What is an SRA? Or Senior Residential Appraiser?

I’ve been asked on several occasions what an SRA is and what exactly they do, so I’m going to take a few moments today to answer that. SRA stands for Senior Residential Appraiser, and it’s a title that is granted by the Appraisal Institute. An SRA may refer to themselves as a member of the Institute. However, they may not use the designation MAI. MAI means Member, Appraisal Institute. While the description of the two titles may sound similar, the MAI designation can only be attained through more rigorous testing than what is required of an SRA. For the MAI designation more education and experience are needed as well.

What Does an SRA Do?

In the world of real estate appraisal, an SRA is responsible for things like the appraisal of homes, and that valuation then plays a crucial role in those properties being bought and sold. Anyone can look at a site like Trulia or Zillow and see what homes in a particular area cost, and then try to list their home based on the value of what other houses or apartments in the area are worth.

However, this assessment is highly likely to be inaccurate. A Senior Residential Appraiser makes it their business to be thoroughly familiar with the local real estate market. When they are called in for the valuation of a property, they go to work inspecting and photographing that property. They rely on their wealth of industry knowledge to prepare an appraisal report that a homeowner can use to list their property at a price point where it is likely to generate the most interest.

For Whom do SRAs Work?

Senior Residential Assessors can work for real estate companies, but they might also work for mortgage companies, other related firms, or banks. Depending on their specialty, they might work more in the field scouting sites, or they may spend much of their time in an office environment. It’s usually a full-time job, especially when you’ve added the designation “Senior.”

A Senior Residential Assessor might head up a team of Assessors, all of whom work for the same real estate company. The job of Senior Assessor will likely be attained because that individual has worked in the same area for many years and is an unquestioned expert on that particular locale. When required to do so, they can draw on a wealth of industry experience to provide an accurate valuation of a given property.

Do You Need an SRA to Help You Assess Your Property’s Value?

The job of an SRA might not sound particularly difficult, but believe me, a lot goes into it. A valuation is often the product of several days or even weeks of studying the market conditions and those of the property. The job requires skills in the areas of problem-solving, interpersonal communications, customer service, and analytical analysis.

It’s true that you can probably sell your property without an SRA on your side, but you’re not liable to get nearly what it’s worth without one. An SRA is a valuable resource that can ease the sale process and move it forward in an expedient fashion, and it’s always prudent to select a home appraisal company that has one on staff.

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