When you’re looking for a commercial real estate appraiser, there are many factors that will determine which appraiser is the right fit for your needs. You want someone with experience who can accurately appraise your commercial property whether you’re looking to buy, sell or refinance, but what questions should you ask a commercial real estate appraiser to ensure they’re the right person for your project?

How many years of experience do you have in the industry?

When it comes to appraisals, experience is key to gaining knowledge and proficiency in the field. However, the types of properties they have experience with is just as important as the length of time they’ve been doing appraisals in general. For example, an appraiser who has a lot of experience appraising farms and agricultural buildings may not have the same level of expertise with residential high-rises in a city. Appraisers are required to disclose their competence with specific properties, so asking this question is a great way to determine if they’re a good fit for your property type.

Which areas do you service?

Many appraisers work in specific geographical locations and are familiar with real estate trends, including current market values in their local area. This type of familiarity with the local area can be great for an appraisal for general property types. While all appraisers should give you an unbiased appraisal, if you have a unique building type, you may find that you’d prefer to look into a commercial real estate appraiser who is located out of state to get an impartial value from a firm that has no vested interest in a property.

Appraisers lacking specific geographic experience can gain competence by allying with a local appraiser and should disclose if they plan to do so. They should also disclose if they are not already licensed, and need to seek a temporary license in the state.

Have you appraised the property previously?

Appraisers are required to disclose if they have previously worked on a property in the past three years, and are ethically bound to manage any potential conflicts if they have.

Do you have any professional designations or certifications?

A great way to pick out high-quality appraisers is to observe their designations or certifications.  For example, you should try to select an appraiser with MAI designation. According to the Appraisal Institute, the MAI designation is only awarded to appraisers who meet very rigorous ethical and academic standards. The designation validates that an appraiser is competent, trustworthy and ethical. Other types of designations are SRA (a specialty in residential properties), AI-GRS, or AI-RRS membership designations.

Can you provide references from previous clients?

A good method to determine your commercial real estate appraiser’s legitimacy is by looking into their past assignments by reviewing their testimonials. You can view written testimonials from their previous clients by visiting their Facebook or LinkedIn pages or by viewing their Google listings. Some appraisers will even feature testimonials on their website.

Partner with Willowbrook Valuation & Advisory Services for Your Commercial Real Estate Appraisal

At Willowbrook Valuation & Advisory Services, we are a leader in trusted insight, cutting-edge innovation and customer service. We offer exceptional CRE appraisal services and remain dedicated to offering every client the individual valuation service they expect with the capabilities and expertise of a larger firm. To learn more about our valuation and advisory services, please contact us at (202) 919-3888.