How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in New Mexico?


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There are over 2 million people residing in New Mexico, where many of them are concentrated into the Bernalillo County.  Albuquerque is the city with the most population, followed by Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe.

As a real estate appraiser in New Mexico, it is your job to give an objective estimation of properties’  market value for your customers. Your appraisal report could be used in many different situation. For example, during a home purchasing/selling, refinancing, tax assessment, divorce settlement, estate arrangement and many other purposes.

Regardless of who you are working for, your assessment must remain objective, unbiased and professional.

There are four types of licenses in New Mexico, they are:

  1. Trainee Appraiser 
  2. Licensed Residential Appraiser
  3. Certified Residential Appraiser
  4. Certified General Appraiser

To become a real estate appraiser in New Mexico, you would start off in working as a trainee, then upgrade your designation in becoming a Licensed or Certified Appraiser. You must complete the qualifying appraisal classes, work experience requirement and register with the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board. The Board is responsible for issuing the licenses and regulating the appraisal industry. 

New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Licensing Requirement

How to Become a Trainee Appraiser in New Mexico?

This is the very first step of your career in the appraisal industry, where you will be trained and supervised by a certified appraiser.

The supervising appraiser should provide you with hands-on appraisal techniques, effective approach to conduct property research and analyze the information.  Most importantly, how to come up with an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

Your daily duties could involve doing property and market research, working on appraisal reports, and going on-site to inspect real estates with your trainer.

To get out the most from this training phase,  you should walk through every step in the appraisal process, review carefully on how your mentor inspect and assess real estate, and always raise your questions.

5 Steps to Become a Trainee Appraiser in New Mexico

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
  • No college-level education is required

Step 2: Complete the Pre-License Education

You must complete the 75 hours of qualifying classes and the Supervisor/Trainee Appraiser course.  Here is a table with the courses.

Study tip: Whenever possible, I prefer to take online courses. You can study at your own pace at the convenient of your home, library, or wherever there is internet access. Here’s an article reviewOpens in a new tab. of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Pass the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board-State Jurisprudence Exam

This is a state exam with 20 multiple choice questions. The passing score is 70%. You could view the exam here.

Step 4: Submit Application to the the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board  

After you have passed the classes, your next step is to get registered. Here are more information to do so.

Step 5: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

So how do you find a supervisory appraiser?  You could start meeting with Certified Appraisers through industry coalition in your city, online forums or even social media. The more appraisers you talk to, the bigger the chance you could find a supervisor. Here are the Top 10 Tips to Find a Supervisory Appraiser.

Once you start working alongside with a supervisor, you and your supervisor would need fill out the supervisor declaration formOpens in a new tab.. This is to notify the Appraisers Board about the mentoring relationship.

You should maintain a good record of your working hours with the board-approved experience log. You’ll need to submit them when upgrade your license to become a Licensed/Certified appraiser.

Keep in mind that you and the supervising appraiser are required to sign on every page of the experience log.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in New Mexico?

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you can assess non-complex residential properties with 1-4 units, while the transaction value is cannot be more than $1,000,000. Although you can also appraise complex properties, the maximum value is up to $250,000.

When working as a fee-based appraiser, you could be writing appraisal reports for clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC). Your job duties could include doing research online, going on the field to inspect properties, and writing the appraisal reports.

On the other hand, you could also be employed by an appraiser company or financial institution as their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and employee’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 scope of practice beyond the Trainee Appraiser title.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in New Mexico

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold an Associate Degree or higher. Or complete 30 semester credit hours which cover specific subjects recognized by the Appraisal Board.

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 2000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience, which are obtained for over a 12 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 150 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider. Here is the list of qualifying appraisal courses.

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board

After you have completed the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the Appraisers Board along with other required documents. 

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to write the exam! Here are the information about them.

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in New Mexico?

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 being a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you could work for an appraisal firm, financial institution or the government to become their in-house appraiser, where you could enjoy the stable income and employee’s benefits.

Alternatively, you could be a self-employed appraiser running your own business, servicing clients such as individuals, lenders, banks, or appraisal management companies (AMC).

However, being a Certified Residential Appraiser, there is no restriction on the transaction value of residential real estate you could assess. The scope of your practice and business opportunity would be a lot wider than being Licensed. In fact, many reputable lenders and financial institutions in only accept appraisal report from Certified Appraiser.

That being said, let’s go over the steps to become a Certified Residential Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in New Mexico

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Step 2: Complete the Appraisal Work Experience

You need to complete at least of 2500 hours of acceptable appraisal experience in not less than a 24 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

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

You should have taken some of the courses when becoming a Trainee or Licensed Residential Appraiser. Therefore, you just need to make up for the extra classes. 

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board  

It is time to submit the license application. More details will be discussed later in this post, but you could also jump to that section.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Here are more details about the exam writing.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in New Mexico?

So you want to advance your career into appraising commercial real estate? Then becoming a Certified General Appraiser would be the way to go!

This license type is the highest one you could get in the appraisal industry. You could evaluate all types of real estate regardless of the transaction value or complexity. There is no limitation on the scope of your appraisal work.

