Fully online appraisal training programs are offered through career schools as well as industry institutes and organizations. In addition to specialized topics, the majority of property appraisal programs explore appraisal terminology and principles, property valuation and report writing. They culminate in a proctored final exam. To apply to programs specifically in real estate appraisal, prospective students need prior professional appraisal experience.
Property Appraisal Options
Online students use a dedicated website for each class. Web access provides flexibility, allowing students to work at their own pace and from the location they prefer, though some classes may offer live, synchronous sessions and webinars.
Most classes have a date when students must complete their studies. After successfully completing all assignments, students receive a certificate of completion and instructions on locating approved proctors in their area for the required final exam. Below are some examples of online training options.
Personal Property Appraiser Training
Personal property appraisers assess the value of jewelry and gems, decorative and fine art, equipment, machinery and antiques. Although no formal government oversight exists for these items, the Appraiser Qualifications Board, a division of the Appraisal Foundation, has set minimum standards for professional appraisers.
Qualified appraisers should have a minimum of 120 hours of instruction. This training should include valuation theory and the student's chosen field of specialization. Professional appraisers should also follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).
Online courses could cover the following topics:
- Professional appraiser duties
- Client relations
- Tax regulations
- Case studies
- Research techniques
Real Estate Appraiser Training
Real estate appraisers must follow federal guidelines when assessing the value of residential and business properties. Because of these laws, many of the online appraisal courses are intended for real estate appraisers. Most states have four levels of real estate appraisers, based on the amount of training and experience. These levels are appraisal trainees, licensed residential appraisers, certified residential appraisers and certified general appraisers.
Appraisal trainee classes typically provide 75 hours of instruction. The training is usually divided into 30 hours for basic appraisal principles and another 30 hours in appraisal procedures. The remaining 15 hours covers the National Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
Students learn the terms involved in real estate and acquire an understanding of the features and amenities that affect a property's value. They also learn about collecting data, analyzing it and communicating their assessments effectively to clients.
Licensed Residential Real Property Appraiser
In most states, licensed residential appraisers may not appraise property worth more than $1,000,000. They are also restricted to assessing small apartment complexes with fewer than four units. Classes for residential appraisers build on the skills learned in the trainee program, with instruction in such topics as residential market analysis and sales comparison.
Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser
Certified appraisers may appraise residential properties of any value. They can also appraise apartment and condominium complexes but may not appraise subdivisions. Students who have already completed their trainee and licensed appraiser programs take classes in real estate finance and advanced residential report writing.
Certified General Real Property Appraiser
Certified general appraisers may appraise all types of real estate, from residential homes to subdivisions to business property. A typical program teaches students about such topics as real estate finance and national appraisal standards.
Online property appraisal training is offered in both personal property appraisal and real estate appraisal. After finishing the required courses, aspiring real estate appraisers must take exams that lead to certification or licensure.