The requirements to become a fully qualified appraiser or assessor of real estate are complex and vary by state and, sometimes, by the value or type of property. Most appraisers and assessors of residential or commercial property must have at least a bachelor’s degree to obtain certification. The entry-level state license category typically does not require a bachelor’s degree. Check with your state's licensing board for specific requirements for both assessors and appraisers.
Real property appraisers usually value one property at a time, while assessors value many at once. However, both occupations use similar methods and techniques. As a result, assessors and appraisers tend to take the same courses for certification. In addition to passing a statewide examination, candidates must usually complete a set number of on-the-job hours.
The Trainee Appraiser level does not have an experience requirement. Each Trainee Appraiser must be supervised to get the required hours of experience before applying for the Licensed Residential Appraiser level. Locating a certified appraiser is a very important step to becoming an appraiser. The trainee and supervisory appraiser must keep a log of work completed that will be reviewed when the trainee applies for any license to the state regulatory body. Effective January 1, 2015, all new Trainee (Beginning) Appraisers and Supervisory Appraisers are required to complete an approved Supervisor/Trainee course before they will be able to log experience hours.
These appraisers also perform valuations on commercial property ranging from single to multiple tenant office buildings, shopping centers, retail, industrial, malls, hospitals, health care facilities, warehouses, and hotels to multi-family apartment buildings, co-ops, senior housing, condominium developments, and even vacant land, agricultural, and golf courses. Regardless of the property type or local zoning, they'll determine the highest and best use of the project and assess the value using the actual or projected cash flow from the property's rent roll and financial statements, using both cap rates for capitalizing year one net operating income (NOI) and discounted cash flow (DCF) of multiple future income streams. If you're a commercial lender, investor, builder, contractor, architect, or agent, you'll want to use these appraisers to conduct a feasibility analysis of any income producing real estate project you may be considering. They can also help consult on construction costs and projected absorption rates. They generally produce a commercial narrative appraisal when engaged for any commercial assignment.