A career in real estate appraisal can be a lucrative one, but just like any other job, it has its ups and downs.
When talking about real estate, some obvious benefits come to mind, like earning a six-figure salary if you work hard enough.
The issue is that most people don’t bother to look beyond the money, so they don’t really give a lot of thought to the obstacles and drawbacks that people in real estate and apprasial encounter every single day.
If you’re thinking about diving into the depths of real estate appraisal, you better equip yourself with all the necessary gear so you don’t sink to the bottom, if you catch my drift. Of course, when I say gear, I mean knowledge.
But what is there to know?
What are the ups and downs of being an appraiser?
If you’re intrigued to know more, keep on reading!
What Does An Appraiser Do?
Before we get into the specific benefits and burdens that come with the job description, you first need to be crystal clear about what the job entails.
If you were to become an appraiser, what would you exactly do?
In a nutshell, as an appraiser, you estimate the value of a certain property.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Well, it’s actually not. There are some things that are required before placing a value on any real estate. For example, an appraiser has to:
- Inspect the real estate to the fullest extent
- Check the public records of the place
- Be familiar with certain rules and factors that should be taken into consideration
- Write a thorough report on the appraisal
These are only a few of the responsibilities that come with the job. If you’re seeking a comprehensive overview, feel free to peruse this guide to a career in the appraisal.
Pros Of Being An Appraiser
Time to get to the real reason you’re here, and that is to find out what are the good and the ugly sides of being an appraiser.
Let’s start on a positive note and check out the pros first.
1. A High-Demand Career
- One of the biggest advantages of being an appraiser is that it’s an in-demand career. There’s an obvious shortage in the field, and the expert opinion of an appraiser is highly sought among real estate buyers and investors.
- In fact, there are numerous real-life scenarios where people might call in an appraiser. Besides home purchasing, appraisers are welcomed in case of refinancing or even divorce/estate settlements.
- Furthermore, if someone wants to sell their real estate, they’ll come running to an appraiser to get a clear picture of the property’s value.
- As mentioned above, an appraisal career is in very high demand.
- What does this mean for you?
- Well, if you decide to become an appraiser, you can rest assured you won’t be without a job.
2. Flexible Working Schedule
- If you’re not a nine-to-five person, you could really enjoy being an appraiser.
- Contrary to the classic jobs in firms that have their own business hours, the job of an appraiser allows you to have more control over your schedule.
- Any self-employed appraiser can make their own schedule and organize their days as they see fit.
- While this is considered a pro by most people, it can be an issue if you’re not a well-organized person.
- You see, when you make your own working hours, you’re the only one in charge of making sure you strictly adhere to the schedule, and that means you have to be responsible for your actions.
- But how come appraisers have so much freedom schedule-wise?
- The thing is, an appraisal is a critical part of any real estate deal. Your expertise as an appraiser is indispensable in determining whether a deal will go through or not, so most clients are more than willing to arrange a property visit according to your schedule.
- What’s more, even if the property seller/buyer is unavailable at your requested time, a lot of real estate agents will accommodate your timetable and visit the property with you alone. Real estate agents have a huge motivation to close the deal, and they can’t do it without an appraiser.
- Whatever’s the case, the appraiser has the high ground, and that’s the kind of privilege you don’t get from many jobs.
3. An Appraiser Always Gets Paid
- This one maybe sounds a bit weird, but it makes perfect sense.
- If you compare an appraiser job to that of a real estate agent, there’s one huge point in the appraiser’s favor.
- The real estate agent may or may not make a sale, but in any case, the appraiser will get paid. Furthermore, appraisers also get paid even if clients don’t agree with the assessment.
4. Great Earning Potential
- If you’re here because you want to become an appraiser, you probably can’t wait to hear about the salaries.
- It’s true, a job in appraisal can be very profitable, but the exact salaries depend on various factors. Naturally, trainee appraisers won’t make nearly as much as commercial or certified appraisers, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for progress and growth salary-wise.
- There are many factors that contribute to appraisers’ earnings, and you can find out what they are in this helpful article.
5. Many Ways To Run Your Practice
- When you work as an appraiser, you have full flexibility to run your appraisal practice the way you want.
- The options are numerous – you can work in an appraisal firm in a classic office environment, you can set up your own firm and take on clients directly, or you can partner with AMCs (Appraisal Management Companies).
- So it doesn’t matter if you prefer to work for somebody else or to run your own company, there’s a place for you in real estate appraisal.
Cons Of Being An Appraiser
Okay, enough with the pretty.
What are the bad sides of being an appraiser?
1. Low Beginner Salary
- When you start a job in the appraisal, chances are your first salary might not be what you expect. But this is the case with most businesses – it takes a lot of time and hard work before you start earning a nice figure.
- This can be challenging, but don’t despair.
- As you continue to sharpen your skills, your income will slowly increase. And once you obtain the necessary license, you’ll witness a significant salary improvement.
- Just be patient, and you’ll get there.
2. A Lot Of Studying And Work Experience Required
- To become an appraiser, you need to take a special course. Just for information sake, a course required to obtain a real estate license lasts only 63 hours, while to become a certified appraiser, you need to finish a 200 hours course.
- In addition to that, you’re required to have 2500 hours of appraisal work experience if you want to be certified.
- Sure, to be a trainee, you need fewer hours, but if you want to be taken seriously in this industry (and earn well), it’s advised you become a certified appraiser.
3. Fees Collection
- Appraisers who work with clients directly usually require full payment upfront.
- But if you work with an AMC, it’s a bit different.
- AMCs, or middlemen, collect the fees from clients, and appraisers get paid once they finish the assessment.
- If you find a trustworthy AMC, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, some companies make it a practice to delay the payment, so you have to be really careful who you partner up with.
4. Business Expenses
- If you work as a self-employed appraiser, there are some business expenses you have to cover, like license fees, Error and Omission insurance, software subscriptions, and other supplies like laptops and vehicles.
- You also need to set up your own retirement savings and medical insurance.
- These are just some of the additional expenses you have to consider if you want to be an appraiser.
Pros And Cons Of Being An Appraiser – The Bottom Line
As you might’ve suspected, there are plenty of pros and cons of being an appraiser. We’ve listed the highlights and the challenges for a better overview of what the job entails.
A career in appraisal brings many opportunities – from great earning potential to a completely flexible schedule, and many more.
Like any other job, it’s not without flaws, but the cons associated with an appraisal job are not as critical as many might think. They surely shouldn’t be deal-breakers because if you work hard and pour all your energy and time into becoming a certified appraiser, it will pay off.
So, in the end, it’s all up to you and how much you’re willing to work.
If you’re thinking about becoming a certified appraiser, just be patient, work hard, and you’ll get there. Good luck!