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What is an SRA designation?


The SRA designation and the MAI designation are designations conferred by the Appraisal Institute ( The former is largely residential and the latter largely a commercial designation.  The SRA designation is not limited in residential type, whether it be single family, multi-unit apartments, land, market studies, absorption rates, etc.  An MAI designated appraiser can certainly perform residential appraisals, but they usually specialize in commercial appraisal.  Whom ever you decide to hire, make sure they specialize in the type of property you need appraised.

Good appraisers, like doctors, lawyers and other professionals will specialize in a particular field of study. No appraiser, no matter how many advanced qualifications and letters they may have after their name, can specialize in all types of property.

You want your appraiser to be practicing on a daily basis the type of appraisal that is the subject of your appraisal problem.

The Appraisal Institute is an international membership association of professional real estate appraisers, with more than 18,000 members and 99 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. Its mission is to support and advance its members as the choice for real estate solutions and uphold professional credentials, standards of professional practice and ethics consistent with the public good.

To earn the SRA designation an appraiser must first be state certified.  They then have to meet stringent experience, qualifications, peer review and academic requirements including but not limited to the following:   


  • Receive a passing grade on six examinations that reflect 181 hours of classroom instruction and that test the appraiser’s knowledge of appraisal principles, residential valuation techniques, report writing and standards of professional practice
  • Hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited educational institution (or satisfy a specified alternative)
Receive credit for 4,000 hours of experience, including 2,000 hours of residential appraisal experience, all of which must meet strict criteria and undergo review by their designated peer appraisers.

Demonstration Report:

A demonstration report is akin to an academic graduate degree thesis, or disertation.  It is reviewed and graded by a designated member of the Appraisal Institute and must successfully demonstrate the ability to present a properly supported value estimate or opinion evaluating the nature, quality, or utility of a parcel of real estate or any interest in, or aspect of, real property, or fulfill an approved comparable alternative.

Because of its rigorous requirements and commitment to providing valuable information, continuing education and other valuable resources to its members, you can be confident an appraiser with an SRA designation will provide you with the very highest quality appraisal service.