Real estate appraisal schools are all about teaching you how to wisely develop an informed opinion on the value of a specific property. Some may read that and think “Develop an opinion? I can do that, there are no wrong opinions!” Okay, there are no wrong opinions, but a misinformed opinion isn’t even an opinion, it’s just a random, ridiculous statement. So appraisal training is all about developing the ability to know what you’re talking about. So, beyond simply “getting an opinion” on a house or property, what exactly does an appraiser do? Glad you asked. We’ll explain below. People will always be buying and selling property, so people will always be hiring home appraisers. In order to get work in this field, you’ll want to make sure that every single real estate agency, property investor and home seller in town has your number. Real estate appraisers in most states are required to attend certain classes, pass a state test, and get licensed before they can practice.
Real Estate Appraisal Education and Licensing
Some areas don’t require licensed appraisers while others do. It’s a good idea to get licensed. With the correct qualifications and the right education, you’re free to practice just about anywhere, whereas an appraiser called into another state to do a job may find that they simply don’t have the proper paperwork in order to go and work there.
Federal law requires that most appraisers have state certification (Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS) and the level of certification determines what type of property a person may appraise. The two federally required certifications are:
- Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser
- Certified General Real Property Appraiser
- In addition, most states offer a third certification, which is the Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser
It helps to have courses in areas like mathematics, economics, finance and accounting. Courses specific to an area like real estate development and property management may also come in handy in the profession. In most cases you will find that real estate appraisal schools work in tandem with realtor training and other areas in the real estate profession.
Real Estate Appraiser Careers
The need for an appraiser comes from the fact that not everywhere has a steady, consistent real estate market to determine pricing (and furthermore, that fluctuations in the market happen from time to time even in a place with a more consistent market). So an appraiser’s job is to understand everything that goes into determining property value and to make a fair, informed decision upon inspection of a specific property. Appraisers and assessors of real estate are tasked with:
- Verification of legal descriptions of real estate properties recorded in public records
- Inspection of new and existing properties
- Determining value of property using stated guidelines
- Preparing and maintaining current data on real estate properties
So an appraiser looks at things like the condition of the home, its features, the size and so on, and of course, the location. Generally, the more rural a home, the less it will wind up costing, but there are many homes that fetch a high price while being settled directly outside of town, so there are a lot of factors and subtle points to understand if you want to appraise a home fairly.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
Now, because the work is freelance, it can be slow going at first, so you probably won’t want to quit your day job right away. That said, once you get the ball rolling, once you really have some clients rolling in, then you’ll easily be making more money than you ever have before as long as your talented, knowledgeable, and working in an area with a relatively active real estate market.
This industry may not be “recession proof” exactly, but it’s certainly “recession resilient”, meaning that it’s an industry that slows with economic downturn, but it rarely suffers to the point of established appraisers having to go out of business.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for real estate appraisers was $48,500 in 2010, and the employment of appraisers and assessors of real estate is expected to grow 7% between 2010 and 2020. In order to join the profession, real estate appraisal schools will provide you with the training you need to be successful.
Real Estate Programs
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- Master - Finance
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- Management - Associate of Occupational Science