Average US Appraiser Salary

Dave Towne

Dave Towne

Certified Residential RE Appraiser at Towne Appraisals
AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003.
Dave Towne on e-AppraisersDirectory.com
Dave Towne

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Salary Range for Real Estate Appraisers in the US?Are you curious about the salary range for appraisers in the United States?

Click this link for info on salary ranges for Real Estate Appraisers.

Rising fees across the country has fueled the growth in appraiser income. That’s a good thing! Why should we be the only ‘workers’ to have their income potential held down by lenders who don’t want to pass on true costs of doing complicated appraisals to their bank clients – the actual mortgage loan consumer – while EVERYTHING else has increased?

Thankfully over the past two years that has changed, as most appraisers across the US are now better compensated than they have historically been for decades.

If you still think you have to compete on ‘lowest price’, you need to change your perception! Pay attention to the various fee surveys and set yours to be in-line with your local peers, the VA, and surveys. Talk to your appraiser buddies. Yes, actually make an effort to meet and talk with them! However don’t ‘collude’ to mandate appraisal fees, but at least be competitive.

You provide a valuable service and have many hours of training and experience to back that up. Ask for, and expect to be paid, a fair fee for the product you provide.

Salary Ranges for Real Estate Appraisers
The salaries of Real Estate Appraisers in the U.S. range from a low of $27,040 to a high of $130,000, with a median salary of $51,860 and average of $56,146.

Image credit flickr - Alex M
Dave Towne

Dave Towne

AGA, MNAA, Accredited Green Appraiser - Licensed in WA State since 2003. Dave Towne on e-AppraisersDirectory.com

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29 Responses

  1. I wish we could all say we should demand higher fees, because I do believe we are a more valuable piece of the mortgage pie than we are being paid for. But I think our biggest competition in the future will not be each other, but AVMs, etc.

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  2. $56,000 average seems a bit low to me. I wonder if they adjust for those that work part time as appraisers.

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  3. If a full time appraiser completes 5 appraisals per week and works 48 weeks a year that’s 240 reports a year. Even at a measly $300 per report works out to $72,000/yr.

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  4. 300 reports at $350/ea. = $105,000/yr.

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    • Phillip are you considering overhead (25% to 50%). Go to http://www.mfford.com C&R Fee tab or http://www.appraisersguild.org and review C&R fee proposal from a couple years ago (add 3% to 5% to those numbers).

      Dave used the term ‘salary’ but I think he meant it in the generic colloquial sense since extremely few appraisers earn salaries anymore outside of government.

      Right now Seattle and much of Washington state is in a boom period. It won’t last.

      Anonymous, Id challenge $170k a year for ANY residential appraiser working as a one man shop. Now, if you are one of those folks out there sending picture takers or trainees out while writing desk tops all day, its possible. OR a very organized and successful C&I appraiser could make that. You’d be among the top earners in the country. Congratulations. You’ve done something right that many of the rest of us are unable to.

      A senior government appraiser (GS13 step 7) is only making $65 an hour and that includes the locality high cost of living allowance…roughly a $100k a year…not $170k.

      Doug, 40 a month??? You are doing 40 highest and best use analyses and land value extractions or sale comparisons each month as part of them? All market verified and supportable non rote adjustments? All for $350 (average).

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  5. Jason Haroutunian on Facebook Jason Haroutunian on Facebook says:

    Do they adjust for business related costs (which would be funded by an employer) for the self-employed appraiser

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  6. anonymous says:

    In my 7th year of $170K +/-. Where do they get these figures?

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  7. Xpert says:

    Using the same database Dave used, I’m getting different results: $64K on average and a median salary of $67K for residential real estate appraisers, with SF the highest pay, followed by NY, Boston, LA, Seattle & Chicago.

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  8. Doug says:

    This is a crock of doo doo. I could sell pencils on the sidewalk for 50k per year.

    40 per month at $350 average per report (includes driveby and 1004 reports)  = 14k x 12 months = $168k yrly.

    Data junk in equals data junk out!! Let’s do another survey. GO TIGERS!

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  9. PS – DO talk about fees, AND regularly suggest fees we should be charging in order to maintain professional quality!

    STOP promoting the myth that we cant talk about what we get paid or what we SHOULD get paid!

    You think the banks don’t talk about how much they are going to pay AMCs ($550 to $650) to in turn pay us chicken feed?

    IF a TRID can fix my fee in place before I am ever consulted, then NOTHING I discuss with you guys can be alleged to violate anti trust law.

