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Must know about Property Appraiser

Different Types of Property Appraisers

Three types of appraisers are recognized:

  • General
  • Certified Residential
  • Licensed

General appraisers can appraise any and all types of property, and are most likely to work on commercial valuations. Licensed appraisers have the lowest-level licensing status and have less formal training than either General or Certified Residential appraisers. Licensed appraisers have more restrictions on the types of property they can value, and fewer and fewer lenders will engage appraisers at this licensing level for service.

The typical appraiser engaged by a lender to value property for a real estate transaction is Certified Residential.

Appraiser Licensing

Real Estate Appraisers are licensed by individual states, with federal oversight by the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC). Eligible appraisers are listed on the National Registry which is a database maintained by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) containing the names and licensing status of State Licensed, State Certified Residential and State Certified General Appraisers who are eligible to perform appraisals in connection with federally-related transactions.

In order to become a licensed property appraiser, individuals must meet a strict set of criteria which includes classroom education and on-the-job training as a trainee.

Appraiser Training

Before a trainee can be sponsored by a more experienced appraiser, he or she needs to first complete classroom-based training (or online training) that covers:

  • Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours)
  • Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours)
  • 15-Hour national USPAP or Equivalent (15 hours)

In addition to classroom-based training, new appraisers are trained in the field by more experienced appraisers that hold a licensing level of Certified Residential or General.

In-the-field training of 2000 hours over 12 or more months is required before being licensed. In-the-field training of 2500 hours over 24 or more months is required before becoming a Certified Residential Appraiser.

Once the training has been completed, the applicant must sit for a long and comprehensive exam as well as undergo an oral exam. Each state maintains a website with information about licensing requirements, training requirements and exam information.

In-the-field Training

Appraiser trainees go out in the field with their sponsors. This means they visit property to be valued and perform certain tasks, including:

  • Measuring the dwelling and any outbuildings
  • Making a diagram of the measurements of the building(s)
  • Taking photographs inside and out
  • Evaluating the condition and the quality of the improvements
  • Evaluating any external influences that may affect value (train tracks, power lines, commercial property, busy roads)
  • Evaluating the neighborhood