What’s the Average Real Estate Appraiser Salary?

Excerpts: On average, appraisers earn $102,620 a year. However… the average appraiser salary varies significantly across license levels.

Trainee appraisers earn an average annual income of about $53K. Licensed appraisers earn approximately $89K per year. Certified residential appraisers earn more than $101K annually. And certified general appraisers earn the most, making approximately $145K per year.

Like with many professions, the more time you put in, the more your hard work pays off. Average earnings tend to increase the longer an appraiser is in the profession, with the greatest jump being from 0-2 years of experience to 2-5 years of experience. Appraisers who have put in 16+ years in the appraisal industry tend to make the most ($118K), while those who have less than 2 years of experience earn the least ($43K).

To read more and see the charts, click here

My comments: Mckissock results are from their own survey of appraisers. I have seen this type information before, but mostly from contacting companies, recruiters or government databases. Most res appraisers are fee appraisers, but this lets you know the relative income levels based on various factors.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your license, this illustrates the income levels. For example, I do both commercial and residential appraisals, a significant positive factor in my income. When one is slow, I do more work in the other. Of course, if you are only licensed you should upgrade ASAP.

Relatively few residential appraisers have salaried jobs, but they are available at lenders, AMCs, assessors, etc.

My first appraisal job at a county assessor’s office in 1975 paid $900 per month. I would have never become an appraiser without a salaried job. Also, due to “affirmative action” at that time, women were hired for the first time as appraisers at assessor’s offices and lenders. An appraiser I know was hired by FHA as an appraiser trainee. She was previously a secretary. There were few women at my appraisal classes.

Until the early 1990s, when lenders outsourced appraisals to fee appraisers, most res appraisers had staff lender jobs.

Appraisal Business Tips 

Humor for Appraisers

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NOTE: Please scroll down to read the other topics in this long blog post on non lender appraisals, MLS  hacked,  appraisers and real estate agents, Humor,  unusual homes, mortgage origination


Massive Missouri Lake Winnebago House for $12.6M

Excerpts: The 16,814-square-foot home sits on a more-than-third-acre, lakeside lot.

The sellers custom built the home between 2007 and 2009, using high-end materials and finishes, including a wall of windows and 26-foot-high ceilings in the great room.

The three-story home has six full bathrooms and five bedrooms, most of which enjoy lake views.

“It is very extraordinary, with the finishes on the floor and the entryway, where you walk in, and you see the beautiful wine room,” Steeves-Haith explains. “The seller wanted that to be a part of the home, and he didn’t want it down in a cellar. He wanted to have something that was inviting and a really wonderful thing to look at.”

The 900 sq.ft. dual-sided aquarium is right at home between the kitchen and great room.

“It’s stunning,” Steeves-Haith says. “It’s mesmerizing, honestly. It just like takes you away, like you’re somewhere else looking at all these beautiful fish.”

A three-story, stone staircase—topped by a glass dome—connects the home’s levels. Not in the mood to climb? Take the elevator.

“It’s designed to mimic a tree growing with the branches and the roots down on the bottom, with the branches reaching up,” Steeves-Haith explains.

To read more and lots of interesting photos click here 


RPR® Backs Up MLSs During Vendor Outage

(From NAR)

August 17, 2023

Excerpts: In markets affected by the cyberattack on MLS vendor Rapattoni, NAR members have another way to access listing data: RPR®.

MLSs are finding their own workarounds until the vendor issue is resolved. In Bakersfield, for example, Golden Empire MLS participants can submit a form to post new listings, open houses and price changes. GEMLS is pushing out updates via a shared spreadsheet every two hours.

But the MLS is also finding new benefits in its partnership with RPR®. For example, Bakersfield Association of REALTORS®’ 2023 President-elect Bill Mell was in Chicago this week for NAR’s Leadership Summit when he learned that a transaction would be delayed by the outage. “We spoke to leadership at NAR and RPR® and, within 24 hours, had a solution to provision temporary RPR® access to the appraiser,” Sprague says.

Because the outage affects both appraisers who are REALTORS® (members of NAR) and those who are not REALTORS®, NAR and RPR have taken steps to expand access to all appraisers. On Friday, NAR put out a notice asking appraisal members in the affected areas to alert their non-member colleagues. And to ensure data procured through RPR can be used in the appraisal process, NAR and RPR have been actively engaged with lending agencies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, and FHA to make them aware of this bridge solution for the appraiser community.

To read, click here

My comments: Appraisers who are MLS members have this access. I have been hearing about this over the past few weeks. Hopefully, your MLS, if it is not working, has been emailing this, and other, information.


BREAKING: Freddie Mac’s Scott Reuter comments on MLS attack & how it affects appraisers and lenders. Appraiser Elearning 8-23-23

11 minute video

Last week we published a special edition podcast about the Rapattoni cyberattack that shut down MLS systems in 12 states. Yesterday Freddie Mac weighed in—in an email to their subscribers explaining what the outages mean for appraisers and lenders and suggesting some temporary workarounds (such as the RPR tool—see this Appraisal Buzzcast (below) video for details).

