Are you considering becoming a Real Estate Appraiser? If so or are just thinking about it, you will need to do the following steps in order to get there.
Step 1: Check Your State’s Requirements
Each state has their own Appraisal Regulatory Board that administers and regulates the licensing and certification of appraisers.
For the most part, the pre-requisites should be fairly uniform as they are set by the Appraisal Qualifications Board or AQB of the Appraisal Foundation.
As of January 1, 2008, to become a licensed residential appraiser you will need:
2,000 experience hours
90 education hours
pass the exam
To become a Certified Residential Appraiser, you will need;
2,500 experience hours
120 education hours
pass the exam
To become a Certified General Appraisal, you will need:
3,000 experience hours
180 education hours
pass the exam
Step 2: Take the Required College Courses
The new requirements as of January 1, 2008, to become a Certified Residential Appraiser can be met with either an Associates Degree or higher in any field of study or you can take 21 hours in specific fields.
To become a Certified General Appraiser you will need a Bachelors Degree or higher in any field or 30 hours in predetermined fields of study including:
Principles of Economics (Micro or Macro)
Algebra, Geometry, or higher mathematics
Various Computer Courses
Business or Real Estate Law
Step 3: Take Required Appraisal Courses
On top of the required college coursework, you will also be required to complete a core curriculum in appraisal courses in the following modules:
Basic Appraisal Principles
Basic Appraisal Procedures
Residential Market Analysis
Highest and Best Use
National USPAP Course
Some places will teach you principles you will need to be successful in your career. Others will simply take your money and teach you how to pass the state test. Both are important, but learning the principles properly will be better for you in the long run. Keep this in mind when searching for your appraisal school.
Step 4: Find a Mentor
As state earlier, along with the education hours you are also required to have experience hours. You will have to find an appraiser who is in good standing to train under who will sign off on your work and serve as a mentor. Basically, you will have to treat this as a job search and eventually an interview. And, network with as many people as possible.
You have to bring something to the table that can help that appraiser with his or her business. Maybe you have a client in mind you can bring in to start doing work for. Maybe you are up-to-date on new technology or computer software that can make that appraiser’s job easier. Whatever it happens to be, you must be steadfast and diligent. Knock on enough doors and you will find your mentor. If you are apprehensive, considering taking personal growth and development classes like those offered online at Success University.
Step 5: Study Hard and Take the State Test
The state test is difficult and I heard through the grapevine they are going to make it harder. To get an idea and see some sample questions, go to http://psiexams.com . This is the company who administered the test in Louisiana and more than likely does it nationwide but don’t hold me to that. Now I think it is available online but I’m not familiar with the procedure as I took it at a certified testing facility. Either way it is difficulty – study hard.
Step 6: Apply for Your Appraisal License
Once you’ve taken the required coursework, completed your experience hours, and passed your state’s test, you will now be ready to apply for your appraisal license.
At this point you are probably asking yourself if all of this is worth it. That’s a question you will have to answer for yourself. The opportunity and the money is there for those who are persistent and willing to sacrifice to go for it. None of this is easy but it is all worth it in the long run.
Not to discourage you, but one thing nobody told me what that on top of all these requirements there is also a fee for everything! You will pay a fee to apply for your license, to take your exam, to have your experience hours reviewed and a fee to renew your license every two years.
As always, check with your state regulatory board on what forms and fees are required. Keep good records and especially keep up with your experience hours as you go.
Step 7: Continuing Education
In the appraisal profession we are required to take 30 hours of continuing education over a two year period. Our licenses are good for two years so license renewal basically coincides with continuing ed. You can opt to take 15 hours of continuing ed per year if you wish.
Personally, I took my continuing ed online at http://mckissock.com which is where my wife is taking hers as I type. I’ve also noticed that the Appraisal Institute is offering online classes as well.
You are required to take the 7 hours USPAP course every two years so that will be part of you 30 hour requirement. I think I paid $200 to renew my license after I paid $450 to take 30 hours of continuing ed.
Again, I’m not trying to discourage you but I do want you to be aware of the costs. You can make great money as an appraiser, but an old adage holds true: “it takes money to make money”.
Study hard, be aware of the fees and costs ahead of time, and prepare for your future.