Becoming an Appraiser
Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser in Massachusetts
What is an appraiser?
An appraiser develops and reports an opinion of value on a specific type of property. Real Property Appraisal: the valuation of real estate. Real Property Appraisers can choose specialty practices such as residential, commercial, or agricultural.
What skills are required to become an appraiser?
All appraisers must have good analytical skills and work well with numbers. In addition, appraisers spend much time interacting with clients and writing reports, so good oral and written communications skills are a must.
Do I need college education to become a Real Property Appraiser?
Yes, there are college-level education requirements for the State Licensed (as of 1/1/15), Certified Residential and Certified General classifications. These requirements can be found in Application for Certified and Licensed Appraisers (Candidates' Handbook) located on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website at www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/ra.
The AQB announced that as of January 1, 2015, a bachelor's degree will be required for both Certified categories and an associate's degree, or 30 semester credit hours of college-level education from an accredited college, junior college, community college, or university, will be required for State Licensed Residential.
How do I become an appraiser in Massachusetts?
The first step to becoming a real estate appraiser in Massachusetts is to obtain a Trainee license from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The only requirement for obtaining a Trainee license is the successful completion of 75 hours of appraisal specific education. (All MBREA education courses are approved in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
This consists of three classes:
- Basic Appraisal Principles (30 hours) -MBREA suggests you take this course first.
- Basic Appraisal Procedures (30 hours)
- National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (15 hours), also called the 15 hr USPAP Course.
Students must attend all the sessions of each class and pass a written exam to receive credit. To proceed beyond the Trainee level, a person needs to have an associate's degree (starting January 2015 the requirement becomes a bachelor's degree) or higher (for Certified Residential) or a bachelor's degree or higher (for Certified General). The AQB recently announced that as of January 1, 2015, a bachelor's degree will be required for both Certified categories. Note: classes you may have taken in college or to obtain a real estate salesperson or broker license generally do not count towards this requirement. The only exception would be when these classes have been approved by the state licensing board, the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Appraisers.
Supervisor and Trainee seminar: Both the supervisory appraor and trainee are required to complete a 4-hour seminars on the role and responsibilities of each person.
Securing a trainee position: Most states now require the trainee to have secured a position with a supervisory appraiser before applying for a trainee license. You may check each state's requirments by visiting their websites for specific information. Links are below.
Once the required education is completed, and you have a supervisor, the next step is to submit an application to the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Appraisers. The application for Massachusetts Trainees and other valuable information is located on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website at www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/ra.
After you obtain your Trainee License:
After you obtain your trainee license will work towards obtaining your Real Estate Appraisal License. There are three different license types: Licensed, Certified Residential and Certified General. You will have to complete specific appraisal education, specific experience hours and hold the college-level requirements for your desired license types. For more information: Massachusetts Application for Certified and Licensed Appraisers
How do I obtain trainee experience?
Trainee experience can be gained by aligning yourself with a certified appraiser as an apprentice or a trainee. Many appraisers work as a trainee while completing the required education. Once you obtain a Trainee license you should download and read the Massachusetts Application for Certified and Licensed Appraisers from the State’s Web site as it will guide you in how to properly document your experience.
We strongly recommend you utilize the following resources:
- Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Appraisers
- Massachusetts Trainee License Application
- Massachusetts Application for Certified and Licensed Appraisers - Candidates Handbook
- Appraisal Foundation
- How to enter the Appraisal Profession - by the Appraisal Foundation
- Student Appraiser Guide - by the Appraisal Foundation