Do I need a commercial real estate appraiser or a residential real estate appraiser?


The main difference between a residential real estate appraiser and a commercial real estate appraiser is the property type in which the appraiser is LICENSED and COMPETENT to appraise.

When in doubt, hire a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser who will perform the appraisal or refer you to a competent residential appraiser.

In summary, there are 3 types of real property appraisers:

#1 Certified General Real Property Appraiser

The appraiser holding this license can appraise any and all types of real property.  This can include a single-family home, a daycare, a winery, a warehouse, a gas station, a highway bypass, a downtown apartment building or even the stadium of your favorite athletic team!

#2 Certified Residential Real Property Appraiser

The appraiser is qualified to appraise one to four residential units without regard to value or complexity; from a $1 single-family mobile home to the biggest home in Wisconsin!

#3 Licensed Real Property Appraiser

The appraiser is qualified to appraise non-complex 1-4 units valued less than $1,000,000 and complex one to four residential units having a transaction value less than $250,000.

If all else fails, contact your local bank to seek whom their approved appraisers or utilize!

At Masters-Hall Appraisal, we are certified as a General Real Property Appraiser, so we can appraise any residential or commercial property and would be happy to extend our services!

How do I find a real estate appraiser?

An appraiser, per the definition of The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 5th Edition, is “One who is expected to perform valuation services competently and in a manner that is independent, impartial, and objective” while an appraisal is “the act or process of developing an opinion of value.”

Real estate appraisers fall into two categories, residential and commercial. A residential appraiser will either hold the license of a Licensed Appraiser or Certified Residential Appraiser. A commercial appraiser will hold the license of a Certified General Appraiser.

A residential appraiser can appraise any residential structure consisting of 4 or less residential living units (four unit, tri-plex, duplex and single family residence) in addition to a variety of vacant land parcels.

A commercial appraiser can appraise any residential or commercial property that may include, but not limited to, single family homes, any vacant land parcels, residential subdivisions, multi-unit apartment complexes, gas stations, standalone office buildings, mixed-use residential/commercial properties, industrial warehouse, lumber yards, mobile home parks, hospitals, convenience stores, hotel, land taking for eminent domain, condemnation for public use, water parks, athletic stadiums, conservation easements, agricultural lands, dairy facilities, butcher houses, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, crematories, parks, race tracks, gravel pits, quarries, tree farms, and any other physical structures regardless of the size, age, condition, value or location.

Selecting the right appraiser is as key as selecting the right banker. Finding the right appraiser may be a tricky endeavor as most of us are not familiar with a real estate appraiser until we purchase our first home or make our first investment.

#1 Way to find a real estate appraiser: Use a search engine

The easiest way to find any appraiser is through an online search engine such as google, yahoo or bing. Simply type in your home city and state along with the type or appraiser you need, which is dependent upon the property you would need appraised. For instance, “Middleton Wisconsin Commercial Appraiser.”

#2 Way to find a real estate appraiser: Visit your bank

The next best and possibly less complicated route would be to talk with the closest bank to the property in which you need appraised. Walk right in and ask for the names of three appraisers in which the bank has on their approved appraisers list.

#3 Way to find a real estate appraiser: Online Appraiser Directory

If you are like the vast majority of individuals and will be utilizing a lending institution, the bank or credit union will take care of the entire appraisal process for you.  Most lending institutions will be utilizing these site to source their appraisers.  Masters-Hall Appraisal is listed though both of these online directories and ready to serve our Clients.These sites are and appraisal institute.

Let us know if you have other ways of finding the appraiser that meets your needs!