Step 16: The Appraisal


An appraisal is essential in determining the value of real property. Real estate transactions often necessitate appraisals due to the uniqueness of each property. For a better understanding of the appraisal process, I recommend reading the insightful article on Appraisals.

Your mortgage lender will handle ordering the appraisal and will require payment from you later on. Typically costing between $500 and $700, this fee is part of your closing costs, even though it is paid upfront.

Here are a few key points to remember about the appraisal process:

  • Your presence is not required during the appraisal.
  • Only the seller's Realtor attends the appraisal; the buyer's Realtor does not.
  • Once payment is made, it takes around a week for the appraiser to complete their assessment, followed by another week or so for the report to be finalized.
  • Anticipate a total timeframe of about two weeks from payment to receiving the appraisal report.

After the report is completed, it is sent to your mortgage lender, who will then share the results with you. The lender will indicate whether the property appraised at, below, or above the purchase price.

  • If the property appraises at the purchase price, the closing process proceeds without any issues.
  • If the property's appraised value exceeds the purchase price, congratulations! You've scored a great deal and will gain instant equity in your new home.
  • If the property appraises for less than the purchase price, negotiations will be necessary. The bank will only finance the appraised value, which may require revisiting the purchase price with the sellers. You can decide to proceed by covering the difference in price or opt to walk away and receive your earnest money back. For instance, if the purchase price is $500K but the appraisal values it at $475K, consider if you're willing to pay the $5K difference or if walking away is the better choice.