What is an Appraisal?

A real estate appraisal is a professional opinion on the monetary value of real estate, normally conducted by a licensed appraiser independent of both the lender and borrower.

A real estate appraisal is a professional opinion on the monetary value of real estate, normally conducted by a licensed appraiser independent of both the lender and borrower. The purpose of an appraisal is to determine the property’s fair market value, not just its nominal price. Appraisals are typically used in real estate transactions when sellers want to sell their homes at a specific price and buyers need to know how much they should offer.

Appraisals can also be conducted by lenders or mortgage companies as part of mortgage loan applications, allowing them to determine if borrowers can pay off their loans over time without being upside down on their homes, which is when someone owes more equity than they currently own. Here’s what you need to know about appraisals if you’re looking to buy or sell a property soon.

The Appraisal Process

The appraisal process is a valuable tool for both lenders and borrowers. First, it establishes the market value of your property, which allows you to make an informed decision about whether or not it’s worth pursuing a loan to purchase the property in question.

Appraisals are done by licensed appraisers independent of both the lender and borrower to avoid any conflict of interest. Each property has unique circumstances, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach when conducting an appraisal on your behalf. However, many lenders use similar criteria when determining how much they will lend on any given piece of real estate. These factors include:

  • Location (city size/type)
  • Condition (age)
  • Amenities and amenity value (elevator access, pool, yard, garage, etc.)

You may wonder what type of person would want to appraise your home. The answer is simple: people who need to know exactly how much something is worth, which could include anyone looking for an accurate appraisal before buying or selling a given piece of property.

Appraisal Waiver

An appraisal waiver removes the current value of your home or business from the appraised value when it comes time to buy. This can be done by either paying cash, recapitalizing, or going through a lender that has agreed to remove their appraisal from your loan.

If you’re considering buying a new home, one of the first things that should go through your mind is what kind of loan you want? Do I want an FHA mortgage? Do I want a VA mortgage? What type of rate can you afford?

Once all these questions have been answered, it’s time for what everybody wants: an honest appraisal report on the property so they know exactly how much money they can borrow against their property before taking action, such as closing on the escrow date.


Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new loan on your home. It’s similar to refinancing an existing mortgage but also includes some additional options that are not available with conventional mortgages.

There are many reasons why people choose to refinance their homes. The most common ones include lowering the interest rate on their mortgage to pay off the home faster and saving money over time.

Appraisal Gap

The appraisal gap is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is worth. If you have negative equity, then it means that there’s more money owed than there is in assets to pay off that debt.

The appraisal gap is also referred to as negative equity, which is common in the United States, where homes are often bought with loans from banks or other financial institutions and then refinanced many times over decades or even generations — which means that there may be several appraisals before any actual sale takes place!

Appraisal Contingency 

In real estate, an appraisal contingency is a contract clause that permits the buyer to obtain an independent appraisal of the property before finalizing their purchase. The appraiser must be unbiased and have no vested interest in the property or its sale.

The purchase agreement will typically state that the final price will not be more than a specified percentage higher than the appraised value. If this happens, the buyer has time to either renegotiate the price or withdraw from the deal. In practice, this can give a prospective buyer good leverage when buying from an unyielding seller who is unaccustomed to negotiating on these terms.

Appraisal Guarantee

An appraisal guarantee is a protection for everyone involved in the real estate process. If you are a buyer, seller, or borrower, an appraisal guarantee can help you get approved for financing and avoid paying too much for your home.

The term “appraisal guarantee” refers to any agreement between a tenant, landlord, borrower, and lender that covers the cost of an independent appraisal when either party requires it. The incentive may come from either party being able to buy out their obligations under the agreement if they choose not to use an independent source (i.e., they don’t go through with their plan).

How Much Does an Appraisal Cost?

The cost of an appraisal depends on the property and its value. An appraisal can range from  $400 to $500 on average or can cost far more depending on the size and condition of the property, as well as other factors such as whether it’s a short sale or foreclosure situation. The appraiser will usually charge between 1% and 5% of the loan amount (depending on who pays for it).

If you’re paying for your appraisal, you may also have to pay for any licenses required by your state or local government agency, which could be anywhere from $200 up to several hundred dollars per license. If you’re working with a lender who pays for an out-of-state appraiser (for example, if they have apartment complexes that need inspections), then they may require that you provide them with proof that there is no inspection requirement in place within their area(s).

The appraisal process is a way of assessing the value of a property and comes with some benefits. For example, banks, mortgage lenders, or private investors can use an appraisal to determine how much you’re paying for your home or investment property. Appraisers also provide their value reports, so there’s no need for costly legal disputes over valuation issues later down the line!

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