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wev
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Posts: 4046
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 07-06-1999 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How does one become a certified appraiser? Can one specialize or is it general survey?
What would be the procedure for approval as a silver appraiser, for example?

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Gayle M. Skluzacek

Posts: 20
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 07-12-1999 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gayle M. Skluzacek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Until state licensing and regulation of appraisers happens, there are no certified appraisers. Anyone who calls himself/herself a certified appraiser is incorrect and is frowned upon by the courts. However, there are certified members of appraisers associations (i.e. AAA, ASA, ISA), but they are not government regulated. One can call themselves a certified member of the Appraisers Association of America after being a member in good standing (requires 5 yrs. experience, 3 professional referrals, 3 appraisals in your area of specialization, and committee approval), taking a 5-8 hour written test on ethics and methodology and a 5-8 hour written test on your area of specialization. The other organizations have similar procedures for certification.

All organizations have entry levels of membership. With the AAA, anyone can join as a friend or a student member. As such, you will receive all mailings and be admitted to lectures and events at reduced costs. With minimal experience, you may qualify to be an associate member. Call the AAA (212-889-5405) to ask the specifics.

To be a generalist or a specialist really depends on the individual and your local market. In NYC there is enough business for specialists. However in Hibbing, Minnesota, there may not be. Also, what type of appraising will you be doing? Insurance? Damage/loss? Estate? Donation? Divorce? Sometimes clients, particularly for insurance and estate, prefer generalists to keep the price down. Specialists are usually called in for the most important cases, particularly expert testimony.

NYU offers a general course of study in the Appraisal Profession. Required courses include Principles of Practice, Research Methods, IRS, and an Appraisal Writing Workshop. These are general courses to assist in basic methodology and formatting an appraisal. Also required are elective courses in a specific area/areas of interest. There are enough courses offered in silver over a two year period that one could specialize in silver. Or if preferred, one can enroll in courses in different areas to be a generalist.

Be aware that a certificate in Appraisal Studies from NYU does not automatically qualify you to be an appraiser. It takes years of "shopping" and knowing the subtleties of the markets. It's a start, but is not an end all!

Nor is an NYU appraisal certificate required to practice. I do not have one. However, I do have advanced degrees in Art History, museum and gallery experience, and 15+ years of appraisal experience.

The only government related foundation monitoring the appraisal industry is the Appraisal Foundation. They publish an annual guideline for the industry called the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The foundation has established a minimum qualification criteria for "qualified" appraisers which basically requires a minimum of 120 classroom hours, 700 hours of experience in your area of specialization, 1800 hours of personal property experience or 4500 hours in non-personal property-related experience, and the taking and passing of the USPAP course. After meeting this criteria, you must receive 120 hours of continuing education and take the USPAP course every 5 years to remain current.

Basically with an interest in "shopping", some formal education, a few years of experience, a sense of ethics and logic, anyone can become a qualified appraiser. The best appraisers continue to keep abreast of the markets, recent scholarship, international economics, and have a good eye and an incredible memory!

Good luck!

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