Definition of "Appraisal fee"

Sarah Strobel real estate agent
Sarah Strobel, Real Estate Agent Charles Rutenberg Realty

Home appraisals are required for many situations in the real estate industry. The most common instances in which any homeowner might be required to do an appraisal are selling your home or applying for a mortgage. 

Home appraisals are carried out by licensed professional appraisers that inspect the property, compare it to similar homes in the neighborhood and any recent sales in order to determine your home’s worth. What you have to understand is that while the financial institution demands the appraisal, if you want to take out a loan, you are the one who will pay the appraisal fee.

What is an Appraisal Fee?

The appraisal is a service that comes at a cost. That cost is known as the appraisal fee. The appraisal fee covers the appraiser’s evaluation of your property, but it’s not a standard fee. While a typical single-family home can be appraised for a $300 to $450 appraisal fee, several factors can influence that cost. From the size of the home to the home’s actual value, the home’s condition, and precisely how detail-oriented the whole appraisal process was, the appraisal fee can grow. You can even expect the appraisal fee to grow based on location if you live in a metropolitan area.

Other factors that can influence the appraisal fee are based on how complicated the appraiser’s work is. For example, if your home has uncommon features requiring more analysis on the appraiser’s part, like antique fixtures or rare elements included in your home’s structure. Also, the lack of comparables can complicate the situation for an appraiser as they have nothing to compare your property with and has to calculate everything from scratch or look further away for potential comparables and modify the data to fit your home. Even if there are comparables that can be used, if your home has unique features like an in-ground jacuzzi or pool bar, comparing prices will be that much more difficult.

In case the appraiser’s report evaluates the property for less worth than you expected, you still have some options. You can challenge the appraisal report or ask for a second appraisal. Seeing as you support the cost, you have the right to ask for a second opinion. However, if two appraisals state the same thing, then you should reevaluate the loan or the asking price.

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