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Part-time appraisers – how many and why?

Statistics from data on appraiser licenses from, and other sources, do not identify how many are doing appraisals part-time or not at all.

Why does it seem like there is an appraiser shortage in some areas? Of course, it is probably a shortage of appraisers willing to work for low fees. But, this also spills over into non-AMC work as few appraisers are available as they are cranking out AMC appraisals and won’t accept non-AMC work.

I keep speaking with more and more appraisers who are no longer working long hours. There is almost unlimited demand from AMCs, but most of them do not work for AMCs. Or, work for a few AMCs that pay well and give them occasional work. Or, refuse to work for lower fees, so don’t get much AMC work.

Why do appraisers work part-time?

– The median appraiser age is getting higher. Older appraisers (and non-appraisers) are no longer willing to work 60-80 hours per week. They often don’t need as much money as before. Children who graduated from college, collecting social security, home mortgage paid off, or have a low rate on the mortgage, spouse retired, etc. I suspect that this is the primary reason.

– Fee appraisers are self-employed. Many baby boomers that are employed want to work part-time but their employers won’t allow it. One of my brothers started working in the printing business when he was 18. For the past 30 years, he has been doing on-site printer repairs for national companies. He is 67 and would love to cut back to part-time as he does not want to do a lot of driving, which his job requires. When he retires this year, there is no one to replace him. There are no new people coming into printer repairs, which requires expertise in computer software and printer hardware, and many years of experience. His employer says “no” to part-time work.

– Self-employed appraisers, as we get older, can gradually cut back on how much time we spend on appraising. That is one of the best features of having an appraisal business. Also, if we start another business or get another job, we can often continue part-time appraising.

– Not working but keeping a license as a backup. Hard to get a license back. Sometimes do an occasional appraisal. I always recommend keeping your appraisal license as long as you can. You never know when you will need extra income.

– Don’t work for AMCs and don’t get a lot of work from non-AMC clients.

I just look in the mirror. I limit the amount of work I accept. I don’t do any lender work and turn down non-lender work every week. I am 72, downsized my home, no children to support, collect Social Security of $3,000 per month since I turned 70. I worked very long hours appraising for 25 years, but 5 years ago I started cutting back on the hours I spend appraising. (I typically worked about 60 hours per week.) I get also income from my paid newsletter and ads for this free email newsletter. Most importantly, I need more time for my experimental music and videos, another big motivator ;>

I do appraisals and work on my appraisal business for about 15 hours per week. My sfr fees are at, or slightly above, non-AMC C&R fees. I have little driving time as I have been working only in my small city for the past two years – 10 minutes to go from one end to the other. I have an assistant that proofreads, invoices, etc. My typical time to writeup an sfr is about 2 hours. The total time is about 4 hours plus 1 hour for my assistant. There are few tract homes here.

What does this mean for you?

If you stay in the appraisal profession, even part-time, you will have lots of work in the future. Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace, or cutting way back, in large numbers for all types of work.

How many appraisals per week and how much time to complete an appraisal report?(Opens in a new browser tab)


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  1. I do few appraisals because they take too long to complete when the entire amount of time is considered. But now for the real question, how in the world do you complete a credible appraisal in 5 hours?

    • My appraisals are the same as they were before Dodd Frankenstein. I don’t do any lender work and have no callbacks, updates, etc. No UAD, no 1004mc. Mine are for estates or private individuals who can barely understand the appraisals I do, with the required USPAP boilerplate. The biggest reason for the 5 hours is that I have been working in my small town. for the past two years. Previously I had about a 2 hour driving time per appraisal. 10 minutes from one end of town to the other. Very little travel time. Plus, I know the market very, very well as I have been working here for 30 years and go on broker caravan almost every week to see what is happening, make notes and file them. I have typically seen the interior most of the comps I use.

  2. Hi Anne, I have always been picky about the appraisal assignments that I accept. I have found that if I don’t overload myself, I feel more relaxed. It always seems that when I think that I am getting all caught up with assignments, something else comes along. If you don’t have a big backlog of work, you can accept those good paying jobs that require a quick turn time.

  3. I am no longer working for lenders. The endless demands for addendum’s to justify the underwriter’s existence has driven me out of that segment of the business. I am the first of the baby boomers and don’t need this crap. I am also a Realtor and a contractor.

  4. A few years ago, I got my Realtors license, and started to limit my appraisal work, working only for “Private Clients”, without any lender work. Always received many referrals from other agents. Recently, tho, I have decided to accept more work, as it seems the need is there. The work does take more hours than you state, but it is an expertise that seems to be welcomed in my community.
    My friend still works in management at the post office, 4 year past his retirement, as he truly enjoys sharing his expertise and has valuable experience that his employer realizes. He and I play 60’s & 70’s funky music at local bars, and hope this goes on for a few more decades. We send our best to you, Ann, for keeping the music alive. Picasso painted into very old age, and kept making babies too!

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