The Appraisal World
April 20, 2015
By Jeremy Johnson
There are aspects of appraisal that many people in the real estate industry may not be aware of or recognize. Real estate appraisers utilize many skills: personal, math and even detective skills. Appraisal is considered a mastery – a trained skill that is mastered over time. After completing the necessary education and apprenticeship, an appraiser can actually evaluate an array of items in addition to real estate: billboards, coins, jewelry and more. Many professionals in the field today think appraisal is the world’s best job.
As of June 30th, 2014, the number of active real estate appraisers in the United States was at 80,500. The number of appraisers has been decreasing at an average of 3.0 percent per year for the past five years. This is mainly due to the average age of current professionals retiring in the field and the rate of entry into the profession has been outweighed by the number of retirements. This makes the demand for a licensed appraiser to drastically increase in times ahead – specifically over the next 5 to 10 years.
The field of appraisal has become of interest for real estate agents and brokers. In the state of Arizona, a real estate license and an appraisal license can be maintained at the same time. A license in appraisal gives agents a better perspective of the appraisal process, which can often answer common questions that occur during a real estate transaction.
In the process of buying or selling a home, refinancing or obtaining insurance, the worth of a property must be determined. A real estate appraiser uses various tools to research comparable sales and location details, take measurements, draw up diagrams, take photographs and produce a written report of the value. To meet the needs of clients, evening and weekend hours may be necessary and travel from location to location is required. While some work is performed in an office at a computer, a lot of the work involves visiting properties which adds diversity. Real estate appraisers work for private appraisal firms, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, property management groups and government entities. Some appraisers may also choose to become self-employed. Career specialties include residential or commercial property appraisal.
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE APPRAISAL
Fee Appraising – The independent fee appraiser provides appraisal services to the buying public and has a number of clients. Fee appraisers are typically one of the following:
Residential Appraiser – A residential appraiser evaluates single-family residences and two-to-four unit residential properties. Most residential appraisers prepare form appraisals as compared to narrative appraisals. The residential appraiser does not possess the skill set to perform commercial property appraisals.
Commercial Property Appraiser – The commercial property appraiser appraises all types of real estate. Some even appraise single-family residences. Most commercial property appraisals are narrative reports as compared to form reports. The commercial property analysis typically includes more emphasis on financial benefits of property ownership and uses more complex mathematical concepts.
I come from a family of appraisers. I can’t see myself doing anything else and truly enjoy the mastery and profession.