As a real estate appraiser, your job is more than just determining how much you should pay for a house! You are actually an economist of homes. You look at all aspects of a home – interior features, location, number of rooms, yard size, etc., and apply economic theory to determine its value.
The average person may think that being an appraiser only means looking at houses and giving them a price, but it’s not quite so simple. There are lots of things involved in becoming a real estate appraiser.
On this page, we will talk about what it takes to become a professional real estate appraiser. We will also discuss some types of professionals who are qualified (but certainly not necessarily experienced) real estate appraisers.
Becoming a real estate appraiser is a very competitive process. If you want to make a living as an appprover, you have to be willing to put in a lot of work. Luckily, there are ways to get started even if you don’t have big money to invest.
We will go over some important things here like whether or not having a degree is necessary to become a real estate appraiser. And although most states require individuals to be licensed as real estate agents before they can work as appraisers, some do not. So, making sure you are legally allowed to work as an appraiser is another thing to check out.
Read up on it
As we mentioned before, becoming an appraiser is a very competitive field that requires you to be passionate about numbers. If investing in yourself financially isn’t your biggest passion, then chances are you won’t last too long as an appraiser.
Before jumping into this career path though, make sure you understand what being an appraiser actually means!
Most people assume that when they go to school for real estate, they will get trained in how to do appraisals. This is not always the case though- depending on which state you live in and who offers certification, some states only require training if you want to perform high level appraisals.
Other states require both low and high level appraisal courses before allowing anyone to perform formal appraisals. And still other states don’t even offer any sort of education related to property valuations.
The reason why there is so much variation between different states is because each one has their own laws and regulations regarding real estate appraisers.
Practice making an appraisal
While being able to make an adequate estimation of property value is a necessary part of becoming a real estate appraiser, it is not enough to just know what things cost and be able to add them up quickly.
You have to be able to evaluate whether or not those costs are reasonable and if the property owner knows how much their house is worth so they can get the best deal possible on it.
This is where practice comes in very handy. You can either do it for someone else or yourself by looking up properties similar to yours and getting estimates on them.
By doing this several times, you will learn how to estimate properly and what factors play into price.
As with anything related to learning, apprasing is a lot about common sense and mathematics.
Get your license
It is very important that before you can become an appraiser, you must be licensed by either The National Association of Realtors (NAR) or The State Board of Equalization in your state. Both require you to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and typically a professional certification as well.
The NARE requires only one year of experience under your belt, but most states require both so make sure to check with each individual board for their requirements!
Many people get stuck because they don’t know what licenses are available nor how to apply for them. There are many great resources online and through local real estate associations about what credentials qualify you to work in appraisal.
Register your business
After you have determined that real estate appraisal is something you would like to pursue, you will need to register your business with either The Florida Association of Realtors or NAR (National Assocation of REALTORS).
Registering your business is an important first step in becoming a professional appraiser!
Both organizations offer training courses for aspiring appraisers, as well as certification programs once you are qualified. Both also provide marketing opportunities for your business, such as advertising in their publications and online platforms.
If you are already working in the field, these two groups can help connect you with other professionals in your area. They may even be able to supply tips and tricks for success that you could add to your toolbox.
Open a business bank account
After you have determined that real estate appraisal is what you want to pursue as a career, your next step will be to open a business banking account.
This can sometimes be tricky since many banks do not offer professional certification accounts. They may also ask for very specific documents and proof of income, or require you to go through several different levels before they give you an account!
However, there are some good reasons why most banks cannot provide you with this type of account. The main one being that it is too expensive for them!
You will pay quite a bit per month in fees alone to maintain this kind of account, so investing in a business account now really makes sense.
There are ways to get a free business account though, such as by referring to someone who already has one. Or you could start off with a low-fee option and work your way up as you prove yourself and gather more money.
Fund your business
As with any career, being able to launch and run its own show depends heavily upon having enough resources to keep it going. Luckily, you can be a real estate appraiser without owning or renting a house!
Most states require that all practicing professionals are licensed by either the state’s Department of Business Oversight (DBO) or The National Association Of State Directors of Professional Surveylance (NASDP). Both organizations offer certification exams that test fundamental knowledge about their profession which is a great way to prove your expertise.
These tests are usually quite affordable and there are many ways to prepare for them. Many educational institutions also offer professional development courses in preparation for the exam.
Choose your team
As mentioned before, being an appraiser is a career that requires you to have lots of different skills. Not only do you need to be skilled in business and real estate concepts, but you will also need to be educated in finance, law, accounting, mathematics, physics, and computer software such as Adobe Photoshop and Excel.
As you can see, becoming an appraisal professional really is a lot of things! Luckily, most of these things are attainable through educational institutions and certification programs. There are many great resources available online and at accredited schools where you can learn all of the above.
But what about those soft skills like teamwork, communication, and leadership? You won’t get very far if you don’t know how to work with people! Fortunately for you, there are some great courses and certifications designed to help you develop these key qualities.
Know your market
As a real estate appraiser, you will be representing both owners and sellers in various markets across America. This means that you need to know who those people are in each area!
It is important to understand local demographics such as income levels, average home values, and types of homes available. You should also be familiar with areas close to major cities so that you can determine if there are any unique challenges for property sale.
For example, if one of the houses being sold is surrounded by an old forest, it may be difficult to find buyers because many people do not like trees. If this happens during spring or fall, then the value of the house goes down- more likely to be lost due to poor sales.
This could be avoided by looking into the effect the tree foliage has on surrounding properties before determining the price.