August 29, 2017 | Jason DeLong
What exactly happens during the appraisal process? We’re answering frequently asked appraisal questions today.

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Today we want to go over a few common questions about the appraisal process.

1. How much does the appraisal typically cost? Usually the appraisal fee is paid by the buyer directly to the lender. The fee does depend on which loan program you use but usually runs from $400 to $600. If you are short on time and need a rush appraisal, there may be an additional $100 charge.

2. How is the appraiser selected? Again, this depends on the loan program that you use. If you are using a rehab loan or direct bank loan, the bank may reach out to the appraiser directly.

If you have a conventional, VA, or FHA loan, the lender usually reaches out to an appraisal management company, which then selects the appraiser. That way, there is no direct contact between the lender and the appraiser so the lender cannot influence the appraisal.

3. Will the appraiser let you know if the home will not hit value? Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t. The appraiser is not immune to the fact that the buyer and seller depend on the house to hit value so that the contract can go to close. They know that and they want to help the situation as much as possible.

It can help for your listing agent to meet the appraiser at the house and make a personal connection. I try to reach out to appraisers so that if any issues arise, hopefully they’ll reach out to me before going to the lender. The appraiser can also ask your listing agent for additional comps, features, or upgrades that they might have missed.

4. Why did the appraisal come in right at contract price? Most loans use bracketed appraisals. That means if the contract price is $200,000, they’ll look at comps from $170,000 to $230,000. They leave out lower and higher amounts so that there are fewer comps to look through and by doing that, they are trying to hit that value.

If the home doesn’t hit the contract price, it’ll come in low. If it’s higher than the contract price, they often leave it at contract price because the lender needs the appraisal to conform to the loan. If it’s too much higher, they may kick it out and say that it doesn’t conform to the loan.

Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of what to expect from the appraisal process. If you have any other questions about appraisals or would like to learn more about our current market, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!
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