How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in South Carolina?


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So you want to know what is like to become a real estate appraiser in South Carolina? Then you have come to the right place.

To become a real estate appraiser in South Carolina, you would start off in working as an Apprentice Appraiser, then work your way up toward the Licensed or Certified Appraiser credentials.

You need to complete the qualifying appraisal courses, work experience requirement and register with the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board. This is the State Board who handles the licensing and regulates individuals and companies in the appraisal industry.

South Carolina has over 5 million of population.  It is one of the most smallest states, but with high population density.  Of which, Columbia and Charleston, and North Charleston are the most populous cities.

As a real estate appraiser in South Carolina, your job is to provide an unbiased estimate of the property’s value. Many people could demand your appraisal services. For example, a home buyer or seller, a mortgage lender who wants to understand the value of the collateralize assets, an individual who needs it for tax assessment or even lease negotiation.

Regardless of who is in needs of your appraisal services, your work products must remain objective, and professional.

How to Become an Apprentice Appraiser in South Carolina?

At this stage, you will be trained and supervised by a certified appraiser. An experienced supervisor could guide you into the right direction in this career.

The supervisory appraiser should provide you with hands-on appraisal techniques, effective ways to research on a property, and how to analyze the data.  Most importantly, how to determine an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

Your daily routine could include doing property research, working on appraisal reports, or inspecting real estate together with the supervisor.

To get out the most from this trainee stage,  it is recommended you to walk through each and every step in the appraisal process, observe carefully on how your supervisor inspect and evaluate real estate, and always raise your questions.

Here are the Top 10 Tips to Find a Supervisory Appraiser.

4 Steps to Become an Apprentice Appraiser in South Carolina

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 the Trainee/Supervisor course. 

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 review of an online school that I like.

Step 3: Submit Application to the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board

Now you have completed the education prerequisites, your next step is to register with Appraiser Board.

If the SC Licensing Board has the online submission available, then I would strongly encourage you to use 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.

Step 4: Find a Certified Appraiser to be Your Supervisor

You might wonder how to find a supervisory appraiser. 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.

Once you start working alongside with a supervisor, you and your supervisor would need to inform the Appraiser Board about the mentoring relationship.

You also need to keep track of your working hours with the State Board approved experience log. This document is part of the requirement to upgrade your appraiser license in the future.

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

If you are unsure how to fill out the experience log, here are the instruction from the Real Estate Appraiser Board.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in South Carolina?

As a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you can evaluate non-complex residential properties with 1-4 units, while the transaction value is cannot be more than $1,000,000. Although you can also evaluate 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 hired 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 excel their career from the Trainee Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in South Carolina

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

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

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

You must have at least 2000 hours of acceptable appraisal experience, where they need to be acquired for over a 24 months period.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 150 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider.

You should have taken some of the courses when becoming an apprentice,  so that you are only required to fulfill the additional course works. Here is list of qualifying appraisal courses.

Step 4: Submit Application to the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the Real Estate Appraiser Board along with other required documents. Click here to view the registration procedure.

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to focus on the National Uniform Licensing and Certification exam. I’ll include more info about it later in this guide.

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 South Carolina?

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

Just like a Licensed Residential Appraiser, you could a self-employed appraiser running your own 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.

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

That being said, let’s review the steps for you to become a Certified Residential Appraiser.

5 Steps to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in South Carolina

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Fulfill one of the following 6 college-level education requirement:
    • Route #1: Hold an associate’s degree in either Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, or Real Estate; OR
    • Route #2: Hold a bachelor’s degree in any field of study
    • Route #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;
    • Route #4: Complete 30 hours of College Level Examination Program® (CLEP®) examinations that cover each of the subjects in Route #3
    • Route #5: Any combinations of Route #3 and Route #4 which consists all the topics mentioned above
    • Route #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: Obtain the Appraisal Work Experience:

You need to complete a minimum 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 education from an approved course provider.

Since you should have taken some of the courses when becoming an apprentice or Licensed Residential Appraiser,  you are only required to complete the extra classes.

