When it comes to buying or selling a property, there are two professionals that come to mind: a real estate appraiser and a real estate agent. Although they both work in the real estate industry, they have distinct roles and responsibilities. In this blog, we will explore the differences between a real estate appraiser and a real estate agent.
What is a Real Estate Appraiser?
A real estate appraiser is a licensed professional who provides an unbiased and independent estimate of the value of a property. They determine the market value of a property by conducting an inspection of the property, analyzing comparable sales data, and taking into account any other relevant factors such as the location, condition, quality and age of the property.
Real estate appraisers are typically hired by lenders to determine the value of a property before approving a mortgage loan. They also provide appraisals for property owners who want to understand the value of their home before they decide sell or refinance their property, and for legal or tax purposes. Some examples of legal purposes include divorce, eminent domain, and estate settlements
What is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps buyers and sellers of real estate properties. They typically will be the consultant for a buyer and seller doing what is best for them at the time. They work for real estate brokerages and help clients buy, sell, or rent properties. Real estate agents are responsible for listing properties, marketing properties, showing properties to potential buyers, and negotiating deals on behalf of their clients.
Real estate agents are paid a commission on the sale of a property, which is usually a percentage of the sale price. The commission is split between the agent and their brokerage. The more the agents get for their clients in a sale or purchase, the more they make.
What are the Key Differences?
The main difference between a real estate appraiser and a real estate agent is their role and responsibilities. Real estate appraisers are responsible for determining the VALUE of a property, while real estate agents are responsible for helping clients buy, sell, or rent properties. While each has a pulse on the market, it is the appraiser who does a more in depth dive to determine the factors that effect the value of the home.
Real estate appraisers are independent and unbiased professionals who do not have a vested interest in the sale of a property. Their appraisal is based solely on the factual market data to determine the value of the property, which is determined the factors mentioned above. Appraisers also do not get paid based upon the sale price of the home, instead they get paid a flat fee for their services.
Real estate agents, on the other hand, work for clients and are paid a commission on the sale of a property. They have a vested interest in the sale of a property and may use a variety of marketing and negotiation techniques to ensure a successful sale. Agents typically will have their clients best interests in mind while also taking into consideration their emotions and motivations. Something a real estate appraiser does not even consider.
Another difference between the two professions is the licensing and education requirements. Real estate appraisers are required to be licensed and undergo extensive training and education to become qualified. Real estate agents are also required to be licensed and complete training, but the requirements are generally less stringent. Why is this? Well appraisers are to protect the public trust, to remain unbiased and have to use many more tools than a real estate agent. Depending on the state you reside in, appraisers must complete a more extensive training period as well as class work in order to obtain a license.
For example. In Georgia the state I reside in, to become a trainee you must have 90 hours of classroom education in order to start your career. Then you can apply to become licensed or certified. To become a licensed appraiser you must take 150 hours of classroom education then take 1000 hours of in field experience hours in no less than 12 months. To become a certified appraiser, you must take 200 hours of classroom education and have 1500 hours of in field experience in no less than 12 months as well as having a bachelors degree or an associates degree with some supplemental college level education.
To become an Agent in Georgia you have to have a high school diploma or GED and take 75 hours of classroom work in order to qualify for the exam. Thats it.
In conclusion, while both real estate appraisers and real estate agents work in the real estate industry, they have distinct roles and responsibilities. Real estate appraisers determine the value of a property, while real estate agents help clients buy, sell, or rent properties. As you can see, one is more highly trained, performs more in depth analysis, and has no vested interest in the property, while the other has vested interest, has less requirements and is more focused on the outcome then the other.
Understanding these differences can help you choose the right professional for your real estate needs.