How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Michigan?


real estate agent with clients

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

As a real estate appraiser in Michigan, your job is to provide an appraiser report which reflect the market value of a property. Your work products could be used by a home buyer or seller, a mortgage lender who wants to understand the value of their loan portfolio, an individual for tax assessment purposes or even negotiation of a lease.

Regardless of who is in needs of your appraisal services, your main focus is to determine an objective opinion about the market value of properties.

To become a real estate appraiser in Michigan, you need to fulfill the qualifying education, and work experience requirement. Also, you are required to register at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Real Estate Appraisers . This is the State board which establishes the industry standard, regulate and issue the license for real estate appraisers.

There are 4 license levels of appraisers in Michigan:

  • Limited Appraiser
  • Licensed Residential Appraiser
  • Certified Residential Appraiser
  • Certified General Appraiser

How to Become a Limited Appraiser in Michigan?

Being a Limited Appraiser is the start of your journey in the appraisal industry. A certified appraiser will be mentoring you. Your job could involve researching properties, working on reports, or inspecting properties alongside with the supervisor.

An experienced and thoughtful supervisor could guide you into the right direction in this career. The supervisory appraiser should provide you with hands-on training on appraisal methods, how to conduct research on a property, how to extract important information from the data. Of course, the ultimate goal is to come up with a fair market value of the property.

The best way to learn is always to go through every step in the appraisal process, observe carefully on how your supervisor evaluate real estate, and raise your questions or concerns.

4 Steps to Become a Limited Appraiser in Michigan

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • No prior related experience is needed

Step 2: Complete the Pre-License Education

You need to complete the 75 hours of qualifying appraisal-related education, and AQB Supervisor/Trainee Course. 

Interested in becoming a real estate appraiser? Here is an Education Resources Page which could be helpful to you in getting the appraiser license.

Step 3: Submit Application to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Real Estate Appraisers

Now you have completed the education requirement, your next step is to begin the registration process. If the Licensing Department in your state allows you to submit online, then it’s better to consider that option. Not only this is the quickest and most convenient way, but less paper mailing is also good for the environment. Here are more details about the registration.

Step 4: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

In Michigan, to ensure you can receive the proper training and the attention you need, a Certified Appraiser cannot supervise more than 3 Appraiser Assistants at any given time.

Your assignment could also involve appraising commercial property, but only given your supervisor is a Certified General Appraiser.

You might wonder how to find a mentor. You could start connecting with Certified Appraisers through different industry associations, forums or even on LinkedIn. The more appraisers you connect to, the bigger the chance you could find a supervisor.

(Read: 10 Practical Tips to Help You Find a Supervisory Appraiser)

Once you and your supervisor decide to work together, you’ll need to submit a supervisory/trainee letter to the State Board. In the letter, you need to include the name and permanent ID number of the supervisor and the trainee, and when the supervision begin.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Michigan?

Real Estate Agent Using Mobile Phone In New Property

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you are authorized to appraise for non-complex residential properties with 1-4 units, while the transaction value is to be less than $1,000,000. Although you can also evaluate complex properties, the value cannot be over $250,000.

You could working as a fee-based appraiser, providing services to clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC). Your daily tasks could include doing research online, going on the field to inspect properties, and writing the appraisal reports.

Alternatively, you could be recruited by an appraiser firm or financial institution to become their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable salary and company’s benefits.

This license could be worth considering for those who have not fulfilled the necessary work experience or college-level education to become a certified appraiser but wish to advance their career from the Limited Appraisers.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Michigan

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • No college-level education is required

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 1000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience, where they need to be acquired for over a 6 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 150 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider. Since you should have completed some of the courses when becoming a Limited Appraiser,  you just need to complete the additional courses. 

I included some details which could be helpful to your studying on our education resources page. Be sure to check it out.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the State Board along with other required documents. 

Some State Boards may require you to apply within a specific period after you complete the pre-licensing education. Therefore, don’t wait till it expires! 

 Click here to read the registration procedure.

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to write the exam! The purpose is to test your appraisal knowledge, especially the subjects that are covered in the pre-licensing courses. 

Doing multiple sets of practice questions is an excellent way to prepare for the exam and also boost your confidence. 