Freddie Mac’s Scott Reuter joined me on another special edition of the Appraisal Update Podcast today to clarify what appraisers and lenders need to know: he reiterates that appraisers should only complete assignments when we’re “confident the results are credible.” That means appraisers in affected areas should let clients know that certain assignments may be on hold for now. He also stresses that lenders should NOT pressure appraisers to complete assignments while vital data is still inaccessible.

To listen in to find out what pitfalls to avoid and how to bridge the data gap,

click here. Note: see the full text of the Freddie letter below.


Special Report from Appraisal Buzz on MLS outage 8-22-23

17 minute video

The Rapattoni MLS outage is still affecting 34 MLS systems across 12 states. That means appraisers in many areas have had no access to current MLS data for around two weeks now.

Check out this special report for the latest news and some workarounds that may help you find vital data despite the MLS hack. My guest Candy Cooke, a certified general appraiser and real estate broker in Texas, briefs us on RPR, a great data tool that’s free for NAR members and can help you access the listing information you need.

To watch click here


MLS Cyberattack: Temporary Solution to Limit Impact on Appraisals

Freddie Mac Email dated 8-22-23 at 9AM (Pacific time)

The Full Email is below. I could not find the information online At Freddie Mac but it is discussed in the video above.

The recent cyberattack has impacted many multiple listing service (MLS) systems across various regions of the country. This has real estate agents scrambling for ways to meet the needs of their clients and limit disruption to their business. It’s also impacting the appraisal process and is generating questions from both lenders and appraisers about what this means for appraisals on loans sold to Freddie Mac.

The National Association of REALTORS® has notified us that the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®) dataset can be used by appraisers as an MLS alternative until MLS system access is restored. Non-REALTOR members, including appraisers, may request temporary access through their local MLS board. This temporary access to RPR will provide sales, listing data and photos currently available through the MLS, as well as public record data. Obtaining access to RPR is subject to local MLS boards providing credentials and is not mandatory.

NOTE: Appraisers must use all pertinent resources available and confirm sales data with multiple sources.

Why Does MLS Availability Affect Appraisals?

The Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide (Guide) outlines the requirements for appraisals on loans sold to Freddie Mac. In particular, Standards Rule 1-4 of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) requires appraisers to, “…collect, verify and analyze all information necessary for credible assignment results” and the GSE appraisal forms require appraisers to certify that they have access to the necessary and appropriate data sources (such as MLS, tax assessment records, public land records, etc.) to develop and report appraisals.

An MLS is a valuable resource for appraisers in the development and reporting of appraisals. If an appraiser doesn’t have access to an MLS, it may be very difficult and/or take significantly more time to complete the assignment.

What Does This Mean for Appraisers?

Appraisers should only complete assignments when they’re confident the results are credible. If an appraiser doesn’t have sufficient data to develop a credible and adequately supported appraisal, or the appraiser believes the opinion of value may change when access to the MLS is available, the corresponding loan is not eligible for sale to Freddie Mac.

What Does This Mean for Lenders?

Appraisals could take longer. Some appraisals may not be completed until MLS access is restored. Lenders should keep this in mind and understand impacts to their process, including ensuring that appraisers are not pressured to complete an assignment. Again, remember that appraisals must meet Guide requirements, including, but not limited to, the Appraiser Independence Requirements and Unacceptable Appraisal Practices for the loan to be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac.

We know this is a fluid situation with many unknowns, which can be frustrating for all participants in the loan origination process. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information where appropriate.

Want the latest insights about appraisals and collateral evaluation? Check out our website.

My comments: Appraisers who are MLS members have this access. Appraisers without access to a specific “alternative” MLS may be able to get access. I have been hearing about this over the past few weeks. Hopefully, your MLS, if it is not working, has been emailing information. I wonder what kind of backup they had for their MLSs? What does your MLS have? I have cloud and local external hard drive automated backup updating for all my computers.


Consider non-lender appraisals. Never be dependent on the ups and downs of lending again!

In the early 1990s I almost had to declare bankruptcy in a huge downturn and laid off all my employees except a part time assistant. I learned the hard way not to be lender dependent again!


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The Appraiser-Agent Relationship: A Win-Win Approach

August 23, 2023 By Tom Horn

Excerpts: When real estate agents and appraisers work together seamlessly, clients benefit from well-informed decisions, transactions become smoother, and professional relationships are strengthened. Today I thought I would discuss the important aspects of the appraiser-agent partnership and highlight how this teamwork creates a true win-win approach in the real estate industry.

4. Accurate Valuations for Effective Pricing Strategies:

Appraisers can provide agents with accurate valuations through pre-listing appraisals that enable effective pricing strategies. This knowledge positions agents to market properties competitively and attract the right buyers.

