Being A Licensed or Certified Real Estate Appraiser

To do real estate appraisals for federally related transactions, there are Federal and State licenses and/or certification requirements in all states. The regulations generally require you to work under someone else's wing until you learn the basics of the business and get some training. They also require you to take some appraisal classes to teach you the ropes. You'll find the appraisal classes to be very interesting if you have knowledgeable instructors for the courses.

If you decide to work with someone else's appraisal company, you'll find this will help you a lot in the beginning stages. You won't be calling the shots for a while, but you also won't have the overhead or liability problems. You will benefit by working with an experienced appraiser until you learn the basics. This book is a very in-depth look at the different aspects of real estate appraising. I think that you'll find it to be very helpful and enlightening. However, it will benefit you to get some field training alongside an experienced appraiser. That's because there are some aspects that are easier to learn if they are shown in person. If you're shown certain aspects on an actual appraisal assignment, it will be easier to understand and apply them properly. Although, the better the appraisal training manual, then the better your head start will be at becoming a qualified appraiser. I hope you find this book to be a good head start to being an appraiser.

See section FHA Appraisal Roster - Appraiser FAQ's on and section SELECTION OF APPRAISER on for details on the minimum requirements appraisers must meet to be placed on the FHA Appraisal Roster. An appraiser listed on the FHA Appraisal Roster/Register is eligible to perform appraisals for FHA-insured mortgage loans. The success of the FHA mortgage insurance program and HUD's ability to protect its financial interest begins with selecting qualified and knowledgeable appraisers.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about real estate appraiser licensing and certification from the Appraisal Foundation web site. (See section Appraisal Related Web Sites:

  • When and why was The Appraisal Foundation established? In 1986, the instability in the real estate and mortgage lending professions led nine leading professional appraisal organizations in North America to form the Ad Hoc Committee on Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). These groups agreed upon a generally accepted set of standards that were then adopted by the eight American appraisal organizations. With the adoption of the Standards, The Appraisal Foundation was established in 1987 to implement the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice through an independent board, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB). The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) was later incorporated in the Foundation structure in order to facilitate the development of meaningful qualification criteria for appraisers.

  • What public charge does the Foundation have and how was it obtained? In 1989 Congress passed the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), more commonly known as the Savings and Loan Bailout Bill. Title XI of FIRREA set up a real estate appraiser regulatory system involving the Federal government, the States and The Appraisal Foundation. The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council as the authority to ensure that the States and the Foundation meet the requirements that the States use certifying appraisers and the standards of professional practice to which appraisers are held by the States (the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice - USPAP). As a result of the legislation, the Foundation has the following responsibilities: all certified appraisers must meet the qualification criteria established by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB); all State appraisal examinations must be reviewed and approved by the AQB; all appraisals for Federally related transactions must conform to Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice promulgated by the Appraisal Standards Board.

  • What is the purpose of The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC)? The Appraisal Subcommittee mission is to ensure that real estate appraisers, who perform appraisals in real estate transactions that could expose the United States government to financial loss, are sufficiently trained and tested to assure competency and independent judgment according to uniform high professional standards and ethics. The ASC is responsible for monitoring the individual States in the licensing and certification of real property appraisers. In addition, the ASC acts as an oversight mechanism of activities of The Appraisal Foundation relating to real property appraisal. For additional information on the ASC and its activities, please visit the ASC website at www.asc.gov .

  • What is the relationship between The Appraisal Foundation and the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC)? These two entities are often confused by the public. The Appraisal Subcommittee is the Federal agency charged with oversight of the State appraisal regulatory programs. In addition, the ASC is responsible for monitoring the activities of The Appraisal Foundation and the ASB and AQB as well as providing a Federal grant to assist in the operations of these Boards.

  • What is the relationship between The Appraisal Foundation, the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB), and the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB)? The Appraisal Foundation serves as an umbrella organization for two independent Boards, the Appraisal Standards Board and the Appraiser Qualifications Board. While these boards are independent, the Board of Trustees of The Appraisal Foundation is responsible for funding the activities of the ASB and AQB as well as appointing members to the Boards and providing oversight of their activities.

  • How is The Appraisal Foundation funded? The Appraisal Foundation is funded in part by a Federal grant, sales of publications and services and from Sponsoring Organizations.

  • Is The Appraisal Foundation part of the Federal government? No, The Appraisal Foundation is a private non-profit educational organization.


