How Much Does A Home Appraisal Cost?
$300 – $425
The average cost of a real estate appraisal is $300 to $425 for a single-family home or condo. Most home sellers pay about $350 for the appraisal, which is usually included with other closing costs. Appraisers in large cities with high labor costs charge closer to $500 to $800 for a home appraisal. Get free estimates from home appraisers near you.
Home Appraisal Cost
The average cost of a home appraisal for a single-family home is between $300 and $425, whereas an appraisal for a multi-family building starts around $500. This cost can increase depending on the square footage of the property.
|National Average Cost||$350|
|Average Range||$300 to $425|
Other pricing factors include the type of mortgage loan, whether from a bank, VA or FHA, what comparable homes in the area are selling for, and the type of property. Also, any amenities that add to a home's value like a swimming pool or its distance away from grocery stores and schools.
Table of Contents
What Is a Home Appraisal?
A home appraisal is a complete study of a house to assess a property's value in fair market conditions. To determine a single-family home's value, appraisers use Fannie Mae's Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (URAR). An appraiser will visit your home, describe the interior and exterior in detail, and compare the selling price for similar properties in the neighborhood.
An appraiser will also consider the size of the plot of land, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. After the appraisal process, they will provide an in-depth analysis and conclusions about the value of the home based on their observations.
Who Pays The Appraisal Fee?
Typically the seller of the home pays for the home appraisal at closing; however, in some places the buyer tends to pay. The decision about who pays is negotiable. Buyers who are eager to win the home when multiple bidders are present may offer to pick up the cost of the appraisal.
Why Do I Need an Appraisal?
A house appraisal is usually ordered before buying or selling a home, refinancing a home, getting a home equity loan, or when dividing up or selling off assets after a divorce or loss. Also, a home's appraised value helps determine how much real estate taxes one should be paying.
The main reason you will need an appraisal is that mortgage lenders require one before it will approve your mortgage loan. Appraisals apply to all home loans from banks that are backed by the federal government through either the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
When home buying or selling, an appraisal is necessary because you don't want to pay more or sell your home for less than it's worth. A real estate agent can assist you with a basic market analysis, but a property appraisal is the only accurate way to discover your fair market value.
After Home Appraisal, How Long To Close?
Most home appraisals take 3–7 days, with government appraisals taking about ten days. While the appraisal process is short, the paperwork after the home visit can take a few days.
Property Appraisal Cost
A typical house appraisal for 1,200–2,000 square foot home in a subdivision on 1/3 of an acre plot will cost about $350, while a large home in a rural area with many upgrades and not many comparable sales in the area is about $400 to $425. The cost of an appraisal mostly depends on what size home you have and where you live.
|Bank||$300 – $425|
|Private||$250 – $425|
|VA||$450 – $725|
|FHA||$300 – $425|
McMansions and other specialty type housing require much longer and more detailed appraisals, which could cost between $1,200 and $1,400.
Bank vs. Private Appraisal Cost
|Bank Appraisal||Private Appraisal|
|$300 – $425||$250 – $425|
|A bank or lender appraisal is one that will be used by a bank or lender. Lenders order these to make sure they don’t loan more money to the buyer than the house being bought is worth.||A private appraisal is one that won’t be used by a bank or lender. Many homeowners use these to gauge the listing/sales value of their home before listing it.*|
|Bank appraisal reports use all the legalese language necessary on official lending reports.||Private appraisal reports use common English terms and are much more user-friendly for the reader.|
|Usually used for buying, selling, or refinancing||Usually used for divorce settlements and estate sales|
VA Appraisal Fees
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) takes 7–10 days to do an appraisal, with VA appraisal costs ranging from $450–$725, depending on where you live, the highest starting cost being $600 in Hawaii. Find VA Appraisal Fee Schedules and Timeliness Requirements. The VA has two types of appraisals: origination appraisals and liquidation appraisals, with the latter costing an average of $25 more.
FHA Appraisal Cost
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) doesn’t set appraisal fees, so they are the similar $300–$425 cost found across the US plus about $50, because the report must include a list of home loan conditions and repairs.
Appraisal Fees By Property Type
Appraisal fees to assess the sales value of your home varies depending on the size and features of your home, along with prices appraisers charge in your area. It can also change depending on the type of appraisal you need. Hawaii has the highest appraisal costs ranging from $600 for a single-family, condo, or manufactured home) to $1,200 for a 2–4 multi-family unit.
|Property Type||Regular Lender||VA Lender|
|Mobile Home||$300 – $425||$450 – $775|
|Land||$350 – $500||--|
|Condo||$300 – $425||$450 – $725|
|Multi-Family||$400 – $500||$550 – $850|
- Mobile Home Appraisal – The cost for a manufactured home appraisal is $300–$425, while the VA charges $450–$775.
- Land Appraisal Cost – The cost of an appraisal for less than one acre of land is between $350–$500, at an average of $425.
