How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in US Virgin Island?


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As a real estate appraiser in US Virgin Island, your role is to come up with an unbiased appraisal value of a property for your clients. Your appraisal work could be used by a home buyer or seller, a mortgage lender who wants to understand the value of the collateralize assets, an individual who needs it for divorce settlement or estate arrangement.

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

To become a real estate appraiser in US Virgin Island, you would start off in working as a Trainee Appraiser, then upgrade in becoming a Licensed or Certified Appraiser.

You must fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, work experience requirement and register with the Virgin Islands Real Estate Appraisers Board. This board is under the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs. Its primary role is to handle the licensing, regulate and promote high standards of professionalism within the appraisal industry.

How to Become a Trainee Appraiser in US Virgin Island?

Become Real Estate Appraiser

Your first step beyond the textbook world is to become a Trainee Appraiser.

You will receive training and work under the supervision of a certified appraiser. Your mentor could assign you with tasks such as researching a property and its neighborhood, working on reports, or going on site to inspect the real estate. Depending on the compliance rules in your state, some of the jobs can be done independently, while some must be accompanied by your trainer.

An experienced supervisor could prepare you in becoming a qualified appraiser. He/she should equip you with the following knowledge:

  • Practical ways to conduct research on properties (i.e.: proximity, zoning, obsolescence)
  • Proper method to analyze the data
  • Compliance rules and standard
  • Industry accepted approaches in determining an unbiased estimation of the property’s market value.

To learn as much as possible from your mentor,  you should walk through each and every step in the appraisal process, and review carefully on how your trainer inspect and assess real estate.

(Here’s a list of things you should look for when choosing a supervisory appraiser.)

4 Steps to Become an Trainee Appraiser in US Virgin Island

Step 1: Fulfill the Basic Requirement

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Minimum education is high school graduate

Step 2: Complete the Qualifying Education

You must complete the 75 hours of appraisal courses and the AQB Supervisor/Trainee 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: Work alongside with a Supervising Appraiser

Your next step is to find a supervising appraiser. Some trainees find it difficult in locating one. But don’t worry, we have 10 practical tips in finding a supervisory appraiser.

Once you and the supervising appraiser decide to work together, make sure to inform the Board about the mentoring relationship.

You must also document your working hours with the approved experience log. These logs are essential when you upgrade your appraiser license in the future. In order for them to be valid, make sure you and the supervising appraiser sign on every page of them.

Here’s a screen shot of the Appraiser Assignment Log.

Source: the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Website

Step 4: Submit Application to the Virgin Island Real Estate Appraisers Board

Since the submission process is similar for all level of appraiser license, I’ll include the details all at once here.

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in US Virgin Island?

Home Appraisal Tips

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.

Being a self-employed professional could give you more flexibility in scheduling your work hours and ways to conduct the business. However, just like any other business, there are expenses and setup you’ll need to take care. Here’s a post on how to start an appraisal business.

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 Virgin Island

Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a minimum education of high school graduate

Step 2: Complete the Required Hours of Working Experience

When I reviewed the appraiser application, the VI Appraisers Board is using a point system to keep track of the applicant’s work experience. I’m unsure what is the conversion of each hour of appraisal work. I just sent them an email. Once I have their clarity, I’ll update this post with more details.

As for now, just keep in mind you need to have at least 200 points of acceptable appraisal experience.

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 a Trainee Appraiser,  so that you are only required to fulfill the additional course works. 

Step 4: Submit Application to the Oklahoma Real Estate Appraiser Board

Once you have fulfilled the education and working experience requirement, you should submit the application to the the VI Real Estate Appraisers 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 write the exam! Here are more details about the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations.

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in US Virgin Island?

Driving to appraisal inspection

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 mortgage lenders and financial institutions only accept assignment completed by 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 Virgin Island

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 six options of college-level education.
    1. Bachelor’s Degree or higher;
    2. Associate’s Degree in a focused field of study. (i.e. business, economics, or real estate);
    3. Complete 30 college semester credit hours in specified topics;
    4. Complete the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)1 exams equivalent to a minimum of 30 semester credit hours in specified subject matter areas;
    5. Any combination of option #3 and #4
    6. If you have been a licensed residential appraiser for at least 5 years, while your license is remain in good standing, then the college-education requirement can be waived.

Step 2: Complete the Appraisal Work Experience

You need to complete a minimum of 250 points of acceptable appraisal experience.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

You’ll need to complete 200 hours of qualifying appraisal education from an approved course provider, of which 180 hours are mandatory courses and 20 hours are elective.

