Appraiser Job Description
Appraisers evaluate properties to establish their market value, using a variety of sources and data to make their assessment. Appraisers typically specialize in a certain type of property. The job includes tasks such as examining key characteristics of a property, researching the property market in the local area, staying up-to-date with best practices and regulations, and producing written reports. This is typically a full-time role and, while partially office-based, part of this role involves visiting properties. Applicants looking to apply for this role should be great communicators, both written and verbal, be detail-oriented, and have an analytical approach to their decision-making.
Appraiser Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization an appraiser works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities. Based on job listings we analyzed, an appraiser’s duties typically involve:
Appraisers make site visits to inspect properties, interview their clients, and examine all variables that might impact what a property is worth, such as the location and future developments in the area.
Photograph Interior and Exterior
As part of the examination and assessment of a property, appraisers take photographs of the interior and exterior of the building, paying particular attention to any key characteristics that may affect the value of the property.
Research Local Property Market
This job involves analyzing comparable nearby properties in order to help make an estimate of the value of the client’s property.
Maintain Data on Property Values
Appraisers verify legal descriptions of real estate properties in public records and maintain value data from neighboring properties to gauge how a new property may compare to others in the market.
Prepare Written Reports
Appraisers prepare reports that explain the assessment results and the decisions made and outline the methods that were used to appraise the property.
Appraiser Skills and Qualifications
Appraisers have great communication and interpersonal skills, have an analytical mindset, and are comfortable with numbers and performing calculations. Typically, employers will require a bachelor’s degree and certification, depending on the state, as well as the following abilities:
- Analytical Skills – Appraisers use different sources of data when assessing the value of a property, meaning they need to be able to carefully research a range of factors and analyze these before deciding on the value and producing a report
- Time Management – This role involves working to tight deadlines and time constraints, sometimes appraising several properties in one day, so appraisers need to have good time management skills to complete all necessary tasks and meet deadlines
- Customer Service Skills – To build successful relationships and expand future business opportunities, appraisers need to have excellent customer service skills and the ability to remain polite, friendly, and professional
- Math Abilities – From dealing with costs to calculating square footage, appraisers need to have good math skills to complete various tasks within this role
- Organization – Appraising properties involves a range of different tasks, so appraisers need to be organized to ensure all tasks and documents are completed in a timely manner
Tools of the Trade
When they’re not on-site inspecting properties, appraisers regularly use these tools in addition to general office equipment:
- Word Processing and Spreadsheet Software – (Microsoft Office Suite)
- Real Estate Programs – (ARGUS, CoStar, LoopNet)
Appraiser Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become an appraiser is a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject such as finance or economics as well as previous experience in a similar field. However, the requirements to become an appraiser do vary by state, so it’s worth checking with the state licensing board for specific requirements. Some states have no formal licensing requirements, and candidates may qualify with just a high school diploma. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) offers information on appraisal licensing. Employers generally require candidates to take a basic appraisal course, complete on-the-job training, or work enough hours to meet the necessary requirements to gain certification.
Appraiser Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for appraisers is $52,000. Appraisers in the 10th percentile earn around $27,000 a year, while the highest paid earn over $97,000 a year. Bonus schemes, profit-sharing opportunities, and commission all provide great earning potential with this job, accounting for as much as $22,000 of this total figure.
Location and level of experience impact the pay level for this role, and many employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to increase by 14 percent through 2026.
Interested in learning more? If so, check out our collection of resources to help you develop your career as an appraiser:
How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser – For those starting their appraiser journey, this book is a great reference for learning the skills required to be successful in this lucrative career. Written by Sharon P. Carson, an appraiser with more than 35 years’ experience, the book helps readers make well-informed decisions when appraising real estate.
The Compact Real Estate Appraiser – This style guide for consistent report writing by Jeremy Bagott includes helpful tips and techniques to streamline processes, from a shortcut to analytical procedures to 33 immutable laws, and a roundup of the common elements of value.
Real Estate Appraiser Connection – With more than 11,000 members, this LinkedIn group is the perfect place for networking with fellow appraisers. The group aims to promote knowledge sharing and building contacts with others in the industry.
AppraisersBlogs – Created with the goal of bringing news, software information, and organizations into one place, AppraisersBlogs is a site chock-full of useful information, posts, articles, and up-to-date industry news where readers can find out about the key issues affecting all sectors of the real estate appraisal profession.
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