Although you still could appraise residential properties, you could also be appraise 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. Extensive research and site inspections are often required. It is your responsibility to provide your clients with an objective appraised value as accurate as possible.

Due to the requirement 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 most challenging among all the levels of licensing.

So let’s go through the steps to help you obtain this license.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in New Mexico

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 30 months period. At least 1500 hours needs to 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.

You should have completed some of the courses when the previous license(s). Therefore, you are only required to complete the extra classes.

Step 4: Submit Application to the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board

Once you have completed all the education and working experience prerequisites, you should fill out the license application.

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

The last step is to write the exam. Here is more information.

Courses Requirement for New Mexico Real Estate Appraiser 

 Trainee Appraiser (Credit Hours)Licensed Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
(a) Basic Appraisal Principles30 30 30 30
(b) Basic Appraisal Procedures3030 3030
(c) National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 15 15 15
(d) Residential Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 1515
(e) Residential Appraisal Site Valuation and Cost Approach 1515
(f) Residential Sales Comparison and Income Approaches 3030
(g) Residential Report Writing and Case Studies 1515
(h) Statistics, Modeling and Finance15 15
(i) Advanced Residential Applications and Case Studies15
(j) Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 20 30
(d2) General Appraiser Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 30
(f2) General Appraiser Sales Comparison Approach 30
(g2) General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach 30
(h2) General Appraiser Income Approach 60
(i2) General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies 30
Total75 hours150 hours200 hours300 hours

Note that:

  • Trainee cannot take the courses online.
  • Licensed/Certified Residential Appraiser cannot complete more than 50% of the courses labeled (d) through (g) online.
  • Certified General Appraiser cannot complete more that 50% of the courses labeled (d2), (e), (f2), (g2), (h2), (i2), (j) online.

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

Register at the the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit the applicationOpens in a new tab. to the Appraisers Board.

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

  • Registration fee (The amounts are listed on the application)
  • 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)
  • 2 X 2 inch photo

If you have any questions, you could contact the the New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board at

  • Address: Toney Anaya Building, PO Box 2510 1 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504
  • Phone: (505) 476-4622 
  • Email: [email protected]

New Mexico Real Estate Appraiser Exam

Once the State Board accepts your application, they will send you a notice with instruction to schedule the exam. Pearson-Vue 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 test.

You could find out more details in National Appraisers Examination Candidate HandbookOpens in a new tab..

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.

New Mexico Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in New Mexico are required to renew their license every two year.

In addition to the online applicationOpens in a new tab., below are the requirements to renew your appraiser license:

  • Finish 28 hours continuing education every 2 years, of which must include 7 hours of National USPAP Update course.
    • If the continuing education cycle period is less than 185 days, then CE course is required.
    • If the continuing education cycle periods is between 185 to 365 days, then 14 hours of CE classes are required.
    • No more than 14 hours of courses can be taken online. 
  • Pass the Jurisprudence Examination at each renewal period. This is the one we had discussed in the Trainee Licensing Requirement. The fee to submit this test is $95.
  • Pay the renewal fee 

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

How Much Does a Real Estate Appraiser Make in New Mexico?

Your income as a real estate appraiser depends on many factors such as your skills, licensing level, the type of properties you specialize in appraising, the company size, its location, and most importantly, the amount of effort you are willing to put into this career.

According to the figures on Sokanu.com, despite the starting annual salary is only around $18,870, it has the potential to go up to $64,960. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

The average annual salary of real estate appraisers in New Mexico is $40,350,  which is higher than 60% of similar careers in the same state.

However, there is a significant earning gap depending on the type of real estate that you specialize in assessing.

Based on the Oct 31, 2018 figures on Salary.com, being an appraiser who primarily works on commercial properties seem to be more financial rewarding than a residential real estate appraiser.

The average annual salary of appraisers who primarily devote their practice to residential real estates is $47,780. The range generally is between $39,377 and $55,205.

On the other hand,  a commercial real estate appraiser has an average yearly salary of $89,036 . The range is mostly between $76,583 and $102,137.

Can real estate appraisers earn six-figures income annually? Here’s an article that talks about the different factors that could affect an appraiser’s earning.

Helpful Tips for Appraisers in New Mexico

Tip#1: Take the Appraisal Classes Asap

real estate class

You could read as much about the appraisal career as you want, but your journey would only start when you take action.

Taking the real estate appraiser classes would be your first step. 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 we like.

Tip#2: Network with Other Real Estate Professionals in New Mexico

Getting to know other appraisers in New Mexico could help you gain a better understanding about the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining industry coalitions, online forums or even social media groups. Here is a couple for your reference.

Let them know that you are starting your career as an appraiser, ask them if they have any tips or advice for newbies to the industry.

Furthermore, you should network with other real estate professionals. Mortgage agents, lenders, and realtors can all provide you with valuable insight, which could be very helpful to your career building in the long run.

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

Tip#3: Consider the Commercial Real Estate Route

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

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

Is commercial real estate appraisal a good career? Check out this complete guide. In it, you’ll find the type of work involved as a commercial real estate appraiser, the income potential, and the training you need to have to become one.

Current Real Estate Appraiser Jobs Opportunity Available in New Mexico

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 New Mexico Real Estate Appraisers Board .

Reference:

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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