4 steps to becoming a real estate appraiser

Whether you have spent time in the real estate business or you are looking for a change of pace in your career, choosing to become a real estate appraiser is a smart move for those who have the right qualifications and attitude. As long as properties exchange hands, appraisers will be in demand. Seeking a mortgage, going through probate, filing for divorce and other events often require appraisals before moving forward. The potential for success is high for the right candidates.

Do you enjoy exploring properties and buildings? Can you appreciate the finer features of a building without losing your objectivity about its overall value? Are you a realist who can see the details behind cosmetic fixes? If you have these and other qualities and are willing to network to build your business, you may be headed toward a fulfilling career.

How do I get started?

Like many jobs in the real estate industry, you do not need any experience to get started. What is also attractive to many is that a college degree is not necessary unless you want to progress beyond the basic certification. However, you will have to undergo formal training to get your license. While each state sets its own standards for licensing appraisers, most requirements are similar from state to state, including the following:

  • A certain number of hours of intense coursework, including learning about various types of real estate, market analyses and land valuation
  • Application to the state licensing board to take your exam
  • Successful completion of the appraisal examination
  • Apprenticeship with certified supervisor

Your license will be valid for two years, so you should plan to continue your education in order to renew your license before it expires. You may find online courses that will fit your schedule and allow you to work at your own pace. If you choose to enhance your certification, you can take additional courses, earn a college degree and apply for further exams to become a Certified Residential or Certified General Appraiser. These credentials can further the scope of your career, opening even more opportunities.

Working as an appraiser can be very rewarding. You will need good communication skills and a keen eye. Property owners will want your appraisals to be as high as possible, but lenders may push you to keep the value low. You should be prepared for this, remaining confident in your knowledge and the skills you have obtained so you can provide solid reasons for your conclusion.

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