    Here, lets test it…To ALL appraisers in America I’d like to suggest we set a bare bones minimum fee of $850 for a non complex FNMA 1004/UAD format appraisal & report with 1004MC-three comps required; 7 to 10 day normal TAT. Any other comps are at our own discretion OR if required by clients direction we charge $150 each for them). 1007 an additional $250 for sfr only. “HEY FTC! OVER HERE!!!!”

    Our fee has already been decided for us in the AMC world! We re merely allowed to suggest what we want-not to actually obtain it.

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  10. Bill Johnson says:

    True story, I know a guy right now who is appraising a 40 to 50 million dollar residential property where the gross fee is $15,000, but as a staff appraiser he can collect no more than 50%. One must only complete four of those a year to be average.

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    • Bill, bet he doesn’t have to pay for his own appraisal software, E&O, MLS, RealQuest or other PR svc; portal fees, office space, printer ink or paper, utilities, marketing, or even legal defenses if or when someone gets upset with him and the firm he works for.

      I just got a 50% retainer for the highest fee I ever charged…BUT this doesn’t happen every day or even every month. I bid one of these on average a year, but most often they do not come through. Users in those price ranges are window shopping most of the time. I don’t mind, because they generate other referrals; and like this case, once in awhile they DO place the order…even knowing they can find others to do it for less.

      I doubt that most of us here also consider ourselves to be ‘average’ appraisers. If we did (or were) then we’d be quietly invisible instead of trying to cause necessary changes to preserve our profession..

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  11. Jason Self on Facebook Jason Self on Facebook says:

    I don’t get a salary.

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  12. Terry Weinberg-Rabin on Facebook Terry Weinberg-Rabin on Facebook says:

    Hope it’s ok to ask…
    I just started marketing for my husband’s appraisal business. He’s a one man shop. How does one go about bidding on those big jobs? Or finding out about them for that matter? Thanks!

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    • Terry, it depends on his experience and background. ”Big’ jobs always entail more experience and expertise (at least in theory). Does he have that level of experience?

      Whats his area of special expertise? If he doesn’t have one, then he has to consider the ONE area that he is willing to become an expert in . He’ll have to learn everything about that aspect that he can. MUCH more than his competitors. Then he has to slowly build up his reputation in that area. It doesn’t happen overnight.

      Read conservation easements or value definitions at http://www.mfford.com just to give you an idea of some of the ares where higher fee work may be found. There are so many more areas. What are local requirements for Expert Witnesses? Many have the appraisal expeience and merely need to see what local Superior Court requiremens are. Then market yourself to attorneys (Family Law & Real Estate Law).

      If he’s licensed or certified residential he could become the local area expert in 2 to 4 unit property. A lot of res appraisers just don’t like doing them; but done right they pay better and are not that tough.

      Until you have an idea of what his specialty is, the best way you could help him is…to actually HELP him! Prepare the work file folder when the order comes in; once appointment is set maybe pre-type as much as possible so that he can save time there without having to pay a form filler in India. As you learn more, you can help him more. You could certainly help him increase productivity by 25% to 50% if you guys do it right.

      Also, do it as his Office Manager – not as his spouse.

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    • He can also join the American Guild of Appraisers and you can just pick up the phone and call us whenever he or you have a question. (714) 366 9404

      Contact Jan Bellas at janbellas@appraisersguild.org or click my linked name

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  13. Retired Appraiser Retired Appraiser says:

    The bar graph failed to mention THE APPRAISER living in Idaho who makes $600,000 per year.

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    • Bill Johnson says:

      That’s $600,000 with only Mondays in the office Retired. The other four days are dedicated to blogs, podcasts, and conferences.

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      • Baggins Baggins says:

        I’m going to write a book with an accompanying podcast about the guy who wrote the other books and had the podcasts. I’m serious, it’s going to be big.

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  14. Baggins Baggins says:

    The less detailed you are, the less care you put in, the quicker you move despite the risk to others, the more you earn. Some of the analysis points of income above are pipe dreams or if real are based on inadequate effort and improper outsourcing. Now, let’s compare to amc income please.

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  15. Baggins Baggins says:

    How to rake big bucks in real estate; Cheat a lot and use see addenda in every possible line, use runners and outsource everything possible. If there was effective enforcement mechanisms half of you big income braggers would be gone instantly.

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Average US Appraiser Salary

by Dave Towne time to read: 1 min