Home appraisers form a part of the closing process of a real estate transaction. In this blog, we answer all the questions pertaining to what an appraiser does and what goes into appraising a house.
What is an Appraiser?
An appraiser or a home appraiser is someone who estimates the value of a property. The appraiser offers an unbiased valuation based on his findings about the size, location, condition, age, and comparison of the property with similar properties sold in the neighborhood.
Types of Appraisers
A trainee appraiser is someone who has met the minimum criteria set by the Appraiser Qualifications Board and can perform appraisals under the supervision of a Supervisory Appraiser.
In order to become a licensed appraiser, a person must finish the hours of qualifying education and any other criteria set by the state where they want to become a licensed residential appraiser. Once they clear the exam, they can submit their application to the state licensing board and start practicing as a property appraiser.
A licensed real estate appraiser can appraise 1-4 non-complex residential units with a transaction value not more than $1,000,000 and 1-4 complex residential units with a transaction value of not more than $400,000. (Source: appraisalfoundation.org)
Licensed real estate appraisers wanting to advance their career can apply to become a certified appraiser. A certified residential appraiser license can be obtained by completing the coursework mandated by the state. In addition to the coursework, an experience of at least 1,500 as a practicing appraiser is a must for becoming certified real estate appraisers.
A certified residential real estate appraiser can appraise 1-4 residential units irrespective of the transaction value or complexity of the unit. (Source: appraisalfoundation.org)
Certified General Appraiser
A certified general appraiser can appraise all types of real estate properties, provided they meet the qualification criteria laid down by the AQB.
Independent Home Appraisers
Independent home appraisers are licensed appraisers or certified residential appraisers who don’t work for any appraisal company, firm or bank. They are individual contractors who get paid per appraisal.
There is no specific requirement for becoming a land appraiser. Licensed appraisers or certified appraisers can be hired to appraise a land. However, the approach for appraising a land is different than appraising a residential unit, which is why licensed appraisers adept at land valuation are often preferred over ones who mostly appraise residential properties.
What Does an Appraiser Do?
A house appraiser performs a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the property and arrives at an unbiased valuation of the property based on the inspection, sales comps of similar houses in the area, market conditions, and recent trends.
The real estate appraiser will do a physical walk-through of the property and click pictures along the way for the appraisal report. Their goal is to identify the factors that will affect the market value of the property.
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