What to pursue... broker or appraiser?

I am just starting out in the Real estate arena. There is a real estate school here in my town and I wanted to know what I should study for the most benefit in rehabbing properties. I can either become a real estate agent, mortgage broker or an appraiser. What do you think would help me find the best deals? Thanks, Amy


If you want to rehab, I would look for a Vo-Tech school and study carpentry, plumbing, electrian, masonry, etc. – more in the building trades world. My second choice would be Real Estate Inspector. If I HAD to chose one from your list it would be Appraiser (but I would be kicking and screaming)…

I think that a few classes from the “school of hard knocks” would be in order here…(maybe from Clint Eastwood’s "Heartbreak Ridge???).

Seriously, though…you would learn a lot (probably a lot more than the school will teach you) by just ‘doing’!

My two cents…


if you wanted to become a rehabber, you should learn rehabbing.
if you want a job in the industry i think mortgage brokers make the most and easiest amount and have less competition that agents do.[someone, correct me if i’m wrong on that]. but appraisers seem to be doing extremely well too.

“…someone, correct me if i’m wrong on that…”

May I?

Everything being relative…Mortgage Brokers don’t tend to make more than Real Estate Agents. Moreover, MB’s often seek referrals from RE Agents…not the other way around.

MB’s & Appraisers haven’t done well since rates blipped up in summer of ‘03.’

Many Appraisers are struggling mightily, and if rates go up (even slightly)–forecast are for half the MB’s (and therefore Appraisers working for them) to lose their jobs.

AVM’s (Automated Value Modules) & AMC’s (Appraisal Management Companies) have decimated the Appraisal Profession. I earned $400 in ‘92’ for an appraisal but, thanks to AMC’s…I would now earn $300 (25% less!!!) if I were still appraising. Worse yet…there are some AMC’s taking 50% of the fee or even greater (mind boggling!!!). What’s happened to your personal inflation index in the past 13 years???

Moreover, appraisal work is now being outsourced (believe it or not).

Of the three choices presented…I highly recommend Real Estate Sales. However, you don’t need to obtain a license in any of these fields to learn about rehabbing. As previously mentioned…you could take a course on “Contracting” @ your local Voc Tech. Additionally, familiarize yourself with Marshall & Swift Residential Cost Handbook. But keep in mind…cost does not necessarily equal value.

i’m not going to argue with your figures because california’s numbers are skewed, but i do know of mrtg brkrs that make 7 figure incomes
here in san diego!!!

If I get my real estate license do I get the 3% commission when I sell or buy my own house? I read on carelton sheets that you can actually use your 3% commission when buying a home as a down payment on it. What do you think?


It also marks you as a professional realtor. Some folks are a little skeptical when dealing with professional realtors – they think “If he/she (as a professional) want this property, maybe I’m missing something”. Do NOT forget to disclose this fact in real estate dealings. Make sure that the other party to the transaction knows that you are a licensed agent/broker dealing on your own account. Insure that you fully understand and comply with your state’s disclosure regulations!


“…i do know of mrtg brkrs that make 7 figure incomes
here in san diego!!!”

I’m speaking relatively. I work with several successful agents who own similar bragging rights…when THEY SPEAK…I listen attentively.

“If I get my real estate license do I get the 3% commission when I sell or buy my own house?”

We did just that recently, however, the real savings came from our knowledge of market value & our ability to spot a deal (which comes from experience).