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What does a Licensed Appraiser do?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A licensed appraiser determines the market values of homes and businesses. He or she helps sellers set realistic prices and insurance companies determine appropriate coverage rates. He or she takes into consideration an exhaustive list of potential factors that might impact how much a piece of real estate is worth. Many professionals are self-employed contractors, though some appraisers work for mortgage companies, insurance firms, or government agencies.

It is common for a licensed appraiser to do a considerable amount of office research before actually visiting a homeowner's property. He or she studies data about the safety of a neighborhood, the value of surrounding homes, and base details about the property in question. The appraiser reviews original blueprints to learn about the age and style of the house, and asks about any room additions or recent work that has been done to improve the property. He or she also takes into account a home's proximity to potentially noisy structures, such as train stations, fire houses, airports, or highways.

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With research completed, the licensed appraiser can meet with owners to tour the property in person. He or she is thorough during an investigation, taking pictures and making detailed notes of any problems with the roof, walls, or floors. The licensed appraiser might ask to see maintenance records for home fixtures to ensure that everything is in proper working order. Even small details such as the amount of natural light and the width of stairways are noted. When the appraiser gathers enough data, he or she returns to the office to calculate final values.

The requirements to become a licensed appraiser can vary considerably between different regions and countries. Most appraisers hold associate's or bachelor's degrees in a subject related to their profession, such as economics, real estate law, or finance. A new worker typically spends several thousand hours in training, where he or she observes and assists an experienced professional in the field to gain firsthand knowledge. By gaining experience and passing a written exam, an individual in most regions can earn a license that permits him or her to assess residential and commercial properties that fall under a specific transaction value.

Additional training and licensure is necessary to be able to expand services to a larger client base. Many regions offer specialized classes to help licensed appraisers prepare for detailed certification tests. With the highest level of licensure, an appraiser is qualified to assess values on any type of real property. An individual who is interested in getting started in the business can contact practicing appraisers or browse government Web pages to learn about specific requirements in his or her region.

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