News 2018

Rural Property: An Accredited Rural Appraiser Makes All the Difference

When it comes to appraising your rural property, don’t settle for just any appraiser. Enlist the expertise of an Accredited Rural Appraiser for a comprehensive property valuation.

By: Jessi Minneci

If you are involved with rural property or any agricultural-related property, you may or may not already have an idea of how much it’s worth. But if your goal is to obtain a complete, objective valuation of your property, you’re going to want to enlist the aid of someone in the business – and not just anyone – an Accredited Rural Appraiser.

Why? Of course, MAI-designated commercial appraisers are knowledgeable and experts on the industry in which they work. But let’s put it this way: if you have a passenger plane sitting in your lot, are you going to hire an aviation pilot or train conductor to chauffer you around?

We’re going to go with the pilot.

An accredited rural appraiser (ARA) specializes in rural land and agricultural-related properties including:

  • Working and recreational farms and ranches
  • Undivided interest ownership positions in farms and ranches
  • Conservation easement encumbered properties
  • Dairy farms
  • Cattle feed yards
  • Grain handling facilities
  • Orchards
  • Wineries and vineyards
  • Green houses

….virtually anything that can be tied to agriculture or rural land.

Breaking down the Accredited Rural Appraiser

Taking rural and agricultural appraising to the next level, an ARA is specifically trained to conduct work on a vast array of properties. These properties are often among the most complex from a valuation standpoint. And because more than half of all land in the United States is utilized in some way for agricultural production or recreation, rural appraisers are always in demand.

Not just anyone is given an ARA designation. Candidates are required to complete a comprehensive and intensive array of courses and skills, including:

  • A total of 121 hours of coursework
  • Five years of appraisal experience
    • At least 600 hours, of the 1,600 hours in the last three years, must be in rural and/or agricultural appraisal
  • Evidence of certification as a State Certified General Appraiser
  • American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) membership
  • Comprehensive ARA accrediting exam
  • Completion of a demonstration appraisal report

Given the complexities of rural and agricultural appraisal, a well-trained ARA is able to accurately conduct business in a number of property areas.

Why look for an ASFMRA member?

Via its designation, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) is the largest professional society for rural property land experts, boasting over 2,100 members in 31 chapters and conducting more than 175,000 appraisals each year on more than 30 million acres of farmland and millions of dollars’ worth of farm equipment and livestock. ASFMRA represents the most trusted rural property professionals and, aside from ARA, provides three additional related designations:

  • Accredited Agricultural Consultant
  • Accredited Farm Manager
  • Real Property Review Appraiser

An ASFMRA member is able to provide and assist on every stage of rural appraisal:

  • Management
  • Consultation
  • Valuation services
  • Real estate services on rural and agricultural assets

Furthermore, the men and women associated with ASFMRA work under a professional code of ethics, which includes continuing education requirements.

Valbridge connects you to top ARAs

With an office in the heart of the San Antonio market, Valbridge appraisers are eager to provide their clients with exceptional rural and agricultural property valuation and consulting services. We have a number of ARAs and ASFMRA members on staff seasoned in providing complete and thorough valuation and appraisals on rural properties throughout Texas, and beyond!

In fact, Valbridge’s own Merrill E. Swanson was elected ASFMRA national president in 2016. As a Senior Managing Director at Valbridge, Swanson is one of four ARAs in the San Antonio firm. He works alongside two Managing Directors, John P. “Tooter” Robertson, Jr. and Clinton J. Bendele and Director Kyle R. Schroeder who all hold their ARA designations. And if you ask these appraisers what makes them love what they do so much, most credit the team with which they work and their agriculture-related backgrounds.

You (and your property) shouldn’t settle

ARAs and ASFMRA members, like the trusted partners at Valbridge, have a very high standard of ethics, proper credentials and expertise, and boast an immense amount of integrity. Why settle for any ole appraiser for your rural and agricultural property needs when there are professionals in the appropriate industry – right around the corner!

Don’t think twice. We’re in your neck of the woods and ready to assist you with your rural and agricultural property needs. Contact the trusted ARAs at Valbridge Property Advisors | San Antonio today to get started.