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SD Department of Labor, SDSU working to help future Real Estate Appraisers

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:02 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The need for real estate appraisers in South Dakota when Governor Noem’s daughter voiced concerns about the approval process. The meeting that followed including the Governor and her daughter, along with several staff members, is still being reviewed.

Our I-Team has learned that the Department of Labor has been working behind the scenes to assist future real estate appraisers. The assistance could help applicants to obtain the knowledge and experience needed to meet federal guidelines.

Several decades ago when mortgages appeared to be out of balance, the federal government stepped in to certify real estate appraisers.

Currently, the larger populated areas of South Dakota can obtain an appraisal in about thirty days. The rural areas could require a delay of several months.

The Federal regulatory arm that oversees compliance and testing for appraisers is the Appraisal Subcommittee, which was set up after the Savings and Loan Crisis in the 80s. Executive Director Jim Park says part of the federal requirement is for applicants to get experience under an appraiser.

“Generally the problem is in getting your experience and finding the supervisor to train you and it’s a long-standing issue,” said Park.

The would-be appraisers often approach lecturer, Ryan McKnight. The courses he teaches at SDSU help them pass the test. The struggle of getting experience is one he’s often asked about.

“And they come to me...’Hey, you know a supervisor in western South Dakota? You know one in Pierre, you know, in Aberdeen, you know, one in Sioux Falls, Brookings?’ And going through my list I’d have some but a lot of them are swamped. They can’t take a trainee, or they don’t want to,” said McKnight.

The Department of Labor has been working behind the scenes with SDSU utilizing federal money.

“By providing grant funds to South Dakota, and they are setting up a program to provide the supervisor to trainees. They’re working with South Dakota State University to provide this training to get around that significant barrier of entry,” said Park.

“There’s no other university that’s really tackled this issue and I think having SDSU on the forefront of looking at it and trying to make make a difference and make it better was phenomenal,” said McKnight.

With the DOL and SDSU providing a supervisor, rather than requiring students to find their own, this precedent could send ripple effects across the nation.

“An example that can move to other states around the country that are experiencing a shortage of appraisers in a lot of states, particularly rural states,” said Park.

Until more real estate appraisers are available, it’s best to be proactive with a real estate transaction.

“Get that appraisal ordered as quickly as possible. Particularly if you’re in a very rural area of South Dakota because it could take a fair amount of time to get that appraisal completed,” said Park.

The funding amount for the three-year grant has not been revealed. The Department of Labor would like to have a Supervisor available to the students by the Fall of 2022.

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