Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
A real estate appraiser school typically offers one or all of the following: pre-licensure courses, continuing education classes, and exam prep classes. A real estate appraiser school should also help teach you how to properly place an unbiased value on a piece of real estate while following state and national guidelines. Different schools offer various courses with different formats and teaching styles; for instance, you may be able to choose a course format with interactive instructors, one that is on-demand, or even a self-paced class.
We researched reputable organizations that offer online classes in multiple states. Keep reading to see which real estate appraiser school best suits your needs.
Best Overall: McKissock Learning
Why We Chose It: The company offers numerous appraisal courses in all 50 states and has a user-friendly website, competitive pricing, and several course packages to choose from.
Unlimited learning annual membership
Courses available nationwide
Various course formats
No exam prep classes
Customer support not available 24/7
Some classes take longer to complete than advertised
McKissock Learning was founded in 1990 to give appraisers a better education and understanding of the profession. It focuses on helping appraisers go further in their careers. The school is nationally accredited with an online learning platform that offers courses for not only real estate appraisers, but also home inspectors, engineers, and land surveyors. It’s part of a family of brands that includes Colibri Group, Real Estate Express, and the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.
All of McKissock's appraisal instructors are also working professionals with years of industry experience, which translates into informative and interesting courses that offer real-world examples. You can take pre-licensure courses toward your appraisal license, upgrade your license, take required continuing education classes, and take exam prep classes on the site. It also offers some professional development courses, webinars, industry blogs, and specialties including certified luxury appraiser programs.
Classes are offered in all 50 states and focus on practical career application, career advancement, and relevant industry trends. You can purchase individual classes or a package, which is usually offered at a discount. Expect to pay about $210 to $300 for 15-hour individual classes and $410 for 30-hour individual classes. Packages start at $1,300. Pricing varies based on the type of courses and state requirements.
Best for Exam Prep: Van Education Center
Why We Chose It: Van Education Center focuses on preparing students for appraiser exams. It offers affordable exam prep courses that include helpful, at-home study tools.
Affordable exam prep pricing
Pre-licensure courses available via a partnership with Mbition
Five-day free trial
Not all courses are available in all states
Smaller course lineup than other schools
Van Education Center began in Colorado in 1997. Founder Vann Hilty wanted to provide a new and innovative class format for appraisers: online learning. Online classes weren’t popular then but have since grown in popularity, and today, the majority of real estate classes, including those in the appraisal industry, are completed online. Van Education Center is owned by appraisal professionals who have experience in both residential and commercial appraisals.
This school focuses on clearly presenting appraisal coursework in an easy-to-understand format and even offers a free five-day trial during which you can explore the courses, topics, and the format before making a commitment to purchase a class. In addition to appraisal courses, Van Education Center offers real estate agent courses, real estate designations, and mortgage broker courses. All of the appraisal courses are taught by licensed, practicing appraisers who are available to chat via phone and email.
Classes are meant to be interactive and include online quizzes, exams, practical exercises, and activities. Textbooks are included in the price of the courses and are used in conjunction with online materials. Online appraisal courses are approved by the IDECC (International Distance Education Certification Center) and other independent agencies. Typically, exam prep courses are offered for $79 and USPAP 15-hour courses cost $950.
Best for Additional Resources: Appraisal Institute
Why We Chose It: Appraisal Institute helps you go beyond the classroom and really develop your appraisal career by offering continuing education classes, job search tools, and career tips.
Different course formats, including video and in-person courses
Membership comes with perks and career assistance
Job search tools
No exam prep classes available
Not all courses offered in every state
Appraisal Institute was founded in 1991 when two appraisal organizations joined forces. It was created to help standardize the appraisal process by upholding high ethical standards and encouraging professional education and development. As the nation’s largest professional real estate appraiser organization, it’s also a global leader in real estate valuations and offers educational classes, promotes advocacy efforts, offers designation programs, and supports publishing endeavors. Appraisal Institute is more than just a school; it’s a membership-based organization that helps appraisers stay up to date on industry trends and offers career resources.
