What Does a Real Estate Appraiser Do?
If you have an analytical mind and love looking at houses, here’s an in-demand job to consider. Real estate appraisers provide an unbiased estimate, or appraisal, of the value of land and the buildings on that land. They provide assistance to those who own or manage property as well as those who sell, invest in or lend money for real estate. Appraisers prepare a financial estimate of a property and research issues that could influence its value. They compare their research against similar properties. Appraisers typically value one property at a time, and they often specialize in a certain type of real estate, like commercial or residential.
A related job is real estate assessor, who looks at whole neighborhoods to assess value to determine tax values. An assessor is typically an elected official.
- Visit individual properties, noting characteristics and surrounding properties
- Check the legal description in the public record
- Examine all variables that impact a property’s value, like overall condition or renovation work
- Take photographs of a property, including exterior and interior images
- Compare property to others in the surrounding area
- Prepare reports that explain assessment results and methods used
- Stay up-to-date on real estate market conditions
Requirements to become an appraiser vary by state and sometimes by city or even the value or type of property. Because home loans are generally financed by federally insured banks, assessors must earn a state license or certification. An entry-level state license typically does not require a bachelor’s degree. Getting the licence requires passing an exam and completing a set number of hours of on-the-job training.
The Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser and the Certified General Real Property Appraiser are the two federally-required certifications for real estate appraisers. Check with your state's licensing board for specific certification requirements.
- Have great listening skills
- Have good analytical skills to compare options
- Have good problem solving skills
- Have excellent writing skills
- Have good interpersonal skills and like to interact with clients