How to Become a Commercial Appraiser: Costs, Timeline, and Training

pexels-jeshootscom-530024To become a qualified commercial real estate appraiser, a person must invest serious time, effort, and money. There are specific training programs for commercial real estate appraisals that include a cumulative hourly in-the-field requirement to demonstrate competence. Before obtaining certification, they must have a bachelors degree and pass a final examination. Then, they must register with their local appraisal oversight organization in advance of taking on clients.

This article will review the qualifications necessary to become a licensed commercial real estate appraiser, including financial cost, length of study, and topics. Whether you’re looking to become an appraiser or simply curious how much training your commercial appraiser received, you’ll find the answers here.

How much does it cost to become a certified commercial appraiser?

It can cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to become licensed as a commercial real estate appraiser. The fee varies between locations and specific programs. People may choose to study on their own, but all applicants must pass the examination, and pay the relevant fee to sit the exam.

Other costs to become an appraiser include the qualification courses, which provide the educational experience necessary to pass the exam — these can cost around $1,000 or more. Finally, applicants must pay the licensing fee to receive their official permission to practice commercial appraisal - this is typically around $800.

How long does it take to qualify as a professional appraisal expert?

Most programs require at least 18 months of training before someone can become a certified appraiser. The certification board demands 3,000 hours of work experience, which can typically be achieved within 18-20 months of full-time work. This is the time requirement to become a Certified General Appraiser.

While every program offers a basic overview of every type of appraisal, there are different specializations. A commercial real estate appraiser receives advanced training in commercial property assessment, for instance. In some localities, a person must become a certified residential appraiser before they are allowed to ascend to the Certified General level.

What kind of training do commercial real estate appraisers receive?

Many people don’t realize that commercial appraisers often work as a team, especially for larger projects. It’s essential that appraisers gain experience in working with others before obtaining their certifications. Many commercial assignments are completed as a team effort, and a training program offers hands-on experience for team-based property assessments.

Professionalism and technical competency are two of the most important skills for any commercial real estate appraiser. They may end up working for an appraisal firm, a government agency, or an investment company. They may even start their own business.

In all these situations, the appraiser will be responsible for accurate, unimpeachable information and clear communication of complex data. As such, they study the fundamentals of real estate, data assessment, market analysis and tax laws. They learn how to research every aspect of a property that could inform its value, such as zoning, regional and local economies, county/municipal governance. Appraisers must also know how to prepare and present complex data in legible and accurate reports for their clients, to communicate and substantiate the outcome of their research.

Appraisers often speak directly to stakeholders in the course of conducting their assessment. As a result, they should be personable and trustworthy. They must also be highly organized onsite and understand the value of data security in protecting their clients’ personal information.

Finally, commercial real estate appraisers can be called upon to offer their valuation expertise in a variety of contexts. They may need to provide testimony in court, for example. Many appraisers also branch out into investment consulting or assist with feasibility studies in other industries. This type of cross-industry experience is invaluable for commercial appraisers.

Commercial real estate appraisers are highly skilled professionals

A commercial real estate appraiser provides accurate information about property valuation by conducting research and assessing available data points. When it comes to buying, selling, or financing a commercial property, a trained commercial appraiser is truly a worthwhile investment.

Contact Valcre to learn more about how we support commercial appraisers with the best tools and the training they need to grow their businesses.