A typical Day as a Residential Real Estate Appraiser
Many people interested in becoming a real estate appraiser wonder about a typical day of work is like. So I decided to write out my typical schedule. Your day as an appraiser will vary whether you own you own business (you will have more administrative tasks related to running the business) or work in a large firm (where you may be an employee and have a more structured day with less latitude or flexibility). My schedule reflects my position at a small-sized firm as an independent appraiser (non-employee).
As an independent appraiser (1099 contractor), although I do not have the benefits of paid vacation, sick days or health insurance, I do have the luxury of working when and where I want (as long as I’m completing the assignments, of course). If I feel like working from home one day or for part of the day, I can make that my own decision. I don’t have to ask permission or approval for time off, nor is my time off limited. But with no paid vacation, if you are not working you are not making money. And if I have to miss a day because I’m sick, there’s no paid sick leave. Often, I force myself to inspections when I’d rather stay in bed. But I still prefer this over being an employee.
After waking in the morning, I check my work e-mail on my phone for any revision requests or new or canceled assignments to help gauge the structure of my day, determining what priorities. Most mornings I have inspections.
I schedule inspections in the morning for two primary reasons. For most of the year in Texas, it’s hot. And it’s much hotter in the afternoon than in the morning. It’s more comfortable doing inspections in the 70-80s than 90-100+ and sweating profusely. The other is reason is traffic. I purposely schedule inspections for between 9:30am and 2:30pm. This time frame avoids the morning and afternoon rush hour traffic and makes it easier and quicker to get to and from the inspections. On a typical day I will have 1-3 inspections. Rarely do I have inspections on Saturdays or during the week 5pm or after (to accommodate the owners).
So the morning is primarily for inspections, unless I have afternoon inspections and I do some work on the computer before then.
When I arrive at the office, I immediately start working on the appraisals for the inspections I just completed. I focus on completing the sketch (or at least finalizing it; however lately I’ve simply been importing the sketch from the iPad directly into the report with minimal changes, saving at least 15 minutes), photos, and improvements section on the report because all of this is fresh in my mind. I can complete these items more quickly without having to refer to my notes. Once these sections are complete I work on the appraisals due for that day, which may be for inspections from the day before.
In between, I complete any revision requests, which is not often. But they are usually easy requests (usually minor changes or additional commentary).
I usually start my day at 9:30; get to the office between 11:30-1:30 (depending on how many inspections and the distance) and work until 6:30 or 7:00. Although the appraisal assignments can be unique, the daily schedule is pretty routine and not too stressful!
If you’d like more insight on what it’s like to be a real estate appraiser, check out my book available for instant download. I’ve written loads of useful information and included many things I wish I knew before becoming an appraiser.
The featured photo is from a new construction inspection. Not every new home is completed when you perform the inspection. That’s why you should have a basic understanding of home construction! Of course, always be cautious on these types of inspections, including wearing protective shoes and hard hat (if necessary). Often the lender wants the appraisal as soon as possible and will send you on a final inspection to check that construction is completed before closing on the loan.