To increase your chance in passing the exam on the first time, make sure to check out our exam hacks. In there, not only you will find the content of the exam, but also 10 effective tips on how to prepare for it.

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Michigan?

Real estate career tips

As a Certified Residential Appraiser, you can assess for:

  • residential properties with 1 to 4 residential units regardless of the transaction value or complexity.
  • non-residential 1-4 units property given that the transaction value is no more than $250,000

Similar to a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you could a self-employed business owner running your own appraisal practice, servicing clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC).

Alternatively, you could work for an appraiser firm or financial institution to become their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and company’s benefits.

Unlike a Licensed Residential Appraiser, there is no limitation on the transaction value of residential properties you could evaluate. The scope of your practice and business opportunity would be a lot wider. In fact, many reputable lenders and financial institutions in Michigan only hire or work with appraisers that have the certified credential.

So what is like to be a residential appraiser? We reviewed some job postings and found one that might be able to give you a better idea.

There was a job opening from a bank in Lansing. They were looking for an appraiser with 2 to 4 years experience in the appraisal industry. The core duties were to review the existing appraisal reports that were done by other independent appraisers. Those reports were used by bank personnel. Many of them were for complex income producing properties.

Advice on bank personnel about the value of the property, marketability, rent-ability, and economics related to real estate. You would also be responsible for contacting and selecting appraisers to complete different appraisal engagement.

In some instances, you would need to inspect properties including those under construction, to ensure that the appraisal will comply with the regulatory requirement.

This is a full-time position with an average working time of 40 hours per week. You are required to hold the State Appraiser license.

So let’s go through the steps for you to become a Certified Residential Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Michigan

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Complete 1 of the following 6 College-Level Options
    • Option#1: Hold an associate’s degree in either Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, or Real Estate; OR
    • Option #2: Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study
    • Option #3: Complete 3 hours of each of the following college-level courses with a total of 30 semester hours
      • Algebra, Geometry, or Higher Math
      • Computer Science
      • English Composition
      • Finance
      • Macroeconomics
      • Microeconomics
      • Real Estate Law or Business Law
      • Statistics
      • 2 elective courses (3 hours each) in any of the above subjects or in Accounting, Agricultural Economics, Business Management, Geography, or Real Estate;
    • Option #4: Complete 30 hours of College Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) examinations that cover each of the subjects in Option #3
    • Option #5: Any combinations of Option #3 and Option #4 which consists all the topics mentioned above
    • Option #6: If you have been a Licensed Residential Appraiser for 5 years or more, while your license is in good standing, then the college-level requirements can be waived.

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You need to complete a minimum of 1500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience in not less than a 12 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 200 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider.

Since you should have completed some of the courses when becoming a Limited Appraiser or Licensed Residential Appraiser,  you are only required to complete the extra classes.

Here’s a table with the specific appraisal courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the Appraisal Board along with other required documents.

Most State Boards allow you to apply through their website. Some would even charge a lower registration fee by doing online. You should definitely check out this option. Here are the submission steps.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Cramming for the exam is not a good idea. Instead, you should study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tends to wander if you study for too long. If possible, focus on studying only one to two topics per day. But be really good at it. 

Get enough sleep the night before the exam and have a good meal before it. Managing your stress level during the test is another key to passing it.  

To schedule the exam writing, click here for more details.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Michigan?

Being a Certified General Appraiser is the highest credential you could get in the appraisal industry. You could assess all kinds of real properties regardless of the transaction value or complexity. There is no limitation on the scope of your appraisal work.

Although you still could evaluate for family-typed of clients, you could also be assess a portfolio of commercial real estates for institutional investors.

Since your clients depend on your appraisal reports in making an informed investment decision, you must be extremely careful and responsible when handling your work.  Your primary goal is to perform detailed research and provide your clients with an objective appraised value.

Due to the high expectation of low margin of error in your work products, the amount of work experience and education required to become a Certified General Appraiser is the greatest among all the levels of licensing.

So what kind of jobs are available in the commercial real estate appraisal field? At the time we were writing this post, we found the following the job opening.

It was from a global commercial real estate services company located in Royal Oak, Michigan. Their firm provides advice on properties regardless of the size, complexity of a project, or industry focus. They also offer a full range of expertise, including counsel in financing, due diligence, risk analysis, balance sheet reporting, dispute resolutions, and IPO listings.

