

Patrick O’Connor, MAI, Owner and President
Patrick O’Connor has been active in reducing property taxes, providing expert witness testimony and appraising commercial real estate property since 1983. Pat is active in publishing analyses and data with respect to the real estate market, while being a highly regarded media spokesperson for the real estate community. He holds a MAI, the highest achievable designation from the Appraisal Institute, and is a licensed senior property tax consultant. Pat earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. In 2001, he authored the first definitive consumer guide to Texas property taxes, Cut Your Texas Property Taxes.

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