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New Appraiser Advice Please?

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Freshman Member
Sep 21, 2016
Professional Status
Appraiser Trainee
North Dakota
Hey everyone, I'm currently working my way through the liscensure process process to start a career/side gig as a Licensed Residential appraiser. My plan is to go independent and take any work as it comes, probably slow at first. My question to the group - What advice can you give on things such as software (I've really like what I've seen so far from ClickForms and the Swift Estimator), and other services to subscribe to, to make things for a newbie that much more smooth? My background is a county tax assessor for the last 5 years, so I'm actually able to claim my experience as an assessor, in conjunction with the education requirements, to meet the criteria and I was able to bypass the trainee level. So this is my first jump into the fee appraisal world. Any and all random or specific tips/advice would be welcomed and appreciated!


Senior Member
Dec 16, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser

Yes, ClickForms is good software. I have been using it for 12 years and never had a problem with it. Easy to use, good customer service and has all you need to complete form appraisals. That being said it’s expensive. Bradford is offering 50% off to new customers so that's something you may want to check out.

I also have a copy of Homeputer which is good but there is a learning curve and it’s not as easy to use as ClickForms. I use it for non-lender work because it has the GP forms, I like.

I would stay away from Swiftestimator not because it’s not good. But because it is expensive and its owned by CoreLogic. A company seeking the destruction of the entire appraisal profession.

I would go instead with Craftsman National Building Cost which is as good if not better. When I subscribed to both I was able to figure out that the data was very similar if not the same as M & S. The way they parse the data is different. Get the book and software. It cost $55.00 this year.

One thing to look at is the depreciation tables in the CD are different than that from the book. The total life ends at 50 in software while the book's tables extend to 70. I use sales to extract for depreciation so it’s not an issue. Best of luck!

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
North Dakota is a good place to specialize in farm and ranch property as well as rural property. Market to the community banks and learn to write narrative reports, take a narrative writing course.
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