6. Facilitating Smooth Appraisal Process:

Agents can help streamline the appraisal process by providing access to the property, relevant documents, and accurate property information, allowing appraisers to perform their valuations efficiently.

7. Unveiling Market Trends and Insights:

Agents can offer appraisers valuable insights into local market trends from the buyer/seller perspective as well as insight into recent sales that may be comparable to the subject property. Because agents are the ones speaking with buyers and sellers they can offer a “boots on the ground” perspective regarding what buyers and sellers may or may not like about a property. The agent can provide more detailed information about recent sales that the appraiser may be using such as its condition and features. This information helps the appraisers’ understanding of the market.

To read more, click here

My comments: Worth reading for appraisers with lots more ideas. Written for real estate agents, but has some good ideas for appraisers about working with agents. Most of my referrals for non-lender appraisals have always come from real estate agents who know me from meetings, tours, etc. I have been going on the local weekly tours since 1990.

With Covid, face to face interactions were greatly reduced. Now is the time to renew those relationships.


Just For Fun!!!

To watch the 4 minute video, click here

Very, very funny appraisal video!!

I just kept smiling and laughing!! Definitely one of the best, if not The Best, and Most Original, humorous appraisal video I have ever seen!!


$250K Summer Cabin in Rural Pennsylvania

2 bedrooms, no bathroom, 1,177 square feet

8.3 acre lot, listed for $225,0900, sold for $250,000, built in 1850.

Excerpts: Tucked into the back of South Mountain in Reinholds, PA, sits a 173-year old retreat known as Hendel Manor in Lancaster County.

The 8.3-acre property with a two-story timber cabin was listed at the end of July for $225,000 and is pending sale.

The extra-rustic, two-bedroom cabin (we’re talking outhouse in lieu of indoor plumbing) was originally a one-story log home that was part of a larger farm owned by the Leininger family.

“He used a half-timbered design known as ‘fachwerk,’ which features a framework of wood with infill of stone, brick, and stucco,” Miller explains.

Rustic residence

The home has only ever been used as a summer house, primarily for picnics and family gatherings—hence its rustic heating and plumbing systems.

“As a summer residence, the property never had a need for a central heating system, although it does have a wood-burning fireplace,” says Miller. “It also never had any indoor plumbing for a bathroom.”

The lack of amenities did not seem to dampen a buyer’s enthusiasm, as the home already has an offer.

The next owners will inherit the country lifestyle that comes with the home, including its “little red barn”—aka the outhouse.

To read more, click here

My comments: Extra Rustic = no bathroom? This was one of the most popular listings on Realtor.com recently. Sold quickly. The agent could have definitely used some appraiser help on pricing this property (pre-listing appraisal).

I remember working on the U.S. Census 1970 in a semi-rural area where I checked for plumbing – lots of outhouses ;> I think that is where I liked working outside a lot. 5 years later I quit my lab job and I started appraising!HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, click here.Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my paid monthly newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample go to www.appraisaltoday.com/order Or call 510-865-8041, MTW, 7 AM to noon, Pacific time.

My comments: Rates are going up and down. Some appraisers are very busy, and others have little work. Varies widely around the country.


Mortgage applications decreased 4.2 percent from one week earlier

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 23, 2023) — Mortgage applications decreased 4.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 18, 2023.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3 percent from the previous week and was 35 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 30 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Treasury yields continued to spike last week as markets grappled with illiquidity and concerns that the resilient economy will keep inflation stubbornly high. This spike pushed mortgage rates higher last week, with the 30-year fixed rate increasing to 7.31 percent – the highest level since December 2000,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Applications for home purchase mortgages dropped to their lowest level since April 1995, as homebuyers withdrew from the market due to the elevated rate environment and the erosion of purchasing power. Low housing supply is also keeping home prices high in many markets, adding to the affordability hurdles buyers are facing.”

Added Kan, “The ARM share of applications increased to 7.6 percent, the highest level in five months, and the number of ARM applications picked up by 4 percent last week. Some homebuyers are looking to lower their monthly payments by accepting some interest rate risk after the initial fixed period.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 29.5 percent of total applications from 28.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 14.3 percent from 13.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.6 percent from 11.8 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.5 percent from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) increased to 7.31 percent from 7.16 percent, with points increasing to 0.78 from 0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $726,200) increased to 7.27 percent from 7.11 percent, with points increasing to 0.84 from 0.55 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 7.09 percent from 6.93 percent, with points increasing to 1.20 from 1.17 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.72 percent from 6.57 percent, with points increasing to 1.06 from 0.94 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 6.50 percent from 6.20 percent, with points decreasing to 1.03 from 1.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.


Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, MBA

Appraiser and Publisher Appraisal Today

1826 Clement Ave. Suite 203 Alameda, CA 94501

Phone 510-865-8041

Email  ann@appraisaltoday.com


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