How To Become a Real Estate Appraiser

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Written By Muhammad Abdullah

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Looking to enter the real estate industry but not interested in becoming a real estate agent? Consider becoming a real estate appraiser! This can be a fulfilling and exciting career path, and the steps to becoming one are specific.

If you’re wondering how to become a real estate appraiser, there are certain steps you’ll need to follow. Start by researching what you’ll be doing daily, and then follow the necessary steps to get there. Let us guide you through the process of becoming a real estate appraiser and help you take the necessary steps to make your career dreams a reality.

What Does a Real Estate Appraiser do?

What Does a Real Estate Appraiser do
Real Estate Appraiser

Real estate appraisers are professionals who specialize in evaluating the value of properties, either in the residential or commercial sector of the industry. Their services are often required before a property is sold or during a refinancing process. A real estate appraiser can work for a real estate company, a government agency, or as a self-employed individual.

Becoming a real estate appraiser requires following specific steps. If you’re interested in pursuing this career path, it’s essential to understand what the job entails. As an appraiser, you’ll be responsible for analyzing properties’ value and determining their market worth.

How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in 7 Steps

1. Complete High School

To become a real estate appraiser, a high school diploma or GED is necessary to move forward with a college education. In most states, obtaining an associate degree is the minimum requirement to pursue a career as an appraiser. Therefore, it is important to check your state’s education requirements and fulfill them to pursue a career in real estate appraisal.

To pursue a career as a real estate appraiser, it is necessary to complete high school or obtain a GED. Without a high school diploma or GED, college admission is not possible. Therefore, it is important to check your state requirements to ensure that you meet the educational prerequisites to pursue a career as a real estate appraiser.

2. Get a College Degree

Aspiring appraisers need to understand that a bachelor’s degree is not always necessary, except for those who want to become certified general appraisers. An associate degree suffices for most appraisal positions. It’s essential to review the requirements in your state to determine the kind of degree needed for the job.

3. Complete the Trainee License Coursework

To become a licensed trainee appraiser, completing the required coursework is a crucial step. This coursework will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform your duties effectively. You’ll also need to complete fieldwork hours before becoming a licensed appraiser. Some of the coursework you will be required to complete includes:

Appraisal Principles –As a prospective appraiser, you’ll have to complete 30 hours of appraisal principles coursework, which teaches the basic legal, ethical, and property considerations, as well as real estate financing. This coursework is essential for understanding the fundamentals of the industry and preparing for the licensing process.

Appraisal Procedures –To become a licensed trainee appraiser, you will need to complete 30 hours of appraisal procedures courses. These courses will equip you with different approaches to various properties, including the sales comparison approach, cost approach, and income approach. Through this coursework, you will gain expertise in determining the value of properties based on various factors, such as their location, condition, and comparable sales.

Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice –To become a licensed trainee appraiser, an additional 15 hours of coursework is required, which will cover the professional conduct and ethics expected from a real estate appraisal trainee.

Completing national-level coursework is a requirement to become a licensed appraiser, and some states may require additional state-specific coursework. For instance, California and New York need 150 hours of coursework, while the national requirement is 75 hours. You can opt for online or classroom coursework. Multiple institutions and programs are available nationwide to meet the coursework requirements.

4. Complete your Fieldwork Requirement

After finishing your coursework, it’s time to fulfill the fieldwork requirement. You’ll need to complete 1,000 hours of supervised field experience under a licensed real estate appraiser. You can find an apprenticeship at a real estate appraisal firm, bank, or government agency.

Completing the 1,000 hours of fieldwork experience will take at least six months. During this period, you’ll learn valuable skills from your supervisor and gain hands-on experience in the industry.

5. Complete the Final College-Level Coursework

After completing the mandatory fieldwork, you will need to fulfill the final coursework requirement. You’ll have to choose from three options to complete this final step:

  • AQB-approved coursework
  • State-specific training
  • College-level classes

To become an appraiser, the specific coursework you need to complete may vary depending on the state you plan to work in. Some states have specific requirements that you must fulfill, so it’s important to check your state’s requirements to ensure you meet them.

6. Pass the Residential Property Appraiser Exam

To become a licensed real estate appraiser, you will need to pass the property appraiser exam. This exam will evaluate your knowledge of the coursework that you have completed, covering topics such as property concepts, appraisal procedures, ethics and legal considerations, and real estate financing.