Their Valuation & Advisory Services department was looking to take on new graduates who were interested in becoming a commercial real estate appraiser. This was very rare, as most job postings we came across were looking for appraisers with experience.

The position to be filled was Appraisal Analyst and would be based in Detroit. The responsibilities would include completing commercial real estate valuation projects, estimation of cash flow, analyses of comparable sales and cost analyses, estimating rent values, and conducting market surveys.

However, they did require you to commit in obtaining the Certified General Appraiser license within 30 months.

So let’s go through the steps for you to become one.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Michigan

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Bachelor’s Degree in any field of study; or higher

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 3000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience where they need to be obtained for over a 18 months period. Half of the experience hours must be from non-residential appraisal work.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 300 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider. Since you should have completed some of the courses when the previous license(s),  you are only required to complete the extra classes.

When choosing an appraisal school, make sure to pick a reputable provider with a good track record of satisfying students. Here’s a review of the course provider that I like. 

Step 4: Submit Application to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the Real Estate Appraisers Board.

Later in this post, I’ll go over the documents and fees needed for the registration process. But if you want, you may click here and jump to that section.

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

The last step is to pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam. Most test centers would require you to bring at least two valid IDs to verify your identity. Don’t forget to bring them along. Else you won’t be able to write the exam. 

Here is more info about the MA Appraiser Exam.

What is the Courses Requirement for a Michigan Appraiser License?

 Limited Appraiser (Credit Hours)Licensed Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 15 15 15
Basic Appraisal Principles30 30 30 30
Basic Appraisal Procedures3030 3030
Residential Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 1515
Residential Appraisal Site Valuation and Cost Approach 1515
Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches 3030
Residential Report Writing and Case Studies 1515
Statistics, Modeling and Finance15 15
Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies15
Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 20 30
General Appraiser Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 30
General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach 30
General Appraiser Sales Comparison Approach 30
General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies 30
General Appraiser Income Approach 60
Total75 hours150 hours200 hours300 hours

How to Obtain an Appraiser License from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs?

Once you have fulfilled all the necessary requirement, you could submit your application to Michigan Board of Real Estate Appraisers.

Here’s the application for the Limited Real Estate Appraisers and here’s the ones for Licensed/Certified Appraisers. 

In additional to the form, you must provide the following:

  • Registration fee ($160 for Limited Appraiser; $35 for other Licensed/Certified Appraiser)
  • Supporting legal documents
  • Evidence which shows you have completed the required hours of Board-approved appraisal courses. (i.e., Official transcripts, course completion certificates).
  • Proof that you have fulfilled the specific requirement of post-secondary education for your license (i.e.: Diploma, official transcripts, certificates.)
  • Stated Approved Appraiser Experience Log  (Only if you are applying to become Licensed/Certified Appraiser)

If you have any questions, you could also contact the Bureau of Professional Licensing, Telephone: (517) 241-9288, email: BPLHelp@michigan.gov

Let’s Take a Look at the MI Appraisal Exam!

Upon acceptance, they will send you an approval notice with instruction to schedule the exam.  PSI will administer the exam, where you can take it on a computer at their examination center.

  • Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam is a 4 hours exam,
  • Certified Residential Appraiser Exam is a 4 hours exam;
  • Certified General Appraiser Exam is a 6 hours exam

The licensed and certified exams consist of 125 questions. Only 110 questions will be scored, the other 15 are pretest questions.

The required passing score is 75. You will immediately know your score once you finish writing the exam. 

Here are more details about the Michigan Real Estate Appraiser exams.

(Read: 10 tips on how to pass the real estate appraiser exam)

How to Renew the MI Appraiser License? What is the Continuing Education Requirement?

All real estate appraisers in Michigan are required to renew their license every two year on July 31st.  A renewal notice will be mailed to you about 60 days before the license expire.

Below are the requirements to renew your appraiser license:

  • Finish 28 hours continuing education every 24 months, of which must include 7 hours of National USPAP Update course.
  • All these continuing education classes can be taken online, you you must complete them.
  • Pay the renewal fee. ($250 for Limited Appraiser and $350 for other Licensed/Certified Appraiser).

