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Qualification Criteria  
The "Real Appraiser Qualification Criteria"


The Benefits of Being an NAIFA Member
Member Benefits


What is an appraiser?
An appraiser, simply stated, is someone who estimates property value of various kinds. Appraising requires the analysis of and drawing reasonable conclusions about the value of real property and interests in real property for a variety of purposes and a variety of clients. Within the practice of real property appraisal, there are numerous specialties: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and others. Appraisers prepare reports for a variety of purposes, depending on the needs of clients: among other purposes, appraisals are commonly used to provide information to people selling or buying real property; to assist lenders in making decisions about financing real property; to help resolve conflicting claims about real property; to assist in tax matters involving real property; and, in general, to help people and firms make informed decisions about real property. While most appraisers choose to specialize in one area of practice, many appraisers practice in more than one.

What skills are required to become an appraiser?
All appraisers must have strong analytical skills and work well with numbers. They must be able to collect information from a variety of sources, organize that information, and develop reasonable conclusions from that information. In addition, appraisers spend a lot of time interacting with clients and writing reports: strong oral and written communications skills are a must.

How do I become an appraiser?
Appraisers must undergo both education and training. Appraisal education provides an introduction to the methodologies, techniques, and resources available to appraisers. This education is available from a variety of providers: professional appraisal organizations, such as NAIFA, colleges and universities, and proprietary schools.

Additionally, practical training and experience must be earned. Traditionally, such training has been done by established appraisers taking on inexperienced trainees, giving them opportunity to acquire necessary skills, accumulate experience, and learn to apply their appraisal education. Aspiring appraisers may work as a trainee while completing the required education.

Appraisers in most states must be licensed by their state in order to appraise real property. Minimum licensing requirements are established by the Appraiser Qualifications Board and implemented by the various states. The AQB establishes appraisal and general education requirements, sets out the minimum amount of appraisal experience that must be earned, and requires testing prospective appraisers to establish that they have necessary understanding of appraisal principles and techniques. Requirements differ for different levels of licensure: Licensed (in some states), Certified Residential, and Certified General real property appraisers. AQB requirements are available on their website.

Do I need a college education to become a Real Property Appraiser?
Yes, there are college-level education requirements for the Certified Residential and Certified General classifications. These requirements can be found in the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria publication available on The Appraisal Foundation website.

Does the government regulate real property appraisers?
Yes. Currently, the government regulates only real property appraisers. The power of regulation currently rests with the individual states and territories that issue licenses and certifications to real property appraisers. In addition, each individual state appraiser regulatory agency is responsible for disciplining appraisers. At this time, there are no immediate plans for the regulation of appraisers who specialize in other types of property.

What is an appraisal "designation”?
Several national appraisal organizations – such as NAIFA – award designation credentials to their members who establish, by their experience, continuing education and training, and by demonstrating their ability to correctly apply appraisal techniques, that they are committed to excellence in the appraisal profession. These designations – IFA, IFAA, IFAS, IFAC – are widely recognized as marks of professional dedication, ongoing training, and a commitment to ethical appraisal practice. A NAIFA designation credential distinguishes its holder as one who has exceeded minimum standards and who has demonstrated professional achievement.

How do I become a designated appraiser?
NAIFA’s designation requirements are detailed in:  The Designation Process 

Why should I join NAIFA?
NAIFA offers many opportunities for education, for staying current with legislative and regulatory changes, for networking with other appraisers, for marketing materials, and discounts for a variety of services and products.

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