How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser

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Real estate appraisers work independently, for a larger organization or with a group of other appraisers, and perform appraisals for mortgage lenders who want assurance of the value of a property. "Money" magazine recently included real estate appraising on its list of up and coming six-figure career opportunities.

  • Contact the state association of real estate appraisers. Ask for a list of accredited courses in the area, such as community college, universities, appraisal school or professional education organizations sponsored by the local realty association.

  • Enroll in the required classes, which generally amount to 90 hours of coursework. Take classes in basic real estate concepts, principles and practices and real estate law, as well as classes specific to appraising.

  • Complete the coursework with passing grades. Arrange with the school administrator to take the "proctored" appraiser exam. Secure a trainee license.

  • Talk to local real estate brokers or appraisers and arrange for a mentor as well as an "appraiser trainee" position at a realty company. Work with the mentor to acquire the required number of hours to satisfy professional licensing requirements, develop skills and learn "tricks of the trade."

  • Network and keep up with professional development by way of membership in professional associations. Pursue continuing education. Investigate additional licenses as a requirement to appraise federally-owned or other specific properties.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check with the state licensing board for real estate appraisers for a list of prerequisites, course requirements and licensing exams. Find out if online courses are acceptable.
  • Make sure that courses follow the guidelines and rules of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP).

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