The renewal must be done online, and the State Board only accept payment electronically. (i.e.: debit or credit card containing a MasterCard, Visa, or Discover logo or by e-check.)

To avoid interruption to your appraisal practice, you should renew it and complete all continuing education requirement before the license expiry date.

How Much Does a Real Estate Appraiser Make in Michigan?

real estate career studying

How much you can earn as a real estate appraiser depends on many factors. To name a few,  your licensing level, the type of properties you specialize in evaluating, your experience, the company size, its location, and most importantly, the amount of hard work you are willing to put into this career.  Therefore, the income differential among real estate appraisers in Michigan could vary significantly.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2018), the average annual salary of real estate appraisers in Michigan is $52,730. The starting annual salary is only around $19,810, but has the potential to go up to $81,850 for high earning appraiser.

Based on the Oct 31, 2018 figures on Salary.com, appraisers who focus their practice on commercial properties tend to have a higher earning than residential appraisers.

The average annual income of appraisers who focus their practice in the residential real estate is $51,029. The range generally is between $42,051 and $58,959.

Whereas, an appraiser who focus on appraising the value of commercial properties has an average annual income of $95,061. The range is mostly between $81,767 and $109,053.

Is there a demand for real estate appraisers in Michigan?

According to the figures on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there is a total of 2620 appraisers in Michigan. The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 1042
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 1059
  • # of Licensed Residential Appraisers 519

Michigan has over 9.99 million people, with Detroit as the largest city. Other cities with high population include Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Ann Arbor and Flint. There is 0.499 real estate appraiser per 1000 jobs. (*)

As long as there are people in Michigan who need a professional opinion of the valuation of a property, there would be a demand for real estate appraisers.

When you are considering the regions to conduct your appraisal practice, you should target areas that have a high population. After all, businesses can only occur when there are customers.

(*) Source: Bureau of Labor Statisitcs (May 2018)

Career Tips for Appraisers in Michigan

Tip#1: Talk to Other Michigan Real Estate Appraisers

To gain a better insight into the appraisal industry, you should start connecting with other appraisers. You could do so through joining industry associations, forums or even LinkedIn groups. For example,

Start with a casual conversation. Let them know that you are planning to start your career as an appraiser, ask them if they have any advice for new entrants to the industry.

In addition, you should also connect with other real estate professionals such as mortgage agents, lenders, realtors or home inspectors. Their insight and experience could be very helpful to your career building in the long run.

Here’s a list of real estate professional groups on our resource page. Remember to check it out!

Tip#2: Take the Appraisal Courses Asap

You could read as much about the appraisal career as you want, but your journey would not begin unless you start taking action.

Taking the real estate appraiser classes should be the first thing in your to-do-list. Not only you could gain valuable knowledge and practical skills, but you will also have a better understanding about what is like to be an appraiser.

Besides, most states would require you to complete all the trainee education before your working experience could count toward the licensing requirement.

To assist you in the selection process, here’s a review of the appraisal courses provider that I like.

Tip#3: Consider the Commercial Real Estate Route

Just like many other states, the business to appraise for residential properties could be quite competitive. Well, as you could imagine, there is a considerable overlap of targeted customers for the first three levels of licensing.

To differentiate your skills and broaden your scope of practice, you could consider pursuing the Commercial General Appraiser designation as your long-term goal.

Here’s an article you might be interested: “Is Commercial Real Estate Appraisal a Good Career?” In there, a CRE appraiser shared his view on what he thinks about this profession.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in Michigan

[Note: The list of Appraiser Jobs Opportunity is coming soon. Please stay tune]

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. For full and exact details, please contact the The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Reference:

  • Mckissock Learning- Michigan Appraisal License Requirements: (Source)
  • Mckissock Learning- Learn Appraisal Educational Requirements for Michigan (Source)
  • The Appraisal Foundation- National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations: (Source)
  • Appraisal Subcommittee- Active Appraiser Credentials Summary Report (Source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate (Source)
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Commercial Real Estate) in Michigan: (Source)
  • salary.com- Salary for Appraiser (Residential Real Estate) in Michigan: (Source)
  • The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs  (Source)

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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