Step 13: The Appraisal Process
It is now time for the appraisal.
Since your mortgage lender cannot personally choose the appraiser, they will place the order through a 3rd party vendor responsible for assigning appraisals. Your lender will call you to obtain your debit/credit card to pay for the appraisal. The cost is typically $500 and is considered part of your closing costs, even though you pay for it up front.
A few tips about the appraisal:
- You do not need to attend.
- It can take about two weeks from when you pay for the appraisal to when you receive the appraisal report.
- Once the report is written, it’s given to your mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender will then forward it to you and let you know whether the property is appraised at the purchase price, below the purchase price, or above the purchase price.
- If the property appraised at the purchase price, nothing further needs to be done and the closing process will proceed forward as planned.
- If the property appraised for more than the purchase price, that means we got you a great deal and you’ll have instant equity in your home on the day you move in!
- If the property appraised for less than the purchase price, we have a problem. In this scenario, the bank will only give you a loan for the appraised value. In this case, we go back and renegotiate the purchase price down with the sellers, ideally to the appraisal price. If they won’t come down to the appraisal price, then you can choose to either (a) reduce the amount of any closing costs that you have asked the seller to pay on your behalf so that they can, in turn, reduce their price, (b) walk away and get your earnest money back, (c) bring the additional funds to closing.
- The appraisal belongs to the buyer. It is not shared with the seller. The only exception would be information regarding repairs required by an FHA or VA appraiser. We would need to share that specific information, as those repairs would need to be completed prior to closing.
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