How Much Should a New Real Estate Appraiser Charge?

I was recently asked by a newbie in real estate appraisal how much I think a new real estate appraiser should charge.

Many new appraisers and trainees want to get off on the right foot and explore options for maximizing their potential right off the bat. My hat goes off to those people who are not only brave enough to get into the real estate appraisal profession, but are willing to do it differently than it has previously been done.

As a new appraiser, how do you know what fee schedules are customary and reasonable? You don’t want to ask too much and not get any work, but you also don’t want to ask too little and undervalue yourself. You definitely want to reach a happy medium. 

First, I would recommend visiting this page:

http://www.workingre.com/orepwre-2017-fee-survey-results/

This is a great place to start, but remember that you don’t need to do what everybody else does. Find out how much YOU are worth. As a new real estate appraisal, you do have limited experience. You may need to lower your sights a bit and then change your fees once you’ve been in the profession for a while.

Find out how much you are worth per hour, and calculate how much time it takes you to do a standard appraisal. For example, if you find that you’re worth $75 per hour and it takes you x amount of hours, calculate that. Make sure that this is a reasonable amount.

You can also check out this page:

https://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/appraiser_fee_schedule.asp

It is public information and is divided by state. It is perhaps 20%-30% higher than the standard going rate for AMCs in your area, generally.

AMC work is going to be your low-hanging fruit. It’s easy to pick up, to an extent. As a new appraiser, an AMC may not believe you have enough experience to do appraisal work for them. Some AMCs will simply not take a new appraiser.

With this in mind, I recommend starting as soon as possible to build up your non-lender business clientele. Reach out to Realtors, homeowners, attorneys, and any other relevant parties who might use appraisal valuation services to start establishing yourself.

Find something new and creative to bring to the table that distinguishes you from your peers.

I love to help and answer questions, so if you have any questions about real estate appraisal, feel free to shoot me a message and ask!

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast

4 Comments on “How Much Should a New Real Estate Appraiser Charge?”

  1. Pingback: How Much Should a New Real Estate Appraiser Charge? - Appraisal Buzz

  2. Interesting that you refer to a fee survey from 2017 by Working Real Estate, but refer to the 2019 VA Fee Schedule. Additionally, fees are certainly rising for appraisers, at least in areas where I work and in neighboring areas where my appraiser friends work.

    I don’t know if I agree with your statement that VA Fees are 20-30% higher than the “standard fee for AMCs”.

    While VA fees are set by VA, the standard C&R fee is the standard C&R fee for a specific market area. The issue with AMC fees being “lower”, is only that the AMC takes a portion of the fee FROM THE APPRAISER. It has always been a problem that any “fee” from an AMC is not paid directly by the lender…their client….as that client’s cost to do business. Not taken from the appraiser and not passed along to the borrower either, unless clearly identified in the lender’s closing statement.

    I’m sincerely hoping that appraisers are waking up to the value of their professional services and stopping the game of the AMCs making appraisers feel as though they must cut fees and reduce their turn times to ridiculous levels in order to “compete”. If we all understand that, it benefits us all.

    I think we need to be careful in teaching new appraisers that they must compete with the “cheapest and fastest” crowd. THAT, along with AMCs making their living off the backs of appraisers, are 2 of the biggest problems we have in our profession.

  3. LaydeeTee nailed it!!! If appraisers learned to stick together and charge at the normal rate of inflation, we could all make a decent living without killing ourselves. I was able to make twice as much 28 years ago. Appraisers have always been our own worst enemy.

Leave a Reply to LaydeeTee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.