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Future of Real Estate Appraisers uncertain in South Dakota

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 11:15 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -A meeting in Pierre could be affecting the timeline and experience level of the appraiser reviewing your next real estate purchase.

Before the start of the Appraiser Certification Program Advisory Council meeting, an appraiser referred to the profession in South Dakota as “pure chaos.”

Those facilitating today’s meeting hoped to bring clarity on how to move forward.

Real estate appraisers and those who certify them are not used to being in the spotlight. That all changed when the Governor allegedly stepped in for a meeting with her daughter Kassidy Peters and others with the accreditation process over testing issues for Peters.

In light of the recent turnover of directors overseeing the appraisal process at the Department of Labor, The Appraisal Advisory Council has chosen to look at the entire process from the ground up.

Department of Labor Cabinet Secretary Marcia Hultman opened the meeting by saying she wants to look forward. “There is a shortage and a need for trained, licensed appropriately professionals in the state. I think we can look at this from the perspective that we need to carefully weigh all the requirements for an appraiser,” said Hultman.

After the departure of Appraiser Certification Program director Sherry Bren last summer and the resignation of Scott Amundson last week, The Department of Labor is accepting applications for a replacement.

Real estate experience may not be required, if South Dakota follows other states, according to Jim Park Executive Director of the Appraisal subcommittee.

“The vast majority of executives in the states do not have real estate experience or not, they’re not appraisers,” said Park.

A lot of the discussion revolved around a new training program at SDSU in partnership with the Department of Labor.

Concerns were raised over the speed at which students would go through the process, which would move forward on a semester basis. An alternative program from North Dakota was also discussed where appraisal training would go through modules at their own pace.

State compliance reviews of each state were on hold due to the pandemic but will start again next year, giving the Department of labor time to ensure the Federal guidelines are met.

“...and do an in-person review of their program as it relates to the federal requirements to look at the level of compliance,” said Park.

Real estate professionals across the nation may be keeping an eye on this, as providing real estate appraisal training through a university has not been done before.

The meeting evolved from decision making to discussion, with the request for more time to review all of the options.

There are four levels of appraisers in the state. The last federal compliance review in 2018 listed South Dakota in Good Standing, on a scale from poor to excellent.

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