Choosing the Right Appraiser
Many people do not take the time to find a qualified, educated, certified appraiser. So how do you determine who is a good appraiser? The following will address five areas to question when looking for an appraiser.
Years of Experience: The appraisal profession is difficult to get into and takes about 5 years of educational classes and working with a wide variety of properties to be successful. Many who are in the industry themselves recommend an appraiser who has 10 or more years of experience. Be wary of part-time appraisers — because a part-time appraiser has full-time job, many will accept the assignment for quick cash, regardless of their knowledge of the area or the current market trends. A full-time appraiser will be knowledgeable and current on industry standards.
Qualification of Appraiser: Every appraiser has a qualification sheet that provides background on his/her properties, education, licenses, and certifications. You want to make sure that your appraiser is a state-certified appraiser. A certified appraiser is the highest level of authorization by a state. Licensed appraisers aren’t allowed to appraise complex or expensive properties. The Federal Housing Administration does not accept appraisals from licensed individuals, only certified appraisers.
Service Area: You should look for an appraiser that knows your market area extensively. An appraiser from another county may not be as knowledgeable as a local appraiser. Many appraisers service more than 3 counties, so it’s important you find an appraiser who will focus on your appraisal needs and specializes in your market area.
Recommendations: Ask for recommendations from real estate agents, attorneys, lenders, or accountants. Ask for appraisers who have proven to be reputable. This reference does not relieve you from doing your own personal research on the appraiser.
Cost: Not all products are the same, and not all fees charged will be the same. Commercial real estate differs from residential real estate. Keep cost in mind however, don’t let it over shadow the fact that experience matters. Fees are set by the individual appraiser based on quality, experience, expertise, and the type of home. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to appraising.