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What to Expect from a Home Appraisal

Jan 28, 2020

If you get an amazing offer on your home, it can be exciting. There is, of course, another important hurdle – the home appraisal. The fact is that the appraisal value can affect the sale of your home if it comes in significantly under the sale price. In fact, many buyers are scared by the discrepancy, and their financing is likely to fall through due to the disconnect between value and loan amount. In fact, appraisal issues are a common cause of real estate contract delays. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to know what to expect as you move forward toward your home appraisal.

When Does the Appraisal Happen?

Typically, your home will be appraised once you and the buyer have negotiated over the price and come to a final number. After all the financial back and forth, the lender involved will send in an appraiser to develop an opinion of the current market value for your home. As the seller, however, you also have the option of obtaining a pre-listing appraisal, which can help ensure your asking price is realistic and doesn’t result in extended marketing time due to an over listing of the property. Conversely, if under listed, you may be leaving considerable “chips on the table” so to speak, so it often makes sense to consider an appraisal prior to listing your home.

There are two situations in which a pre-listing appraisal is an especially good option, and these are:

  • Your home is quite unique, and there are few comparables on the market
  • The market is volatile – or on the upswing or downswing – and prices are changing quickly.

Who Pays for the Appraisal?

If the appraisal is for lending purposes the appraiser is typically engaged directly by the lender – who will retain an appraiser directly, or go through a third-party appraisal management company (AMC) to obtain an impartial valuation. The home buyer is responsible for the appraisal cost. Appraisal fees can vary somewhat from firm to firm, but generally, for non-complex assignments, appraiser’s fees are fairly comparable.

Why Is an Appraisal Necessary?

The appraisal is intended to provide an independent and impartial valuation of real property – your home. The bank – or lender – is the appraiser’s client, but the appraiser’s ultimate task is to protect the potential buyers from paying too much for the home, which could jeopardize their financial future. If, for example, the buyers run into serious financial hardship in a year or two and can no longer make their mortgage payments, they could find themselves underwater and in need of foreclosing (if they paid more than the home was worth in the first place).

If You’re Selling Your Home, Consult with an Experienced Appraiser Today

If you’re selling your home, it’s going to be appraised, and you want that appraisal to go as well as possible. Doing your homework ahead of time can help you be better prepared for your home’s appraisal. The appraisal experts at Allstate Appraisal serve clients in the Chicago area and throughout the rest of the nation, and we can ensure your home’s appraisal reflects a credible, well supported, and meaningful opinion of value you can rely upon in selling your home. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.

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