As a first-time home buyer, it may be difficult to determine if the seller is asking a fair price. How do you determine the value of a home? That is what an appraiser is for.

A Real Estate appraisal will tell you if a home is priced too high or just right.

What is their job?

An appraiser determines the current value of a property before a home sale. In order to figure this number out, they will perform an on-site inspection. Included in this inspection is:

  • Room-by-room walk-through
  • Inspection of the exterior
  • Determining the value of amenities such as a swimming pool or any other built in additions
  • Noting any health or safety code violations
  • Inspecting the layout and square footage

The off-site inspection will include the appraiser’s evaluation of the current Real Estate market and comparing the home to other properties in the neighborhood.

What makes them qualified?

An appraiser is licensed by the state and usually is chosen by your lender. However, not all states require that an appraiser have certification so make sure you do your research.

Who pays for the appraisal?

Typically, the buyer will pay the appraisal fee with their closing costs. Depending on the size and location of the property being appraised, this can range from $300 to $600.

Sometimes, the seller may offer to pay for the appraisal to back their asking price.

How long does it take?

The appraisal itself usually does not take more than one or two hours.

However, the time it takes to receive back the appraisal report varies. On average it should only take three to seven business days, but other factors may affect this time frame depending on the type of report and size of the property.

What are the benefits?

An appraisal is a great investment that can potentially save you time and money. Having a professional assess what the value of the property truly is will prevent you from making a decision you may regret and can’t take back.

Additionally, an appraisal will help your loan approval.