Are you looking for reasons to upgrade your appraisal license? Here are some stats to consider: As of December 31, 2017, only 36% of the 97,000 state-credentialed appraisers in the United States are certified general appraisers. Certified general appraisers, sometimes referred to as commercial appraisers, enjoy more stable fees, a higher income, and more choices for the assignments they decide to take on.
If you’re tired of appraising simple properties or looking for more complex assignments with more income potential, upgrading your appraisal license is a good move. An upgrade can give you a much-needed advantage in the local market, greater control over your fees, and more stability in your work. Below are some top reasons to upgrade your appraisal license.
1. Earn more
2. Enjoy more complex assignments
An appraisal license upgrade can add variety to your professional life with different types of properties and transaction limits. Here’s a list of what you can appraise at each level.
- Licensed residential appraiser:
- Non-complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value of less than $1 million (subject to individual state laws)
- Complex 1-4 residential units with a transaction value less than $250,000 (subject to individual state laws)
- Certified residential appraiser:
- 1-4 residential units without regard to complexity or transaction value (subject to individual state laws)
- Certified general appraiser:
- All types of real estate, from strip malls to airports
3. Control your fees
In a 2018 Voice of the Appraiser study by Valuation Review, 51% of appraisers listed low fees as the greatest concern for their profession. A higher license level gives you an advantage in the local marketplace. Plus, it provides you with greater control over your fees and more stability in your work.
The more you know, the more you can grow your real estate appraisal business and shield your income from the ups and downs of the real estate market and from encroaching technology. The higher you go, the less competition you’ll find: Only 36% of the nation’s 97,000 appraisers are certified general.
“I enjoy commercial work because commercial appraisal pays well. There’s usually not much negotiation on fees. I like the ability to establish my fee and stick with it.”
—Robert G., Certified General Appraiser, Pennsylvania
4. Uncover opportunities and niches
Upgrading your appraisal license to certified general can help you diversify your business and uncover appraisal niches.
5. Expand your knowledge
The education process you’ll go through while upgrading will expose you to new ideas, methods, and assignments you haven’t had the opportunity to master.
Did you know? In many states, your education hours toward becoming a certified general appraiser also count toward your continuing education (CE) credits.
Some advanced issues you will learn about in the upgrade process include:
- Advanced residential applications
- Income property appraisal
- Environmental issues
- Complex property highest and best use
- Narrative report writing
“McKissock Education has all the online courses you will need to upgrade your license, no matter which level you want to achieve. These courses were written by practicing appraisers, and they are loaded with real-life applications.”
—Dan Bradley, Director of Online Appraisal Curriculum, McKissock
6. Teach others
Will you be America’s next best appraiser trainer? Upgrading your license will provide a leadership opportunity to become a trainer and teach the next generation of appraisers your superior skills.
“I have been lucky to find colleagues who know the importance of bringing in and training new appraisers for the benefit of the profession’s and the firm’s future.”
—Andrew Craig, Appraiser Trainee, Texas
7. Increase career satisfaction
Editor’s note: This post was originally published January 3, 2018. The information has been updated.