How Do I Become a Commercial Appraiser?
To become a commercial appraiser, it is necessary to gain experience and fulfill regional licensure requirements. Usually, appraisers must have a license in order to work and may need to periodically renew it to demonstrate that they are still competent. This work includes valuation of commercial real estate of all sizes, from standalone businesses to large malls. Commercial appraisers can work with real estate agents, tax agencies, developers, and consumers with an interest in commercial real estate.
The first step to become a commercial appraiser is generally getting a four-year degree. Students can select degrees in a variety of fields including business and architecture, and may also want to pursue internships to get training and work experience while in school. After graduation, students can attend appraisal courses or start working directly in an appraisal or real estate office. While learning, the student cannot perform independent appraisals, but may be tasked with more responsibilities over time as he acquires skills.
With education and work experience, it is possible to take a licensing exam and become a commercial appraiser. It may be necessary to take the test through a government agency or a professional organization that regulates the practice of real estate appraisal in a given region. The examination will feature a range of questions to test knowledge and competency. A passing score earns a license, and if the student does not pass, she can apply to retake the test, usually after a mandatory waiting period.
Once someone has become a commercial appraiser, he can work for an appraisal firm or become an independent operator. One advantage of working for a company is a steady supply of work through the company's office, as well as the ability to develop skills and build up a reputation. A disadvantage can be that the commercial appraiser makes less, and usually must agree not to do work for the competition. If a person has become a commercial appraiser and wants more autonomy, it can be a good idea to set up an independent business.
Commercial appraising requires keeping up with the real estate market as well as conditions at banks and other lending institutions. Many commercial appraisers belong to professional organizations and subscribe to trade magazines. They also cultivate relationships with real estate agents so they can track the market and have a database of prospective clients. A fully qualified appraiser can choose to work for the government, an insurance company, or a private firm that serves realtors.
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