Friday, June 06, 2008

Ten Steps To Become A Real Estate Appraiser in California

Becoming a real estate appraiser is not as easy as it may seem. In the State of California, the governing body which licenses appraisers is called the Office of Real Estate Appraisers or OREA for short. The OREA oversees licensing of four levels of appraisers: Trainee, Residential, Certified Residential and Certified General. Here are the ten steps to become a fully licensed appraiser (Residential Level), one step above a Trainee level.

  1. Take 150 hours of coursework including the 15-hour National USPAP Course.
  2. Apply for the Trainee license. Wait 2 months.
  3. After letter to take exam is received, register and take the State examination.
  4. Pass the State examination.
  5. Find a fully licensed appraiser to train you and sign your work.
  6. Earn 2000 "experience hours".
  7. Send another application with all the documentation to the OREA. Wait 2 months.
  8. Receive your license.
  9. Buy Errors and Omissions insurance.
  10. Start networking.

Many more articles can be written on each step. It generally takes 2-3 years from start to finish. Many people think that all appraisers do is go out to a home, measure it and think up a value. It takes many years to hone the skills necessary in developing an opinion of value. Since no two properties are alike, and all properties are unique, an appraiser's ability to take all the experience they have and apply it to a new situation becomes key in the success of their business.

To become a Certified Residential Appraiser, the applicant needs 200 hours of education, 2,500 hours of experience (encompassing no less than 2 1/2 years) and an Associates Degree (or equivalent). To become a Certified General Appraiser, you need 300 education hours, 3,000 experience hours (in no less than 2 1/2 years) and a Bachelors Degree (or equivalent).

Dawn R Walker, Certified Residential Appraiser at for more articles and information.

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