Real Estate Appraiser Career Path

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Real Estate Appraiser Career Path

The real estate appraiser career path is a difficult and time-consuming one, but it can be rewarding.

It’s important to know what you are getting into before taking this on as your occupation. I am going to discuss all the aspects of being an appraiser so that if you decide to pursue this career path, then at least you will have made that decision based on all available information. If you do want more information about the benefits of becoming a real estate appraiser, just keep reading!

1. What Is a Real Estate Appraiser?

A real estate appraiser is a person with formal training in the application of appraisal principles and techniques. They are responsible for preparing an estimate of value, opinion, or advice about property. This includes not only real estate but the personal property (including automobiles), owner-occupied non-real estate (boats, airplanes), commercial businesses (factories, warehouses), and mineral rights.

The real estate appraiser provides an opinion of value that can be used by lenders to determine if a potential borrower qualifies for a loan, by individuals in making decisions to buy or sell property, and also provide information for local governments in the determination of property tax rates.

2. What Are the Responsibilities of a Real Estate Appraiser?

A real estate appraiser performs a variety of professional services when they prepare their reports which include:

  • Assessing the general condition and location of the property. Identifying and estimating the value of all improvements, such as buildings (existing and proposed), garages, pools, decks, etc., and all other structures on the property such as driveways.
  • Assessing the value of land, which is based on its location, access to utilities, and other physical features.
  • Assessment of sales comparable (recent sales of similar properties) used for comparison purposes with your subject property.
  • Assessment of any easements (right-of-way or roadway), encroachments, or unusual hazards (such as flooding).
  • Identifying property boundaries and appraising the value of any rights or restrictions on the use of a property.
  • Recording, in photographic detail, all features that may be important to the appraisal process.
  • Preparing detailed reports with calculations establishing your opinion of value in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards.
  • Preparing any additional documentation required by your clients, such as Preliminary Appraiser’s Estimates of Value (PAEs) and Preliminary Underwriting Packages (PUPs).
  • Maintaining current knowledge of local real estate conditions.

3. How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?

The first thing you need to do is contact your state’s Board of Appraisal for information about becoming a Registered or Certified Residential, General, or Farm & Ranch appraiser. There are eight states that require their own licensing exams, which are not administered by the USPAP administering agency. These states are Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, and South Dakota.

There are currently 23 states that require an exam through the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NAREA). An additional 17 states in the U.S. have no state-certifying program in place for appraisers. You will need to contact your state’s Board of Appraisal for information on how you can sit for the NAREA exam.

There are five basic steps to become a real estate appraiser:

Earn a high school diploma or GED and complete college-level courses in mathematics and economic principles. Education requirements vary from state to state, so make sure you check with your Board of Appraisal.

Contact your local Board of Appraisal for information on how to become a Certified or Registered appraiser. Make sure you meet the educational requirements prior to applying for censurer.

Maintain your state license by earning continuing education credits every year, which varies by state. Some states require appraisal-specific courses, while others allow courses in general business, finance, and real estate.

Get experience through an internship or apprenticeship with a certified or licensed appraiser who is willing to share their knowledge with you. Many states allow for an internship period where the new appraiser is able to gather practical field experience under the guidance of a mentor-appraiser.

4. What Are the Skills Needed to Become a Real Estate Appraiser?

Some of the skills needed to become a real estate appraiser include:

Good communication – you will be working with clients, attorneys, brokers, and other professionals in the industry.

Problem-solving skills – you’ll need to use your analytical skills to solve practical problems on site.

Attention to detail – there are many details involved when completing an appraisal, which include measuring rooms or property boundaries, taking exterior photographs of features such as doors and windows, and reporting to your client.

Interpersonal skills – the appraisal profession is a service industry, and you will need to maintain good relationships with clients and other professionals in the real estate field.

Knowledge of the real estate market – this means understanding financial markets and how they influence residential and commercial property values. You will need to understand local conditions such as economic trends, government regulations, availability of financing, and environmental factors.

Math skills – you will have to use math when completing your appraisals, which includes estimating the size of rooms, measuring distances, understanding tax assessment figures, and converting square feet into acres. You may also need to calculate loan amortization schedules depending on the type of property being appraised.

5. What Do Real Estate Appraisers Make?

The typical salary for a real estate appraiser is $45,000. Appraisers working in the higher end of the industry make considerably more with incomes up to $80,000.

Your salary will vary depending on your location and position within an organization. Whether you’re working as an independent contractor or employed by a large company, your earnings will also be affected by the number of hours you spend on each project.

6. What Is the Job Outlook for a Real Estate Appraiser?

The employment outlook for real estate appraisers is expected to grow at an average rate through 2022 as demand increases from baby boomers looking to retire and scale back their work responsibilities, as well as from millennials who are entering the real estate market.

With many states facing budget shortfalls, it is likely that there will be legislation proposing to lower or even eliminate appraisal requirements for property sales. This puts more of a demand on real estate professionals such as appraisers and brokers, which means more opportunities in this field. *THE U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

7. What Does a Typical Day Look Like?

A day in the life of a real estate appraiser varies depending on what projects they are working on. For example, an appraiser contracted to work with a lending institution might spend their days visiting properties and gathering information about buildings and features such as square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, appliances, and improvements. Private individuals can also contact appraisers to get an estimate on the value of their homes.

An appraiser can expect to spend a lot of time on-site, visiting properties, and performing valuations. Some of the duties they will need to complete include: taking measurements, conducting interviews with homeowners or building contractors, collecting data from multiple listing services, and studying recent sales prices in the neighborhood for similar buildings. They will also need to draft their appraisal in the correct format, which includes creating a cover letter, table of contents, and narrative (this is an explanation of how they arrived at their appraised value).

8. Where Does a Real Estate Appraiser Work?

Real estate appraisers can work in a variety of places, including for banks or mortgage companies, for federal agencies, and privately. Appraisers are also able to work independently with real estate firms to help their clients with property sales.

Independent appraisal management companies have the biggest share of the market currently, accounting for about 70 percent of all appraisals, which includes both commercial and residential properties.

9. Do I Need a License to Be a Real Estate Appraiser?

Real estate appraisers are required to meet state licensing requirements, which include an education requirement and passing of an approved exam. Many states require that new appraiser’s apprentice with more experienced professionals before they can become independent appraisers

10. Top Recruiting Agencies for a Real Estate Appraiser

There are many recruiting agencies for real estate appraisers. Top recruiting firms in the industry include:

  • Robert Half International
  • Kelly Services
  • Korn Ferry
  • Manpower
  • Adecco USA
  • Permanent Placement International.


Becoming a real estate appraiser can be a great career choice for those who have an interest in the property market and want to work with numbers. The job involves analyzing properties and estimating their worth, which can be very fulfilling for people who are good at problem-solving. With experience, it is also possible to move up the ranks within this field and become a senior appraiser or manager. If you’re interested in becoming a real estate appraiser, there are many educational programs available that will provide you with the necessary skills. There are also various organizations that offer certification as a real estate appraiser. So if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider becoming a real estate appraiser!

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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