While a real estate appraiser does not need any equipment to speak of, there is a process they must go through in order to enter into the field. In the end, a state license is required to become an appraiser. Now the requirements vary from state to state, but some combination of relevant experience and education is required to get your appraiser license. In most cases, the amount of time that you need to spend in class averages 80-90 hours but online courses are available. Upon successful completion of the education requirements, a person must then take a proctored exam at a specified testing facility in order to receive their license. There are also continuing education requirements that must be met in order to keep your license. The cost of the courses, exam, and license can exceed $500 but this all depends on the specific requirements of your state.
Fundamentals of the job
An appraiser must come up with an accurate and reasonable approximation of a property value based upon several factors. One of the biggest factors to consider when reaching this estimated value depends upon the size of the home and the land it sits upon. They also must make an assessment of the general condition of the home which is why people with a construction background often make great appraisers. The surrounding area is also taken into account with run-down dwellings in the near vicinity of a home causing its value to decrease. Plus, the actual value of surrounding homes of similar quality and build are factored into the assessment. When all of these factors are taken into account, the appraiser sets the value for the home.
Charges and Earnings
In 2004, the average appraisal fee was $315. Now an appraiser may not see all of that money because this is the fee charged by the lender to the borrower. Typically speaking and again depending upon the state in which you live, an appraiser can average between $200-$250 per appraisal. In some markets, the appraisers are kept very busy but the average is $58,000 per year for the industry with the high-end being as high as $200,000 per year. The difference is explained by the fact that there are residential appraisers and commercial appraisers. As the requirements for commercial properties are more demanding more intense mathematical equations and analysis from the appraiser, the commercial property appraisers command bigger fees than do residential appraisers.
Like anyone who is self-employed, you have to know how to market your skills and services in order to be successful. Networking with realtors and mortgage brokers is certainly a good idea as they will be the ones calling on your services. Most appraisers try to establish an exclusive arrangement with lenders but this is not always possible, or in some cases, legal. Traditional marketing sources such as the Yellow Pages and print media help, but word of mouth advertising is usually the best way to net more business. Still, there are companies that specialize in appraisals so it is possible to build a reputation by first going to work for one of these companies first and worrying about the marketing aspect once you have been in the business for awhile. No matter which route you choose, real estate appraisers are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
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