How to become a real estate appraiser in California?

Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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An appraiser is a professional, who finds the market value of an asset in the real estate industry. He/she cooperates with agents, sellers and investors to properly value any type of real estate property/homes. 

An appraiser must be unbiased and use relevant statistics, facts, and other information to make the best out of his work.

The California Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers regulates the licensing process, by contributing to professionalism in the industry. According to the body, you should pass the following steps to become a real estate appraiser in California.

The initial prerequisites are being at least 18 years old and having a high school diploma (or its equivalent). Hence, you will not need to obtain a particular degree to get your real estate appraiser license.

Step 1: Complete required education

You cannot become a real estate appraiser, if you do not know the basic rules/regulations of the industry. Moreover, you must master the professional knowledge to be able to work professionally in the future.

The state of California requires applicants to complete 150 hours of required education. 75 hours of these courses should cover trainee level education, which include California state rules and regulations, principles, procedures and universal standards of professional appraisal practice.

The remaining 75 hours of the coursework should concentrate on market analysis and highest and best use, as well as sales comparison and income approaches. The courses will also cover report writing and case studies, and appraiser site valuation and cost approach.

Step 2: Apply for an initial license

You should submit the application for an initial license to the Office of Real Estate Appraisers (OREA).

Step 3:  Background Check

You cannot take the state exam and apply for the real estate appraiser until you pass the background check, as well as fingerprinting.

It is important to know that your criminal history might have an influence on the outcome of your real estate appraiser licensing process.

Step 4: Pass State Exam

Once you have met all the state requirements and passed a background check, you can take the state exam. Note that you will have a year to get your license.

Step 5: Gain experience

Another important step is to find a certified appraiser, who will be your mentor. As you may guess, he will show you how to make an appraisal report. Therefore, you should assist him for at least 2000 hours and, hereby, gain experience. 

During this period, your mentor will share his experience with you, by supervising your work and teaching you how to work correctly.

Step 6: Apply for a Residential Real Estate Appraiser License

Once you have gained experience and mastered the details of the appraiser’s work, you may apply for your real estate appraiser license.

You should submit the following paperwork for the application

  • Upgrade Application 
  • A proof of completion of basic education/official transcript 
  • A document of appraisal experience, mentioning the number of hours, months and experience
  • Statement of citizenship/alienage/immigration status 
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States
  • Appropriate fees.