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General Assembly Approves Bills Revising Real Estate Appraisal Training

(TRENTON) –The New Jersey General Assembly passed two bills earlier this week that would revamp and modernize the training processes for both aspiring and established real estate appraisers. In a proactive effort to combat discriminatory practices in property appraisals, Bill A2280, sponsored by Assemblywomen Yvonne Lopez, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Tennille R. McCoy, would mandate anti-bias training for all property appraisers.

Additionally, Bill A2279, sponsored by Assemblywoman Lopez, would provide an innovative approach for Real Estate Appraiser candidates to meet their experiential requirements by offering a virtual option. Together, these legislative measures will bolster confidence in appraisers while fostering communities that are more equitable across New Jersey.

“With these bills, we are taking another step towards a more equitable housing industry,” said Assemblywoman Lopez (D-Middlesex), Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “By modernizing the training process for aspiring appraisers, the profession becomes more accessible and inclusive to individuals from diverse backgrounds who want to purse this career path.”

Bill A2280 aims to address discrimination in property appraisal by forbidding real estate appraisers to consider aspects like race, religion, gender, age, marital status, disability, or national origin when evaluating properties. To help appraisers, the Appraisal Qualifications Board of the Appraisal Foundation would require all real estate appraisers to complete a fair housing and appraisal bias course in order to satisfy the appraiser’s continuing education requirements.

“Mandating anti-bias training for real estate appraisals is crucial if we want to ensure fair property valuation and move toward eradicating systemic discrimination in housing,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (D-Hunterdon, Mercer). “This bill will help individuals feel empowered and safeguarded when getting a real estate appraisal because they will know that the evaluation will be based on facts and data, not on biases or prejudices.”

“This bill is a win for New Jerseyans who plan on selling their home, building or other property because it will give them assurance that they are receiving a fair appraisal free from bias based on their race, religion or any other protected characteristic,” said Assemblywoman McCoy (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “By recognizing bias through ongoing education and prohibiting discriminatory practices in property appraisals, we are progressing in our fight against discrimination in property appraisals, sales, and transactions.”

The Assembly also approved Bill A2279, which would require the State Real Estate Appraiser Board to adopt the Practical Application of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA) program. This initiative aims to facilitate the process for prospective real estate appraisers to fulfill the experiential requirements they need for licensure or certification. Currently, aspiring appraisers must secure a licensed or certified appraiser to supervise them, an often-challenging process due to a lack of formal guidance. The PAREA program would allow for virtual completion of up to 100% of experiential requirements through real-world simulations incorporating appraisal theory and methodology. Additionally, the program will offer mentorship for supervision purposes.