Every property is unique unto itself – which is why real estate appraisers could not be more important to the process of buying and selling property or land. Not only does the data collected by appraisers form the basis for mortgage loans, but it can also be invaluable for settling estates, taxation and other critical tasks.

Over the years, many have seen the process of actually becoming an appraiser as an arduous one – not only was the education required extensive, but it was also hard to keep up with frequent changes and other requirements. Recently, we’ve seen this happen again as the Appraisal Qualification Board of the Appraisal Foundation adopted a series of new criteria for obtaining a license that went into effect in May of 2018. However, change can absolutely be exciting and this situation is no exception. These new appraisal education changes are nothing if not a terrific opportunity waiting to be taken advantage of for a number of reasons that are worth exploring.

Big Changes Impacting Real Estate Appraiser

The recent changes enacted by the AQB include important factors like the following:

  • There is no longer a college requirement for getting a Licensed Residential license.
  • There are now six options pertaining to current degree requirements for Certified Residential appraisers, which were previously limited to people with a four-year degree or higher. New options include a two-year Associate’s degree on specific fields of study, 30 semester hours of college courses in very distinct course work, or passing your CLEP exams.
  • For Licensed Residential appraisers, you now need 1,000 hours of experience under a certified supervisory appraiser in no less than six months. Previously, the requirement was 2,000 hours in no less than 12 months.
  • Certified Residential agents need 1,500 hours of the same experience in no less than 12 months.
  • To obtain Certified General appraiser status, you now need 3,000 hours (with 1,500 required to be non-residential) in no less than 18 months. Previously, the requirement was no less than 30 months.

Your eyes certainly do not deceive you – the requirements to become a real estate appraiser have been loosened significantly. All of this is important, because over the years a large number of trainees would essentially drop out of the system entirely because it was simply too difficult to keep up with the strict demands.

All told, this is excellent news for people trying to enter the appraisal field because it’s possible to begin your career: A) much faster, and B) much easier than it would have been in the past couple of years. Yes, that likely means that the competition you face will increase – but it also means there’s very little that stands in between you and the career you’ve always wanted.

In the end, the one thing you should never let prevent you from achieving your goal is fear. In addition to these changes from the AQB, another powerful tool you have at your disposal is Errors & Omissions Insurance. This is a specific type of professional liability insurance that protects you from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim that could be levied against you by one of your clients, or from a situation where damages may be awarded in a civil lawsuit. Even if you’re completely confident in your abilities and background, you truly can never be too careful.