The Appraisal Foundation recently announced that they are lowering their standards for appraisers to get their appraiser licenses. Prior to April 30, 2018, licensed general appraisers needed 2,000 hours of experience over the course of a minimum of twelve months. As of May 1, 2018, this has now essentially been cut in half. Potential appraisers now only need 1,000 hours of experience over the course of six months. The process for getting a certified general appraiser license has also been simplified from 2,500 hours over the course of twenty-four months to 1,500 hours in a twelve-month time frame.
Additionally, it is now possible to get a license without a four-year degree. Although slightly harder, it is also possible to get a certification without a four-year degree if one practices under a general license for at least five years without any disciplinary actions being taken against them.
From what I’ve noticed from the appraisal circles I follow online, the appraisal world is somewhat upset over this new standard. Many are arguing that it is lowering our profession and enabling unqualified appraisers to enter the field. Additionally, because it is now easier to become licensed, it stands to reason that more individuals will seek to become appraisers which will increase the competition for current appraisers. While I think these arguments are both valid, I see things a little differently.
The requirements to become an appraiser are no less than what your appraiser mentor requires. This means that as a mentor, you choose what you sign off on, and you choose what kind of appraisers you train. You don’t necessarily have to adopt these standards. I personally find an arbitrary minimum number of hours required to be somewhat foolish. It will take less time for some individuals to be trained than it will for others and vice versa. However, you decide when your trainees are ready to enter the field as valuation experts, so I would encourage you to maintain your standards as a mentor even though the standards have been lowered for the profession as a whole.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 305 Lower Standards for Becoming an Appraiser