Since you should have taken some of the courses when becoming a Trainee 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 Virgin Island Real Estate Appraisers Board

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

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential Appraiser Exam

Here are more details about the National Exam writing.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Virgin Island?

Business People Team At Meeting Business People Team At Meeting Working Documents Together In Office

So you want to explore appraising more complex real estate? Especially the ones with high value. 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 appraise a portfolio of commercial real estates, farmland, and many others.

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 Virgin Island 

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 300 points of acceptable appraisal experience.

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. Here are the specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Virgin Island Real Estate Appraisers Board

Once you have completed all the education and working experience prerequisites, you should fill out the license application. 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. Here are the details about the format of the exam.

Courses Requirement for Each Appraiser License Level

 Trainee 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
General Appraiser Market Analysis and Highest & Best Use 30
General Appraiser Sales Comparison Approach 30
General Appraiser Site Valuation and Cost Approach 30
General Appraiser Income Approach 60
General Appraiser Report Writing and Case Studies 30
Appraisal Subject Matter Electives 20 30
Total75 hours150 hours200 hours300 hours

Not sure which school to choose? Here’s a review of the Top 5 Appraisal Schools. Make sure to read #3.

Register at the Virgin Island Real Estate Appraisers Board

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

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

  • Registration fee
    • Non-Refundable Application Fee – $75.00
    • Non-Refund. Deposit for NCIC Check – $250.00
    • Certified General R.E. Appraiser – $525.00
    • Certified Residential R.E. Appraiser – $525.00
    • Licensed Real Estate Appraiser – $525.00
  • 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.)
  • Three 2 X 2 photographs
  • A letter of favorable character testimony
  • Two reference letters that confirm the applicant’s work in the appraisal field.
  • Stated Approved Appraiser Experience Log  (Only if you are applying to become Licensed/Certified Appraiser)

Then you could mail the documents to:

  • Attention: H. Nathalie Hodge, Assistant Commissioner
  • Office of Boards and Commissions, V.I. Board of Real Estate Appraisers, Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs
  • Golden Rock Shopping Center, Suite #9, Christiansted, VI 00820-4311

Helpful Details about Virgin Island Real Estate Appraiser Exams

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; 4 hours; fee $200
  • Certified Residential Appraiser Exam is a 4 hours; fee $200;
  • Certified General Appraiser Exam is a 6 hours; fee $200

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.

Want to have a higher chance of passing the exam on the first time, here are some helpful tips.

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in Virgin Island are required to renew their license every year. The license is effective from the date of issue to Dec 31 of the same year.  

In addition to the renewal application, below are the requirements to renew your appraiser license:

  • Finish 14 hours continuing education annually
  • 7 hours of National USPAP Update course in every 2 years.
  • Pay the renewal fee

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

Career tip: Since you’ll need to take the CE courses, don’t waste your money by taking random classes. Choose the one that could really sharpen your appraisal skills, where you could apply what you learn into the field. Here is an article review of the 10 CE courses that I like.

How Many Real Estate Appraisers are in US Virgin Island?

US Virgin Island has a population of roughly 104,000.  Of which, Road Town is the capital and also the largest city. (approximate population 9000).

When we reviewed the figures (as of July 2019) displayed on the Appraisal Subcommittee website, there are only 24 appraisers in Virgin Island.  The breakdown is as follow:

  • # of Certified General Appraisers 16
  • # of Certified Residential Appraisers 8

Final Thoughts about the VI Real Estate Appraisal Career

At this point, I’m unable to find out the average salary of appraisers in Virgin Island. I guess this could be attributed to the small number of appraisers.

However, when I reviewed the fee schedule of a VI appraiser, it seems to align with other states. For instance, the appraisal fee for URAR is $550, while FHA appraisal would have a $100 additional charge.

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.

If you decided to pursue the career as a real estate appraiser, you should take the required appraisal classes asap. Not only you could gain valuable knowledge and practical skills, but you will also have a better understanding of this profession. Here is a review of the appraisal courses provider that we like for your reference.

Furthermore, connecting with other appraisers is a good way to gain a better understanding of the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining industry affiliations, online forums or even LinkedIn groups.

Career tips: To have a better understanding of a career in the real estate industry, you should start connecting with different professionals. You could do so by joining industry associations, forums, or even LinkedIn groups. Here’s a list of professional real estate groups which may be helpful to you.

So here is what I have to share for now. I wholeheartedly wish this article would be helpful to you. If so, please share it!

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 Virgin Island 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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