A closing cost is a payment required to finalize a home loan and is separate from a down-payment. Read about closing cost, their purpose, how you can pay them and more by clicking learn more below.
What is an appraisal?
An Appraisal is an estimate of a property’s fair market value. It’s a document generally required (depending on the loan program) by a lender before loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. The Appraisal is performed by an “Appraiser” typically a state-licensed professional who is trained to render expert opinions concerning property values, its location, amenities, and physical conditions.
Why get an appraisal?
Obtaining a loan is the most common reason for ordering an Appraisal, however, there are other reasons to get one:
- Contesting high property taxes
- Establishing the replacement cost for insurance purposes
- Divorce settlement
- Estate settlement
- Negotiating tool in real estate transactions
- Determining a reasonable price when selling real estate
- Protecting your rights in an eminent domain case
- A government agency requirement
- A lawsuit
Who determines the market value of my property?
The property seller sets the price, especially for residential property, not the Appraiser. Sellers usually don’t order an appraisal because they want to obtain the highest price for their home and therefore don’t want to be bound by the Appraiser’s assessment.
The real estate agent receives a percentage of the price as compensation and often represents the seller in the transaction and assists them in setting the sale price. They perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which real estate agents in most states are allowed to perform without an Appraiser’s License or Certification. The CMA is vital to the agent’s preparation for a listing examining recent property sales in the neighborhood to arrive at a listing price. Typically the agent will suggest a price to the seller based on the CMA however the seller may choose to list their property for a higher price.
Other common questions about appraisals