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Lisa Strutz

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Hello out there! I just finished up my schooling for appraisal and am in the process of doing my internship with an excellent mentor. My question to you is this... I am hoping to be done and licensed by September and am planning on working independently with an office set up in our home. We are located in Northeastern Wisconsin and I am not sure what I should be charging per appraisal. My mentor is 2 hours north of me and the market is quite a bit different there. I don't know if it is fair for me to charge what my competitors in the area are charging because I am newer at this, although I feel I am competent. Does anybody have any suggestions?
 

Stone

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Hi Lisa. Congratulations on getting into the business. First thing to think about here is that discussing actual fees with other appraisers can be consdired collusion, so be carefull. Without discussing specific amounts, however, I would say do not sell yourself short. If someone is willing to hire you, then they think you are competent. I would say see how it goes, don't automatically assume you are worth less just because you are newer. If you are being well trained and are ethical, you should be worth a fair fee. Just be wary about discussing your fees with other appraisers who you do not have a real business relationship, it can get you in trouble. Theoretically, at least. Good Luck, it is a pretty good job.
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Lisa, ....Welcome to the ranks. It is certainly good to read that you have found a favorable mentor with whom you can get started. The "2-hours" of distance between you two makes it seem a little more difficult to accomodate any of those early-on shared visits to the properties you will observe as you start out, but I am sure you will resolve that issue. I must admit, I see you to be one extremely busy person leading up to your anticipated separation as you go independant a mere 5 months from now in September. As for wondering what fees to charge....your new mentor, or any other appraiser you come to know in Wisconsin, could probably throw a few hints your way far better than any of the others of us from the remaining 49 states ! Charge what you think is fair. Your clients will determine if your turn-time, product quality and level of expected communication is good enough to match the fee. As an expressed beginner, do yourself a favor, and develop the appropriate diplomatic and professional verbal or written replies for those moments when your new clients will attempt to sway you to see, agree and comply with the value which they and their customers have conjured up to represent the property you are reporting on. Yes, you will possibly have a number of 1-timer and 2-timer clients because you failed to meet their estimates of property value....but they will have to get over it. I wish you all the best at finding and keeping a "regular" client for a full 12 months of steady business, .....I mean it sincerely. Welcome !
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Charge what is typical in your market. Consider how easy or complex your market is, how long it takes to do a job (suburan vs rural.....and don't sell yourself short), availability of data, and what it will cost you to get said data. I live in a rural area, so the work is harder, and cost more to get the data I need. So, I can charge a bit more $$$ than the typical urban/suburban appraiser may be able to get; But I don't do as many reports. I have worked in a suburban market before, and seem to me to be a wash.

But look at it from a business stand point, develop a Bud-jit :beer: and decide what you must have to stay in business, and make a profit. What ever you do....... DO NOT let the AMC's decide you fee schedule!!! ;)
 

Lisa Strutz

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Thank you so much for all of your replies! Ross... Yes the 2 hour distance is quite a challenge but I try to keep focused that I have a goal and am getting out of a carreer that is less than fulfilling for me and into one I truly enjoy. Therefore, I do make the sacrifice and make sure that I am at every inspection with them and then drive up the next day to follow through with the research and reports. I am very "lucky" to have such a great mentor. He actually was one of my high school teachers and him and his wife (who was also a teacher) have since retired and are doing this together. As for being busy...AND HOW! I have 3 children under the age of 8, work part-time to have income in the medical field, do my internship 2 days a week, and am finishing up my schooling. (Oh, and did I mention that we are remodeling and living in an old farm house??) :blink: You know, one of those with "character" LOL! But, I have alot of support, and so it goes.
Anyway, I just love this website and am thankful for all the great direction you are giving us "newbies". I also agree that you cannot sell out your ethics and I would like to think my skin is thick.
Thanks again!!!
Lisa
 

Stone

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Wisconsin
Yikes, Lisa. Try to keep busy :eek:
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Charge as much as the market will tolerate! Do not cut fees! Do not pass go! Do not collect $200. :rofl:
 
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