This school offers a variety of different appraisal courses including pre-licensure, continuing education, group education, and professional development programs. You can choose from classroom settings, on-demand online courses, and live synchronous online classes. Online courses feature videos and assessment quizzes to keep track of students' progress. You don’t have to be a member to take the courses.
The Appraisal Institute's website also includes information on ethics and professional standards, appraisal news and advocacy information, and hot topics in the industry. Expect to pay $360 to $500 for pre-licensing courses and $250 for a seven-hour update course. Professional development courses usually cost $200, but members receive discounts on individual courses and packages.
Best for Continuing Education: Appraiser eLearning
Why We Chose It: By specializing in continuing education courses, Appraiser eLearning is able to offer much more broad and interesting class topics. It’s also affordable and focuses on making classes interesting and relatable.
Strong focus on continuing education
Broad range of topics covered in course catalogue
Course videos and case studies to better explain course material are available
Not offered in all states
Doesn’t offer pre-licensure or exam prep classes
Online education company Appraiser eLearning was founded in 2013 and offers accredited continuing education classes for real estate appraisers. Its goal is to provide interesting continuing education classes to appraisers at competitive prices from the comfort of their homes or offices. The school offers continuing education classes for credits and as part of license renewals. Classes can be accessed on any device.
Appraiser eLearning offers some unique course topics for your required continuing education hours, a list that includes appraising complex properties with unique characteristics, learning home measurement, square footage, public records, and the real estate information crisis. All appraisal course instructors are industry leaders and top course authors, and each course offers 24/7 customer support. The school is IDECC certified and offers continuing education courses only, rather than exam prep or pre-licensure courses.
Classes are available in 29 states and you can choose individual courses or specialization packages that focus on topics within that category. Expect to pay $70 and up for three-hour courses, $120 and up for seven-hour classes, and $230 and up for 14-hour class bundles.
We compared the course offerings, pricing, types of classes, and instruction styles of these top real estate appraiser schools. Each of the schools has different things to offer—think user-friendly websites, knowledgeable and accessible instructors, and a variety of competitively priced classes in multiple states. Overall, we recommend checking out McKissock Learning because of its solid industry reputation, competitive prices, and broad lineup of appraiser courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Real Estate Appraiser School?
Real estate appraiser schools may offer education online or in-person or a combination of the two. They typically have pre-licensure courses that are required to be a licensed appraiser in a particular state, as well as exam prep courses and continuing education classes.
Appraiser educational requirements vary by state, but typically you’re required to take a certain number of hours of appraisal-related courses and work as an appraisal trainee for a specific number of hours before becoming a licensed appraiser. After that, you can upgrade your appraisal license to work on your own. The common licenses are Licensed Appraiser, Certified Residential Appraiser, and Certified General Appraiser. Each license has varying educational and job training requirements.
Who Should Attend a Real Estate Appraiser School?
A real estate appraiser school is good for:
- An aspiring appraiser to learn more about the industry
- A licensed appraiser to earn continuing education hours
- An appraiser trainee to complete educational requirements
- A real estate agent who wants to learn more about the appraisal process
- A real estate investor who wants to know how investment properties are valued
What Are the Different Types of Real Estate Appraisals?
There are three primary types of real estate appraisals:
- Sales Comparison Approach: The most common approach, the subject property is compared to similar, recently sold properties to approximate a value.
- Cost Approach: The property value is estimated by determining the cost to replace or reproduce the same property, taking into account accrued depreciation.
- Income Capitalization Approach: Used on income-generating properties, this estimates the property value based on the income that it generates. It takes into account what potential future market rents and property values will be.
How We Chose the Best Real Estate Appraiser Schools
We researched more than 10 schools before narrowing down our list to the best options. These top choices are all reputable schools that offer online real estate appraiser courses in multiple states. When reviewing the schools, we also considered pricing, courses offered, additional resources, course format, instructors, and more.