How to Choose the Right Appraiser


How do you determine what makes a good appraiser? The following will address five areas to question when looking for an appraiser.

Qualifications of the Appraiser

Every appraiser has a qualification sheet that provides background on his/her properties, education, licenses, and certifications. You want to make sure that your appraiser is a state-certified appraiser.  A certified appraiser is the highest level of authorization by a state. Licensed appraisers aren’t allowed to appraise complex or expensive properties. The Federal Housing Administration does not accept appraisals from licensed individuals, only certified appraisers.

Years of Experience

Appraising is a difficult profession to get into. It takes an appraiser about five years of education and working with various properties in order to be successful. Many who are in the industry themselves recommend an appraiser who has 10 or more years of experience. Additionally, be wary of part-time appraisers. Being that a part-time appraiser has another full-time job, many will accept an assignment for quick cash regardless of their knowledge of the area or the current market trends. A full-time appraiser will be knowledgeable on current on the industry standards.

Market Knowledge

You should look for an appraiser that knows your market area extensively.  An appraiser from another county may not be as knowledgeable as a local appraiser. It’s important you find an appraiser who will focus on your appraisal needs and specializes in your market area.


Ask for recommendations from real estate agents, attorneys, lenders, or accountants. Ask for appraisers who have proven to be reputable. Remember that this does not relieve you from doing your own personal research on the appraiser.


Not all products are the same, and not all fees charged will be the same. Commercial real estate differs from residential real estate. While keeping cost in mind, don’t let it overshadow the fact that experience matters. Fees are set by the individual appraiser based on quality, experience, expertise, and the type of home. Like all things in life, you get what you pay for when it comes to appraising.