A real estate appraiser is someone who works with people selling properties to determine the value of those properties. They work in residential real estate, which includes private homes and apartment buildings, but they also work in commercial real estate and appraise office buildings and shopping centers. Appraisers will look at factors like the condition of the property and the market when determining its value. To become an appraiser and work in the real estate field, you usually need to complete a training program and serve as an apprentice for a set amount of time.
Complete a Training Program
Before becoming an appraiser, you must complete some type of training program and work as an apprentice under a licensed appraiser. You need to spend at least 30 hours studying the basic principles of appraising work and how to appraise properties and at least 30 hours going over the standards and procedures used by appraisers. You'll also need to spend at least 15 hours looking at the practices that appraisers use. Once you complete your training, you'll have the chance to work directly with the licensed appraiser to gain experience.
Take Additional Courses
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you will need a bachelor's degree before you can work as a certified property appraiser. When clients look for professionals to appraise their properties, they will often pick a certified professional over someone who just completed a training program. In addition to having your degree, you will also need to show that you did at least 200 hours of appraising work and that you have 2,500 to 3,000 of appraising experience. That experience must occur within the last two years.
Pass the Licensing Exam
Depending on where you want to live and work, you may need to take and pass a licensing exam too. Not all states require that appraisers take this exam, but many states have a detailed exam that asks you about appraising practices and procedures. You will need to have a good understanding of what appraisers do and how they work with clients. This exam is usually a computer exam and will require that you make an appointment at a testing center. You'll need to show proof of your identity and pay a fee before sitting for the exam. The center will mail your results to you in a few weeks or less.
Check With Your State
It's extremely important that you check the requirements in your state before becoming a real estate appraiser apprentice or enrolling in a training program. Some states will require that you complete a program through an accredited college or university or that you take classes through a vocational school before becoming an apprentice. You may need to pass a background check before getting your license to show that you have no felony or misdemeanors arrests on your record. If you want to start your own appraisal business, you'll need to apply for a business license too.
Property appraisers help clients determine how much their properties are worth before those homes and buildings go up for sale. They often work in both commercial and residential real estate. Becoming a real estate appraiser often requires that you complete some type of training program as an apprentice, go to college and pass a licensing exam.
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