8 Essential Tools for Real Estate Appraisers

8 Essential Tools for Real Estate Appraisers

8 Essential Tools for Real Estate Appraisers

As a real estate appraiser, I’ve come to rely on a variety of tools to help me accurately assess property values. These tools not only save time but also ensure that my appraisals are as accurate as possible. In this article, I’ll share my top 8 essential tools for real estate appraisers, which include everything from measuring devices to software solutions.

1. Laser Measure

One of the most important tools in my arsenal is a laser measure. This handy device allows me to quickly and accurately measure distances, which is crucial for determining square footage and other property dimensions. I’ve found that using a laser measure is much more efficient than relying on a traditional tape measure, as it eliminates the need for a second person to hold the other end of the tape. Plus, it’s much more accurate!

2. Digital Camera

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s especially true in the world of real estate appraisals. A high-quality digital camera is essential for capturing clear, detailed images of the property’s interior and exterior. These photos not only help me remember specific details about the property but also serve as valuable documentation for my appraisal reports.

3. Appraisal Software

Appraisal software is a game-changer for real estate appraisers. These programs streamline the entire appraisal process, from data collection to report generation. Some popular options include a la mode’s TOTAL, Bradford Technologies’ ClickFORMS, and ACI’s software suite. These tools help me stay organized, save time, and produce professional, accurate reports that meet industry standards.

4. MLS Access

Having access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is crucial for any real estate appraiser. The MLS provides up-to-date information on property listings, sales, and market trends, which is invaluable when determining a property’s value. By analyzing comparable properties and recent sales data, I can make informed decisions about a property’s worth and provide accurate appraisals for my clients.

5. Sketching Software

Creating accurate floor plans is an essential part of the appraisal process. Sketching software, such as Apex Sketch or RapidSketch, allows me to quickly and easily create detailed floor plans that accurately represent the property’s layout. These programs also integrate with my appraisal software, making it easy to include floor plans in my final reports.

6. Clipboard and Pen

While technology has revolutionized the appraisal process, sometimes you just can’t beat the simplicity of a clipboard and pen. I always carry these items with me during property inspections, as they allow me to quickly jot down notes and observations. Plus, they’re a great backup in case my electronic devices fail or run out of battery.

7. Smartphone or Tablet

A smartphone or tablet is another indispensable tool for real estate appraisers. These devices allow me to access the MLS, take photos, and even use sketching software while on the go. Additionally, many appraisal software programs offer mobile apps, making it easy to input data and generate reports from anywhere.

8. Vehicle with Adequate Storage

Last but not least, a reliable vehicle with ample storage space is essential for any real estate appraiser. I often need to transport equipment, such as ladders and measuring devices, to property inspections. Having a vehicle that can accommodate these items makes my job much easier and more efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do real estate appraisers determine property values?

    A: Appraisers use a variety of methods to determine property values, including analyzing comparable properties, assessing the property’s condition, and considering local market trends. They also rely on tools like MLS access, appraisal software, and laser measures to gather accurate data and make informed decisions.
  • Q: What qualifications do real estate appraisers need?

    A: Real estate appraisers typically need a bachelor’s degree, as well as state-specific licensure or certification. They must also complete a certain number of hours of appraisal education and work experience before becoming fully qualified.
  • Q: How do real estate appraisers stay up-to-date on industry trends and changes?

    A: Appraisers can stay current by attending industry conferences, participating in continuing education courses, and networking with other professionals. They also rely on tools like MLS access and appraisal software to stay informed about market trends and property values.


In conclusion, the right tools can make all the difference for real estate appraisers. From laser measures and digital cameras to appraisal software and MLS access, these essential tools help appraisers accurately assess property values and produce professional, reliable reports. By investing in these tools and staying up-to-date on industry trends, real estate appraisers can ensure they provide the best possible service to their clients.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.