How to Become a Commercial Appraiser

Commercial real estate is an important field that involves the selling and purchasing of many different types of commercial property. Commercial appraisers are trained real estate professionals that specialize in determining the value of a variety of commercial properties.

What does a commercial appraiser do?

Commercial appraisers specialize in commercial real estate properties such as businesses, hotels, retail stores, and restaurants. They estimate the value of commercial properties to assist in selling and purchasing. They inspect all parts of structures and take many factors into consideration such as the condition, design, construction and land value. They also talk to people that are familiar with the property. They determine the most probable price for the property according to the current conditions of the market. They use many different standard formulas to evaluate potential losses in value and the costs of reproduction. They also search public records for information of previous leases, sales, assessments, and other information. Commercial appraisers are responsible for preparing detailed appraisal reports and presenting them to the owners and potential buyers of commercial properties.

What kind of training does a commercial appraiser need?

Commercial appraisers typically need at least a bachelor degree in real estate or related field. Many aspiring commercial appraisers complete internships at commercial real estate companies to gain practical experience in the field. Many commercial appraisers start out by working under the supervision of an experienced appraiser. Most states require commercial appraisers to become licensed. Licensing requirements vary but typically include minimum education and experience and passing an examination. Many commercial appraisers also gain professional certification to remain competitive in the field. Commercial appraisers are usually required to complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers to maintain their licenses and certifications and keep their skills up to date.

What are the prospects for a career as a commercial appraiser?

Employment of commercial appraisers is expected to grow more slowly than average for all professions, increasing 5% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for commercial real estate will create some job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially for commercial appraisers with extensive experience. Many job openings will result from the need to replace commercial appraisers that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do commercial appraisers make?

As of January 2010, the middle 50% of commercial appraisers earn annual salaries between $73,280 and $93,956. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $103,361 (2).

A career as a commercial appraiser is a great choice for people with a strong interest in commercial real estate. Commercial appraisers must have a solid understanding of the principles and procedures of commercial appraisal. Accuracy, good analytical skills, and detail orientation are necessary characteristics. Commercial appraisers must have excellent communication because they work with a variety of people. They must be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.

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