What does a Real Estate Appraiser and Assessor do?
Appraiser and Assessor of real estate prepare estimates of the value of property, such as the land and building or structure. This is typically provided before it is sold, developed, insured, taxed, or mortgaged. Before arriving at the property, an appraiser and assessor of real estate prepares current data and then performs an inspection of new and existing properties.
An appraiser and assessor of real estate properties typically works in the locations they are familiar with so that any concerns that may affect the property value. They work in offices but a large part of their time is spent visiting properties.
How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser and Assessor
An appraiser and assessor of real estate typically needs a bachelor’s degree to obtain the entry-level state license category with preferred courses in economics, finance mathematics, computer science, English, and business or real estate law.
However, requirements may vary by state for residential or commercial property and so one should check with his or her appropriate state licensing board. In a few cases a high school diploma may be accepted. Employers usually want applicants to take basic appraisal courses, finish long-term-on-the-job training and meet the hourly work requirements for certificates or licenses.
Federal law requires appraisers to have a state license certificate when working on federally related transactions such as appraisals for loans made to financial institutions and federally insured banks.
For information on appraisal licensing one should contact The Appraisal Foundation (TAF). This federal requirement does not apply to assessors however, some states may require certification. An assessor can get information from the International Association of Assessing Offices (IAAO) that offers the Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE). This covers topics like property tax administration, property valuation for tax purposes, and property policy. One requires a bachelor’s degree before obtaining the designation.
Job Description of a Real Estate Appraiser and Assessor
Appraisers and assessors of real estate usually have the duties of inspecting new and existing properties and verifying legal descriptions given of the property found in public records. They need to take pictures of both the interior and exterior of the real estate property and analyze “comparable” or similar properties to provide its value.
He or she prepares and maintains current information on each real estate property and compares written reports on the property value. Appraisers normally value one property at a time. An appraiser may also specialize in a certain type of real estate such as commercial appraisers that specialize in property that produces income like hotels, apartments, office buildings, or stores.
Residential appraisers specialize in appraising homes like condominiums and family houses. He or she is restricted to appraising properties that have one to four units. An assessor would value properties for property tax assessments. They often work in local governments and can value entire neighborhoods at once by using mass appraisal techniques and computer assisted appraisal systems.
An appraiser and assessor of real estate should be skilled in customer service, math, problem-solving, time-management, and be analytical.