How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser in Wisconsin?


real estate professional with glasses

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There are over 5.8 million resides in Wisconsin. Of which, the cities Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, and Kenosha have the most population.

As a real estate appraiser in Wisconsin, your job is to evaluate of the market value of properties for your clients. Your assessment could be useful to a home buyer or seller, a mortgage lender who wants to know the value of the collateralize assets, an individual who needs it for estate arrangement or divorce settlement.

However, no matter who is in needs of your appraisal services, your assessment must always be unbiased, objective, and professional.

To become a real estate appraiser in Wisconsin, you would start off accumulating your appraisal working hours, then work your way up toward other designations such as the Licensed Residential Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and the Certified General Appraiser.

You must fulfill the qualifying appraisal education, work experience requirement and register with the Wisconsin Real Estate Appraisers Board.

This is the State Board which regulates individuals and companies that appraise the value of real estate, and also appraisal management companies (AMCs), in accordance with federal guidelines.

Wisconsin Real Estate Appraiser License Requirement

How to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Wisconsin?

real estate office

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.

5 Steps to Become a Licensed Residential Appraiser in Wisconsin

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 covering specific subject topics.

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 12 months period.

Here’s the standard form to keep track of your appraisal experience.

Step 3: Fulfill the Education Requirement

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

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 4: Submit Application to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

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

If the Appraisal Board in your state 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.

Click here to view the registration procedure.

Step 5: Pass the Licensed Residential Appraiser Exam

Now it’s the time to focus on the exams. 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.

Here are more details about the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations and the Wisconsin Online Test. 

How to Become a Certified Residential Appraiser in Wisconsin?

Certified Residential Appraiser 2

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).

(If you are planning to start an appraisal business, then you should check out this post. In there, you’ll find the essential steps and tools to run your own firm.)

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  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 Wisconsin

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

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 a Licensed Residential Appraiser,  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 Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

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

The Licensing Department 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 in Wisconsin.

Step 5: Pass the Certified Residential 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.

Click here for more details about the WI Appraiser Exam.

How to Become a Certified General Appraiser in Wisconsin?

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.

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.

Although you still could evaluate for 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.

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 Wisconsin

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. Here are the specific courses requirement.

Step 4: Submit Application to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

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. Don’t try to cramp up all the study materials all at once. 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.

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.

What Subjects are Covered in the Appraisal Pre-licensing Courses?

 Licensed Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified Residential Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
Certified General Appraiser
(Credit Hours)
National USPAP Course or Equivalent15 15 15
Basic Appraisal Principles30 30 30
Basic Appraisal Procedures30 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
Total150 hours200 hours300 hours

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

How to Register at the Wisconsin Real Estate Appraisers Board?

real estate application

Once you have fulfilled all the prerequisites, you could submit your application to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

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

  • Registration fee (The amount is 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)

If you have any questions, you could contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services at (608) 266- 2112 and [email protected] 

Here is more info about the WI Appraiser Exam

There are two exams you’ll have to write. One is the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examination and the other is the Wisconsin State Test.

Wisconsin State Exam

The purpose is to test out applicable state statutes and administrative code chapters specific to being a real estate appraiser. It can be taken online. But keep in mind that it cannot be taken on Mac computer at the moment.

The required passing score is 81.5%, but this result is only valid for 24 months.

National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examination

Once the Real Estate Appraisers 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 the National Appraiser Examination Candidate Handbook.

(Must Read before you write: 10 practical tips on how to pass the real estate appraiser exam)

Appraiser License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All real estate appraisers in Wisconsin are required to renew their license every two year, which you could do so online through this link

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

  • Finish 28 continuing education hours every 24 months, of which must include 7 hours of National USPAP Update course.
    • There’s no restriction of how many credit hours you can take online.
  • Pay the renewal fee (Here’s the fees structure)

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 Wisconsin?

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.

However, the earning gap among real estate appraisers in Wisconsin actually is not as large as some  other states.

According to the data from Sokanu.com, the starting annual salary is around $32,240, it has the potential to go up to $92,650 for top producers. Of which some appraisers could be working full-time or part-time.

The average annual salary of real estate appraisers in Wisconsin is $61,600,  which is 91% 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 $50,628. The range generally is between  $41,720 and $58,495.

Whereas, an appraiser who specialize in assessing commercial real estate has an average annual salary of  $94,315 . The range is mostly between $81,123 and $108,194.

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 Wisconsin

Tip#1: Take the required 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 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 help you in selecting a good appraisal education provider, here’s a review of the one that I like.

Tip#2: Network with other real estate professionals in Wisconsin

Connecting with other appraisers in Wisconsin is an excellent way to gain a better understanding about  the appraisal industry. You could do so by joining industry affiliations, online forums or even LinkedIn groups. For instance,

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

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.

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 among residential appraisers.

To differentiate 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 Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin 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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