Who Can Legally Do Real Estate Appraisals?

A real estate appraisal should be performed by a state certified or licensed real estate appraiser at a minimum.

We suggest looking for further qualifications such as the SRA designation awarded by the Appraisal Institute for members who qualify. Other qualifications to consider would be amount of experience in the local market place, quality of referrals, and affiliations with local professional organizations.

All states require appraisers to be state licensed or certified in order to provide appraisals to federally regulated lenders. Some states require appraisers to be licensed or certified to provide appraisals for other parties as well. To become licensed or certified, you must pass an examination that is administered by your state’s appraisal board. Because state requirements vary, contact your state’s regulatory agency for specific requirements. The Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation is authorized by Congress to establish the minimum requirements for Certified General Real Property Appraiser and Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser classifications, and the AQB provides recommended minimum requirements for the Licensed Real Property Appraiser and Trainee classifications. Descriptions for the four categories can be found on The Appraisal Foundation Web site.

Appraisers who become designated members of the Appraisal Institute have gone beyond these requirements. They have fulfilled rigorous education and experience requirements and must adhere to strict standards and a code of professional ethics. The Appraisal Institute currently confers the MAI membership designation on those who are experienced in the valuation of commercial, industrial, residential, and other types of properties. The SRA membership designation is held by those who are experienced in the analysis and valuation of residential real property.


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