Appraisal ManagementAppraisal Review

Sign #1: Your appraisal reviewers aren’t as qualified as you think they are

By June 8, 2017 June 21st, 2019 No Comments
appraiser licenses

Are you feeling like your appraisal team is stretched too thin? We’ve got your solution. Over the next few weeks will be sharing the top 6 signs your team is overworked and how you can fix it. Today we’ll dive into the first sign — did you know your appraisal review team might not be as qualified as you think they are? There are many types of appraiser licenses to keep track of, so we’ve broken down the most important ones below. To provide high-quality reviews, keeping track of your staff’s appraiser licensing is a must.


Which appraiser licenses do you need for residential and commercial appraisals?

Not all appraisal reviews are the same. Residential reviews require a certified residential appraiser. Commercial reviews require, at the bare minimum, a certified general appraiser, but ideally, are conducted by a commercial appraiser. If you’re unsure of your team’s credentials, it’s time to check your employees’ appraiser and reviewer licenses.

Don’t shrug it off if your team is comprised only of residential appraisers. If you are fulfilling any commercial reviews, it’s imperative that you at least have certified general appraisers on staff. Claiming to be capable of completing commercial reviews without the right type of appraisers is setting your team up for failure. While many companies claim to be commercial, most are almost completely focused on residential reviews.

Residential appraisals tend to be straightforward. With multiple comparable properties and MLS sales to choose from, appraisers typically have a wealth of information to dive into when completing residential reviews.

Commercial appraisals, on the other hand, are not nearly as clear-cut. Each property is unique, meaning commercial appraisers often have to talk to others in the community and find buildings that are similar. If the property is in a rural area, appraisers may even have to travel across states to find comparable properties.


State Licensed vs. Certified Residential Appraisers

When reviewing appraisers’ certifications, beware of state licensed residential appraisers. While certified residential appraisers are free to perform appraisal work on all residential properties, state licensed appraisers have set limitations.

The Appraisal Institute, a global organization of real estate appraisers, defines these limitations as:

Licensed Real Property Appraiser:

Someone who is qualified to appraise non-complex one to four units having a transaction value less than $1,000,000 and complex one to four residential units having a transaction value less than $250,000. This classification does not include the appraisal of subdivisions.

Certified Residential Property Appraiser:

Someone who is qualified to appraise one to four residential units without regard to value or complexity. This classification does not include the appraisal of subdivisions. To be a state certified residential appraiser qualified to do appraisals for federally related transactions, a state must have requirements that meet or exceed this minimum standard.

Pay close attention to appraisers’ certifications — by hiring state licensed appraisal reviewers, you may be limiting the types of appraisals your department can conduct. MountainSeed recommends only hiring certified residential appraisers for residential appraisals and reviews.


The MAI Difference

The MAI designation sets apart appraisers who are experienced in the valuation and evaluation of commercial, industrial, residential, and other types of properties, and who advise clients on real estate investment decisions. It is the industry’s highest designation and shows that the appraiser is affiliated with the Appraisal Institute.

Appraisers with the MAI designation have good moral standing and have undergone continuing education and testing on topics ranging from basic and advanced appraisal principles to current regulations. By working with MAI appraisers, you’re working with the most qualified individuals in the industry.

Pay close attention to the licenses needed for each type of appraisal you’re working on — and be sure that you have appraisers with those licenses. If you work with an AMC, ask what type of importance they place on appraiser licensing and certification, and ask for a sample of resumes. 60% of MountainSeed’s team of appraisers holds the MAI designation, showing that we recognize the significance of working with experienced, honest appraisers. Our team also has over 30 years of experience in the banking business.


Here’s a quick go-to guide for appraiser licenses and qualifications:

Commercial reviews — Certified general appraisers

Commercial appraisals — commercial appraisers

  • 60% of MountainSeed’s staff holds the MAI designation

Residential reviews — Certified residential appraisers

Residential appraisals — Certified Residential Real Property Appraisers

(beware of state licensed)



How did your appraisal review team stack up?

If you’re ready to access all 6 signs that your team is stretched too thin, download the full eBook now. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this chance to help your team be more effective.

Is your appraisal team stretched too thin - eBook