  • Appraisal math
  • Market information
  • Legal considerations
  • And more!

To become a licensed real estate appraiser, passing the real estate property appraiser exam is only one of the requirements. You must also complete all the additional coursework and fieldwork as specified by your state’s regulations.

7. Submit Your License Application

To obtain your license as a real estate appraiser, you must apply to the real estate appraisal board of your state. Your application should include transcripts of the coursework you’ve completed, your employment history, background information, and proof of field experience. Additionally, you will need to pay an application fee, so make sure you check your state’s requirements and fees beforehand. Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the board.

Common Skills Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

Common Skills Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

To become a successful appraiser, it’s essential to have a specific set of skills. The required skills for this field include:

Time Management –To be successful as an appraiser, you should be able to complete appraisals efficiently, submit reports accurately, and manage various responsibilities. This includes meeting deadlines and honoring appointments. Being organized and detail-oriented is crucial to succeeding in this role.

Data Analysis Skills – To become a successful appraiser, you must have excellent market analysis skills. Analyzing market data is a significant aspect of your job. You will be required to study comparable properties in the area to complete a comprehensive appraisal report.

Communication Skills –Effective verbal and written communication skills are essential to succeed as a real estate appraiser.

Detail-Oriented –Attention to detail is crucial for real estate appraisers as they are responsible for analyzing various properties and preparing detailed reports. A keen eye for detail will ensure accuracy in the appraisal process.

Math Skills –Having strong mathematical abilities can be advantageous if you are interested in pursuing a career as a real estate appraiser.

By acquiring the necessary skills and completing the appropriate training, a career as a real estate appraiser can lead to success.

Becoming a Certified Residential Appraiser

To unlock greater opportunities in the field of real estate appraisal, becoming a Certified Residential Appraiser (CRA) is a viable option. With this certification, you will be authorized to appraise high-value properties, which can significantly increase your earning potential and leadership prospects. While it is not mandatory, obtaining a CRA certification can provide additional benefits to your career.

To become a certified residential appraiser, you need to fulfill specific requirements. These include completing 200 hours of Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) approved coursework and obtaining an additional 1,500 hours of work experience over a minimum of 12 months. With the CRA certification, you can evaluate properties valued at over $1 million, undeveloped land for residential purposes, and one to four-unit residential properties.

Becoming a Certified General Appraiser

Obtaining a CGA (Certified General Appraiser) is another route to consider for expanding your career opportunities. With a CGA certification, you can review all types of properties, from commercial to residential real estate, and have the potential to take on management positions.

To become a CGA, you need to complete at least 300 hours of AQB (Appraiser Qualifications Board) coursework, and a bachelor’s degree, and gain 3,000 hours of fieldwork experience over at least 30 months. CGAs often work with trainees and other licensed appraisers and can earn significantly more than licensed appraisers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of salary can you enjoy as a real estate appraiser?

Real estate appraisers have the potential to earn a competitive salary with an average of around $60K per year. However, the range may vary from $39K to $103K depending on the level of experience, education, and certification. Freelance appraisers can earn more than their salaried counterparts. As the real estate market continues to grow, there will be an increasing demand for licensed and certified appraisers leading to a brighter job outlook and potential for higher earnings.

Is a degree necessary to become an appraiser?

Education requirements for becoming an appraiser vary by state. While some states mandate a college-level degree, others do not. In general, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree meets the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) requirements. However, if you aspire to become a certified general appraiser, you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.

How long will it take to become an appraiser?

“Embarking on a career as an appraiser requires completing a minimum of 75 hours of coursework and 1,000 hours of fieldwork, which can take at least six months to fulfill. Pursuing a certification, such as Certified Residential Appraiser or Certified General Appraiser, involves additional coursework and fieldwork requirements. If you aim to become a Certified General Appraiser, you must also hold a bachelor’s degree. The time frame to become an appraiser varies from six months to over five years, depending on the level of certification you seek.

What is the common career path of a real estate appraiser?

Real estate appraisers typically follow a specific career path that begins as a trainee before advancing to a licensed appraiser position. However, you have the option to further advance your career. As a licensed appraiser, you can choose to become a certified residential or certified general appraiser, which will allow you to appraise different types of properties and open up new opportunities for advancement.

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