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How to Become an Agricultural Real Estate Appraiser

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How to Become an Agricultural Real Estate Appraiser. An agricultural real estate appraiser is, essentially, a commercial real estate professional who specializes in determining the value of agrarian land. To become one, you'll need to attain a commercial real estate appraising license, according to your state's requirements, and to complete your internship or trainee hours under an established agricultural real estate appraiser.

Obtain a Bachelor's degree, ideally in a liberal arts or agriculture-related field. While this is not required, strictly speaking, to sit state licensing examinations, many of the top real estate appraisal study programs prefer applicants who have attained a college degree.

Check with your state's real estate licensing board to find out what specific requirements are in place, both in terms of in-class hours and professional experience. Most states do not outline specific requirements for agricultural real estate appraisers, instead considering them to be specialized commercial real estate appraisal professionals. They are held to the same code of ethics as commercial and residential real estate appraisers.

Enroll in a course that will lead to an agricultural real estate trainee designation. For most states, 75 hours of in-class training is enough to become an officially recognized trainee.

Work with a supervising appraiser who specializes in agricultural real estate. You will have to amass a designated number of hours of practical experience to complement your in-class training. Each state's requirements differ, but a good ballpark figure is 2,000 hours over a 1,-year period plus 90 hours of in-class work, to go from trainee to licensed appraiser.

Continue to take courses and amass work experience required to move from licensed professional (the minimum designation) to certified professional (the highest designation). To become a successful agricultural real estate appraiser, you'll need to know not only how to value land but how to factor in the potential of that land as a profit-making tool for its owner. For that reason, you'll need to spend a good deal of time studying farming systems as well as learning about assessing the value of a piece of real estate.

Tip

Learn your state's specific licensing and certifying policies by following direct links through the Appraisal Institute's website (see Resources below).

Warning

After you become an agricultural real estate appraiser, you will be expected to adhere to a strict ethical code. Failure to do so may result in the forfeiture of your professional credentials.

Resources