The following FAQ's are from the Appraisal Foundation brochures titled "How to Enter the Appraisal Profession " and "How to Enter the Real Property Appraisal Profession". See section Appraisal Related Web Sites.

  • What is an appraiser? An appraiser is one who develops and reports an opinion of value on a specific type of property. Appraisers may opt to specialize in various disciplines such as:

  • Real Property appraisal, which is the valuation of real estate. Real Property appraisers can choose specialties to practice within such as residential, commercial and agricultural.

  • Personal Property appraisal, which encompasses all types of personal property such as fine and decorative arts, antiques, gems and jewelry and machinery and equipment.

  • Business Valuation which is the valuing of businesses including all tangible and intangible assets ranging from the value of the equipment to the value of the business name or logo.

  • Mass Appraisal which encompasses techniques that are used when valuing multiple types of real property or personal property using general recognized formulas.

While most appraisers choose to specialize in just one area of practice, many appraisers practice in more than one discipline.

  • What skills are required to become an appraiser? All appraisers must have good analytical skills and work well with numbers. In addition, appraisers spend much time interacting with clients and writing reports, so good communications skills are a must.

  • Does the federal government regulate appraisers? Currently, the government regulates only real property appraisers. The power of regulation currently rests with the individual states and territories that issue licenses and certificates to real property appraisers. In addition, each individual State Real Property Appraisal Board is responsible for disciplining appraisers. At this time, there are no immediate plans for the regulation of appraisers who specialize in other forms of property.

  • How do I become an appraiser? The process of becoming an appraiser differs according to the various appraisal disciplines. Most appraisers are required to have a certain number of hours of education and experience. In addition, if an appraiser wishes to become state licensed or certified in real property or if an appraiser wishes to become "designated" by an appraisal organization, they must also pass a comprehensive examination. The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation recommends the following minimum criteria for state licensed/certified real property appraisers:

Experience Required

Education Required

Exam Required

Licensed Residential

2,000 hrs.

90 hrs.


Certified Residential

2,500 hrs.

120 hrs.


Certified General

3,000 hrs.

180 hrs.


Please note that the criteria above is a recommended minimum and that the states may decide to increase this criteria as they see fit. The AQB has also established voluntary minimum criteria for personal property appraisers, as follows:

Experience Required

Education Required

Exam Required

Personal Property Appraiser Minimum Qualification Criteria

* 1,800-4,500 hrs.

120 hrs.


* Experience hours range from 1,800 of personal property appraisal experience, of which 900 hours must be specialized, to 4,500 hours of market related personal property non-appraisal experience in areas of specialization.

  • Do I need a college degree to become an appraiser? Appraisal education in the United States has typically been provided by professional organizations. Accordingly, at present time it is not necessary to have a college degree in order to become an appraiser. Many appraisers choose to receive training through traditional methods, such as through professional appraisal organizations. It should be noted that some of these associations require a college degree for their advanced designations. On an increasing basis, appraisers are supplementing their education through courses at the community college or university level.

  • What is an appraisal "designation"? An appraisal designation is awarded by one of many professional trade organizations that represent appraisers. Designations are awarded after an appraiser has completed a specific course of appraiser training through an organization. Each organization offers multiple designations in differing fields or specialties.

  • How do I become a designated appraiser? You will need to contact one of the many professional organizations representing appraisers regarding membership and the course of action for designation.

  • Why should I join a professional appraisal organization? A professional appraisal organization provides appraisers with the opportunity to network with other professionals, to keep abreast of pertinent issues such as regulatory changes and to receive continuing education.

  • How to I obtain trainee experience? Trainee experience can be gained by aligning yourself with a professional, established appraiser as an apprentice as a trainee. Many appraisers work as an apprentice while completing the required education. For real property appraisers, many states have formal trainee programs.

  • What is the demand for qualified appraisers? There is a wide array of clients that use appraisals such as lenders, insurance companies, attorneys, governments, museums and tax assessors.

  • What is The Appraisal Foundation? The Appraisal Foundation is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the promulgation of professional appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications for all appraisal disciplines. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through the work of two independent Boards, the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) and the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB).

  • Why should I be interested in the work of the Foundation? The Foundation, through its Appraisal Standards Board, publishes the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which is the generally accepted set of performance standards for appraisers. It is these standards that are enforced by state governments and various professional appraisal organizations. In addition, the minimum qualifications for certain appraisal disciplines are established by the Appraiser Qualifications Board of the Foundation.

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