What is a Real Estate Appraiser & What Do They Do?

Learn More About Real Estate, Home Appraiser Job

A real estate appraiser is a professional who examines the condition of a property and develops an opinion of its value. They can work for banks, insurance companies, or individuals who want to buy or sell real estate. Real estate appraisers perform different types of inspections and may have additional certifications depending on their area of expertise.

In Washington State, real estate appraisers are licensed by the Department of Licensing (DOL). A person seeking to become a licensed real estate appraiser must meet certain educational qualifications and complete an approved course in real estate appraisal from an accredited school or college. The courses must cover topics such as analyzing markets and estimating the cost of repairing buildings; they also include hands-on training in performing actual appraisals.

Licensed and certified appraisers must also complete significant continuing education  every two years before they can renew their licenses. In addition to these requirements, there are additional regulations regarding specific types of work done by real estate appraisers:

A certified residential appraiser may not perform any appraisal work related to selling or purchasing commercial property in Washington. Instead, they must employ a Generally Certified appraiser for this work.

Home appraisers determine the value of a home by inspecting it and comparing it to similar, recently sold properties in nearby neighborhoods.

An appraiser is a professional who provides an unbiased opinion of the value of a property. Appraisers must be licensed and trained and conduct their business according to strict guidelines established by government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

They  provide an appraisal for a property typically after inspecting it, comparing it to similar nearby properties recently sold, and determining what makes that home unique from others in the neighborhood.

To do this effectively, appraisers need special training and expertise that may include classes in real estate law or economics and on-the-job experience working with other professionals in the field, like attorneys, insurance agents, property managers, or real estate agents. The cost varies depending on where you live but typically ranges from $600 to $1,000 per report, plus travel expenses if needed.

An appraisal is meant to objectively estimate a home's value. It's not the same as a real estate agent's valuation.

An appraisal is meant to objectively estimate a home’s value. It’s different from a real estate agent’s valuation, which may include  factors that aren’t included in an appraisal, or can be clouded by a desire for a listing.

An appraiser is trained to estimate the market value of homes for mortgage purposes and  Lenders  use appraisals as part of their evaluation process when deciding whether or not to grant financing to a borrower.

An appraisal can tell you what to offer for a home, or what the price should be if there is a bidding war or if you decide to sell the home in the future.

Appraisers typically do not predict whether your home will sell at a price higher than its valuation. If you’re looking for advice on offering more than their appraisal, ask a real estate agent instead.

A real estate appraiser is required when you buy a house with a mortgage loan.

A real estate appraiser is usually  required when you buy a house with a mortgage loan. The process of determining the value of property many times comes into play during divorce settlements too.

The appraisal process involves obtaining information from the lender, prospective buyer or seller, and other interested parties (such as insurers) about the property that needs to be appraised. Then an inspection is usually performed on-site  to verify location details such as lot size, square footage, and even orientation relative to nearby streets or highways if applicable.

Lenders usually hire appraisers who have experience in the area.

Before you hire an appraiser, you should know what to expect from them. The first step is ensuring they are Certified or Licensed by the state. It is a good sign if they are also members of  The Appraisal Institute, as it communicates a deeper commitment to and understanding of the profession.

Lenders usually hire appraisers who have experience in the area. If you’re buying a house in Washington State, your lender will likely hire someone familiar with local prices and trends instead of someone who just moved there from Texas.

The real estate appraisal industry is growing and expanding, but the jobs are becoming more competitive.

The best way to stand out is by being qualified and experienced in your field. The more knowledge you have about how appraisals work, the more likely you’ll succeed as an appraiser. If you want to start your career as an appraiser, we recommend taking courses at local community colleges or online from the Appraisal Institute.