Appraisal News and Business Tips

Index of Appraiser FAQs

Many of these articles are old as I don’t update these pages very often.
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How can I become an appraiser?

    • For general info, go to our Consumer Q&A on appraising and scroll down to How do I become an appraiser. Getting started in appraising is very difficult as few lenders hire trainees (where most current appraisers got trained). Few fee appraisal companies hire trainees. We don’t recommend taking any classes until you have a job. A good way to start is doing clerical support work in an appraisal office.  

Appraisers – how can I find the name and phone number of an appraiser?

  • Go to the Appraisal Subcommittee Web site, which has the National Registry of licensed and certified appraisers, or contact the state licensing agency (information on the ASC site). Sometimes it is hard to find a name, so try the “custom search” option, and try all appraisers in a city. If you spell the name wrong, you can’t find them. The data is case sensitive. Not all appraisers are licensed or certified. 
  • You can also try appraisal association Web sites, if the appraiser is a member. 
  • Also try phone book directories. For a list, go to the Internet Tips page and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Collecting past due billings This is one of fee appraisers’ favorite topics. 

Comps – where can I get them? Closed sales for free are hard to get, as they are sold for a profit by vendors. 

  • For commercial appraisers, the Costar.com site works well. Listings are easier to find. 
  • Some commercial listings of sales and leases are online, and most residential listings are online. Try www.loopnet.com for commercial listings. 
  • Go to the Commercial appraisal links for more information. 
  • Several appraiser email mailing lists are excellent ways to get comps and assistance on unusual properties. Go to the Appraiser communication page.

Forms software – what’s the best? Every appraiser has a different opinion on this hot topic. 

Help with an appraisal problem or unusual property The Web is a great way to get help. You won’t get comps, but you can get very useful information. For example, you’re appraising a marina. 

  • You search at www.google.com, a search engine, for marinas. You find the International Marina Association site with lots of info. 
  • Or, you find a book or article on the problem. The Appraisal Institute publishes many books and has an excellent library. 
  • Many of their books are reviewed on the Appraisal Books page on this web site.
  • For articles, the Appraisal Institute’s Lum Library is an excellent source of information. 
  • You can also post a question on several email mailing lists and chat boards for appraisers. Go to the Appraiser communications page.

Independent contractors   

USPAP – Where can I get a copy?  

  • Go to the Appraisal Foundation Web site to read or order the latest version of USPAP, any proposed or approved changes, and their monthly Q&As. 
  • Yes, you can download it section by section, but its cheaper and easier to purchase the paper document for $25. The online version is handy for searching. 

Web site – How do I set one up for my business?