Click here to view the specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, it’s time to submit the license application. 

The Appraisal Board in some states may require you to apply within a specific period after you complete the pre-licensing education. Therefore, don’t wait till it expires! Here are the submission steps.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Don’t try to cramp up all the study materials all at once. Study for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a break. Concentration tend 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.

Click here for more details about the SC appraiser exam.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in South Carolina?

Woman Real Estate Professional Meeting Client

So you want to explore appraising for commercial real estate? Then becoming a Certified General Appraiser would be the way to go!

This designation is the highest credential you could get in the appraisal industry. You could assess 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 evaluate for residential properties, you could also be appraise a portfolio of commercial real estates for institutional investors.

Tip for Success: Rather than being just another appraiser, consider specializing in a specific niche. (i.e: expert witness, farm appraisal, re-location appraisal). Here’s an article which covers 7 profitable appraisal niches.

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.

But first you would need to become a Certified General Appraiser, so let’s go through the steps to get you this credential.

5 Steps to Become a Certified General Appraiser in South Carolina

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 half of the working experience 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.

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 South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board

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

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. Click here to view the submission steps.

Step 5: Pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam

The final step is to pass the Certified General Appraiser Exam. 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.

Here are more details to schedule an exam writing.

What Subjects are Covered in the Pre-Licensing Courses?

 Apprentice 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

Apprentice must also take the AQB Trainee/Supervisor Course.

Check out a review that I wrote about this online appraisal education provider.

How to Register with the SC Real Estate Appraiser Board?

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board.

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

  • Registration fee (Here is the fee schedule)
  • 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 contact the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Board at [email protected] or (803) 896-4630.

What is the Format of the SC Appraiser Exam?

Real estate career studying

Once the State Board accepts your application, they will send you a 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 test.

The exam fee is $75. You could find out more details in the South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser Candidate Information Bulletin.

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

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in South Carolina are required to renew their license every two year. In addition to the renewal application, 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.
    • There is no limit on the number of course hours to be taken online.
    • To make sure the Continuing Education credits can be recorded before the renewal deadline. You should provide the CE details to the Board no later than June 1.
  • Pay the renewal fee (The amount is printed on the renewal application)

To prevent interruption to your appraisal practice and 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 South Carolina?

Real Estate Business Sale And People Concept Happy Smiling Realtor With Folder Showing Documents To Female Customer At New Office Room Realtor Wit

Your income as a real estate appraiser depends on many factors such as your experience, 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.  Therefore, the earning differential among real estate appraisers in South Carolina could be large.

According to the figures on Sokanu.com, despite the starting annual salary is only around $27,400, it has the potential to go up to $72,710 for high earners. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

The average annual salary of real estate appraisers in South Carolina is $44,800,  which is 77% higher than similar careers.

Based on the Oct 31, 2018 figures on Salary.com, appraisers who focus their practice on commercial properties tend to have a more lucrative compensation than residential real estate appraisers.

The average annual salary of appraisers who primarily devote their practice to residential real estates is $49,111. The range generally is between $40,470 and $56,742.

Whereas, an appraiser who specialize in assessing commercial real estate has an average annual salary of  $91,489 . The range is mostly between $78,692 and $104,952.

(No doubt, the income potential is an important factor in deciding the career path. Therefore, I wrote a complete guide which covers the different factors that could influence it. You will also find how to become six figures earning real estate appraiser.)

Helpful Tips for Appraisers in South Carolina

Tip#1: Complete licensing 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 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 in the selection process, here’s a review of the appraisal courses provider that I like.

Tip#2: Build Your Network with Other Real Estate Professionals in South Carolina

real estate professionals career networking

Networking with other real estate appraisers in South Carolina is a smart way to gain a better understanding about  the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining industry association, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. For example,

Begin with a friendly conversation. 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.

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

Here’s a list of real estate professional groups 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. 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 South Carolina

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 South Carolina Real Estate Appraiser 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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