What Does an Appraiser Do?
An appraiser assesses the value of a property for those who own, rent, sell, manage, lend, or invest in commercial or residential real estate properties. They must have an eye for detail and good communication skills. Appraisers work on-site at property locations, checking every detail to determine the current property value. They also might appraise investment properties to assess the income potential. Appraisers can work for government agencies, financial institutions, or as independent contractors.
Appraisers assess the value of a property after a thorough inspection, by researching comparable homes, properties, buildings, public records, legal descriptions, and tax records. They analyze the collected data to determine the current property’s value and potential future value. They need good written communication skills as they prepare appraisal reports with their assessment results. They also need to stay current on standards, building codes, real estate market best practices, real estate law, and regulations. Good verbal communication skills and tactfulness are a must as appraisers spend time with property owners and may have to address conflicts that can arise if their assessment of the property value is not what the owner expected.
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National Average Salary
Appraiser salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Appraiser is:
Appraiser Job Descriptions
The first step in the search for an exceptional appraiser is a well-crafted job description. Below we have multiple real-world examples to get you started and set the foundation for attracting the exact talent your team needs.
We are seeking a powerhouse appraiser who is committed to producing quality and accurate results. In this role, appraisers will be required to remain up to date with current real estate markets and the changes in those markets as they happen in real-time. Things such as the economy, politics, schools, commercial and residential developments in the vicinity, etc. can all cause market fluctuations. Remaining current on these market trends will be paramount in order to keep appraisals accurate. You will also be responsible for communicating certain appraisal outcomes to customers and resolving any concerns that they may have. With today’s market, this can be challenging but is coincidentally extremely rewarding as well. If you are organized, continuously striving to perfect your craft, and always remain teachable, then you will be set for success in this position. If you embody these qualities, then please let us know, as we would love to chat and see if we are a good fit for each other!
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Examine properties to determine the value
- Interview clients
- Photograph the property interior and exterior
- Research the local property market
- Follow and stay up to date on the latest job practices
- Comply with regulations
- Write reports to explain the assessment
- Update files with property information; maintain property records
- Stay in contact with the client and/or customer
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree required in some states
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, ARGUS, LoopNet, and CoStar
- State licensed appraiser license
- The certified residential real property appraiser and the certified general real property appraiser
Required skills and qualifications
- Problem-solving skills
- Great interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Time management skills
- Strong math skills
- Customer service skills
- Ability to work well under stress or pressure
- Analytical skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Research skills
- Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Office Suite
- Knowledge and experience with related programs like Argus, CoStar, and LoopNet
- Bachelor’s degree
- 3+ years of experience in appraising properties
- Final reconciliation of value considering cost, income, and market approach
- Analyze income, cost, and land models to identify patterns or anomalies as applied to individual properties
- Prepare and present the defense of values to appointed boards
- Inspect and gather images of properties to ensure that property records reflect current and accurate property characteristics
- Collect and record detailed property and economic data and verify data via an interview with the property owner or occupant if available
- Two years or more experience as a commercial data collector or review appraiser
- Practitioner – Tax Assessor or Appraiser
- Significant commercial mass appraisal experience
- Excellent analytical ability
- Spatial ability to read maps and locate a physical location on a map
- Ability to visualize floor plan footprints based on three-dimensional buildings
- Good math skills to calculate square footage, ratios, and similar functions
- Working knowledge of income capitalization
- General PC skills including knowledge of MS Word and Excel, or other equivalents are desirable
- Must be able to provide reliable transportation, carry full insurance on the vehicle and have a valid driver’s license
- Complete residential property appraisal reports for 1 – 4 family residential real estate properties in compliance with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) guidelines and federal and state appraisal laws ensuring exceptional quality and credibility of appraisal theory and methodology governing residential real property
- Provide seamless communication to both property contacts (Borrower) and home office
- Participate in team meetings and ongoing training
- Occasional review work if there is downtime
- Additional duties, as assigned
- Strong analytical and decision-making skills
- Ability to work independently and meet established production standards
- Effective verbal and written communication skills
- Adherence to due dates and timelines as outlined by each order or project
- Work with a level of professionalism as outlined by the company
- Must be a licensed or certified appraiser with less than 5 years of experience
- Focused on completing appraisals with your team, managing client communication, collecting and confirming market data, and supporting leadership initiatives
- Independently producing high-quality and error-free appraisal reports
- Specializing in a particular asset type or geography, and sharing knowledge with colleagues
- Consistently delivering industry-leading client service
- Representing the valuation team while supporting cross-functional company initiatives
- Assisting with business development initiatives and maintaining industry-wide relationships
- Keeping abreast of macro and micro industry trends within the commercial real estate space
- Inspecting properties of all asset types
- Working directly with our in-house development team to continue to improve our technology
- Providing feedback on application use and improvements
- Ideally 7+ years of appraisal experience
- A minimum of 3 years of independently producing appraisal reports for review
- State licensure is required
- MAI licensure is required
- Advanced market knowledge of multiple asset types
- Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate, Finance, Accounting, or a related area
- Desire to work in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment where you can play a critical role in the ongoing growth of a ground-breaking, real estate technology transaction platform
- Strong analytical abilities and customer service focus
- A self-starter mentality and experience taking ownership of projects with limited direction
- Ability to thrive in a low-ego, highly-collaborative work environment
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent time management and organization skills, as well as the ability to execute multiple projects with overlapping timelines
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Appraiser Association of America Certified Member – This represents the highest level of accomplishment for the members of the Association. It shows that candidates have the knowledge needed to excel as an appraiser. They’ll need 70 hours of education every five years to keep up this certification.
- Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA) – This certification isn’t necessary but it definitely shows that candidates are dedicated and take their job seriously as a residential appraiser. Candidates will need 1,000 hours of appraisal work experience to qualify for this. They’ll also need 45 hours of education and to pass a test in order to receive this certification.
- Certified Data Market Analyst (CMDA) – This certification is geared to help improve a candidate’s evaluation skills and focuses on residential properties.
How to Hire an Appraiser
Consider the following when hiring an appraiser:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring an appraiser, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend using CareerBuilder when hiring an appraiser:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- How do you decide which work to prioritize?
- How would you describe your work ethic?
- What skill sets are important to have as an appraiser?
- What encouraged you to become an appraiser?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you work well under pressure?
- Can you tell us about a challenging time you had evaluating a property?
- What are your organizational skills like?
- Walk me through your assessment process.
- Have you ever made a mistake in a property value estimation? How did you handle that situation?
- What software do you have experience with?
- How do you stay up to date with market regulations?
- How do you ensure the accuracy of property evaluations?
- Have you ever had to work with a demanding or rude property owner? If so, how did you handle that?
- What would you say is your biggest accomplishment yet?