Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Real Estate Appraisals are a necessary step in the home buying process. There is a lot of confusion out there regarding the truth about appraisals. Some people are confused about their purpose and often think of them as home inspections. Some people think that a low appraisal for their home is the kiss of death. People should take the time to learn the facts about real estate appraisals. The more people learn beforehand, the better prepared they will be to tackle this crucial step.
Your home loan approval is contingent upon the results of the real estate appraisal. It is as simple as no appraisal…no loan. Since very few people have the ability to pay for a house with cash, the appraisal is going to be necessary. A loan is never going to go through without an appraisal. The purpose of the appraisal is to establish the home’s market value. The sales price will be based on the market value.
The main goal of the appraiser is to protect the lender. Lenders don’t want to be stuck with property that is not worth its price tag, so the appraisal must be completed before the lender will approve the loan. The information contained in appraisal is invaluable to the lender. The lender will study the details of the appraisal before reaching a final decision. It makes sense. If they are going to be funding the transaction, they should be aware of the property’s value.
The lender will often dictate the choice of appraiser. It might have one in house or through a contract with an independent appraiser. If you go with your own choice for appraiser, they may be subject to final approval from the lender.
Residential properties are normally appraised using either the sales comparison approach or the cost approach. When using the sales comparison approach, an appraiser compares the property to similar properties that have sold in the area and bases the market value on the comparables or comps. The cost approach is based on the costs to build, which means it is more appropriate for new properties.
The actual appraisal reports are very detailed. They contain information about the subject property along with comparisons of a few similar properties. There is an evaluation of the overall house market within the area. The appraiser will then list any issues that he or she feels might diminish the property’s value. The next component is a list of any serious problems like bad roofs or weak foundations. The appraiser then gives an estimate of the sales time for the house. Finally, the report will indicate the type of property.
It is important to note that the real estate appraisal is not the same thing as an inspection. The appraiser might make note of any problems they see, but they are not responsible for declaring if your home is in good condition or not. They are only responsible for assessing the property and determining the market value for the lender. A home inspection is a different process altogether.
Real estate appraisals only include the home, the land, and any improvements to the land. It does not cover any personal property that might be sold with the house. The buyers should purchase those items separately.
Everyone fears the possibility of a low appraisal. It happens all of the time, usually during closing. There are some things you can do to remedy this common but stressful situation. The buyer can make a larger down payment. If this is not feasible, the seller and buyer can negotiate the price some more. Additionally, the appraisal can always be disputed.
What all goes into an appraisal? Appraisers are looking at the condition and size of the house, it's proximity to good schools, and the size of the lot. Appraisers do not look at dirty dishes or overflowing laundry baskets. They do care about chipped paint, broken windows, and appliances that don’t work.