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General Appraiser Business Idea

Learning how to become a certified general appraiser can be a profitable idea if you’d like to start a small business in the real estate sector. Certified general appraisers are professionals whose ability to accurately determine the value of residential or commercial property are highly valued. These appraisals form the basis for insurance policies and claims, selling prices of homes and commercial real estate, and other important transactions. How to become a certified general appraiser will vary depending on which state you reside in, as each state has its own licensing board and certification requirements.

How To Become A Certified General Appraiser

Since the requirements regarding how to become a certified general appraiser vary depending on where you live, it is important that you find out the licensing requirements for your state. For example, some states place age restrictions on when one can become a certified general appraiser. Many states also will require applicants to undergo a criminal background check to determine whether they can be certified in their state.

Education also may be a requirement for your state. For example, Georgia requires certified general appraiser applicants to have at least 300 hours of academic coursework or training in the area of appraising. South Dakota, however, is more focused on the number of hours of field experience.

Some states, such as California, offer varying levels of licensing for general appraisers. These levels range from trainee appraisers, who need only 150 hours of education, to the top license of certified general appraiser. To be a certified general appraiser in California means 300 hours of education and a Bachelors Degree, as well as at least 3,000 hours of field work over 30 months.

Once you have found out what your state’s unique requirements are, you will then be able to devise a plan to meet all of them. Regardless of where you live, however, you will have to prepare to take the National Residential exam to become a certified general appraiser. Your state may also require you to take an additional supplemental exam that contains information specific to your state’s building codes and other property regulations.

Succeeding as a General Appraiser

While being certified is mandatory for you to enter into this potentially lucrative field, you will have to work hard to differentiate yourself and your services from the many other certified general appraisers in your area. While you may become employed by a bank or another financial institution, many successful certified general appraisers work for themselves. While, in the future, you will hopefully have a long list of clients who use your services over and over, to grow that list you will need to make connections in the real estate services field.

Your core success as a certified general appraiser will come from your expertise in providing extremely accurate and timely appraisals. However, it’s also important that you forge strong professional impressions. Present your official appraisal documents and supporting information in an organized fashion. Before presenting your appraisal to your client, think through, in advance, questions they might have. Being prepared to timely answer questions not only further proves your experience, it also lets your professionalism shine.

Grow Your Appraisal Business

While you may enjoy one type of appraisal, such as residential properties, becoming proficient in a wide variety of appraisal services will help you to maximize your professional opportunities. Set up a website that lists all of the different services that you provide along with your contact information to make it easy for potential clients to contact you.

Growing your business as a certified general appraiser also can mean partnering with your county assessor’s office or a financial institution on a contractual or even a salaried basis. Consider offering discounts with these organizations in exchange for a long-term contract or one that includes several appraisals. Since you do not have to spend money advertising for these contracts, your overhead costs will be decreased accordingly. Finally, even after you have found how to become a certified general appraiser, it is still important to stay up to date on the different regulations in your state.

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