- Condo Appraisal Cost – The appraisal cost for a condo is similar to that of a house, costing $300–$425, while the VA charges $450–$725.
- Multi-Family Appraisal Cost – A multi-family appraisal—of a duplex, triplex, or fourplex—will cost about $400–$500, while the VA charges $550–$850.
- Estate Appraisal Cost – An estate appraisal includes all property of worth with the sales value of the home. It’s usually carried out after a death or divorce to divide an estate equitably and to assess the estate tax due and costs approximately $350 to $475.
- Commercial Appraisal Cost – A commercial appraisal for farms or businesses includes measurements, calculations, photos, maps, and all legal documents. The average cost of a commercial appraisal is $3,100, with property owners paying between $1,500 and $4,800, or about $110 per hour.
Home Appraisal Process
How Long Does A Home Appraisal Take?
The home visit part of a home appraisal takes as few as 30 minutes to as long as a few hours, depending mostly on how big the home is and how many selling features it has. Once completed, it can take a few more hours or days of deskwork so the appraiser can compare sales of similar homes in the area.
How Do Home Appraisals Work?
Most home appraisals are ordered by the mortgage lender to make sure that when they loan a borrower the money needed to buy a home, the purchasing price reflects its fair value. Banks count the house as a bank asset for many years until the borrower has paid off much of the balance.
What Do Home Appraisers Look For To Determine Value?
Home appraisers research the sales value of a home and factor in anything that could either increase or decrease the property's value, such as the condition of the house and the current market conditions of the neighborhood it’s in.
Home appraisers look at every single aspect of your home’s condition, the property it’s on, and your neighborhood characteristics; and compare the value of those assets to recently sold similar homes in your area to assess its full value in your current market.
- Neighborhood characteristics – how built up the area is and if the area is appreciating in value or not
- Market conditions – current single home property values and sales trends
- Neighborhood land use – percentages of single, multi-family, and commercial properties
- Physical deficiencies or adverse conditions – structural integrity, livability, and soundness
- Condition of the property – needed repairs, deterioration, renovations, remodeling; or issues with infestations, foundation, roof, HVAC, energy efficiency, unique features
- Title – The name on title and deed
- Age – Home improvements are limited if it has been marked as a historical building
- Size – The square footage, number of rooms, number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the home.
- Zoning – FEMA flood zones, zoning classification, zoning compliance
- City utility services – water, electricity, sewer, gas, internet
- Site conditions – easements, encroachments, environmental conditions, land uses
- Region – proximity to rivers, mountains, or local landmarks; and local amenities
Home Appraisal Tips
There are many things you can do to make sure the home you are selling is appraised at the maximum price.
Do's and Don’ts to Prepare for a Home Appraisal
It’s up to the appraiser to have all the paperwork needed to do a proper appraisal. However, there are some things you can do to help them do the job quicker.
- List what you are willing to sell with the house.
- Have inspection reports ready regarding infestations, septic system, wells, etc.
- Provide a list of all remodeling and upgraded features, along with the date each one was completed and its cost, plus any permits (if needed for the work done). Especially noteworthy is that the appraiser is made aware of any added square footage to the home.
- Provide HOA information.
- List any property agreements with neighbors, and provide a copy of a property survey if you have one.
- If you have a blueprint of the floorplan, that will help the appraiser.
- Ask for an appraiser that is local and familiar with residential home values in your neighborhood. You can also request the appraiser be a member of a nationally recognized organization such as the American Society of Appraisers or the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers.
- Have copies ready of legal deeds or title deeds.
- Follow the appraiser around while he/she is trying to do the assessment.
- Try to get the appraiser to change their report once submitted. Appraisers work for lenders, not you. If, however, you can see the appraiser left off important information that would have added value to your sales price, respectfully submit the correct docs and lists to your lender or the buyer’s lender to back up your opinion.
What Adds Value to a Home Appraisal?
If you want to find out exactly what will add value to your home appraisal, ask your Realtor to give you comps and pics of all the homes that have sold recently in your area for top dollar.
- Upgrades – See if you can add some of what they offered to your own home, like real wood flooring, granite countertops, etc. According to the Cost vs. Value Report of 2018, the best upgrading projects you can recoup most of your cost of a new garage door, manufactured stone veneer, a deck addition, or a minor kitchen remodel. See more return on investment percentages.
- Clutter – Clear all clutter out of every room and either sell it, give it away, or pay for storage. Removing clutter gives the home appraiser clear access to everything they need to see and makes the house look better.
- Repairs – Do any small and large repairs you can—rotting wood, leaking taps, holes in the wall, broken appliances, ripped or cracked flooring, leaky roofing, poor insulation, etc. Your appraisal could come in at significantly less than you expect if these aren’t taken care of.
- Infestations – Treat all infestations weeks in advance.
- Foundation issues – If you can, repair any foundation issues and get a long-term warranty on the work. Most buyers and banks won’t touch a house with unrepaired foundation problems, even if you offer to reduce the cost of the home by the estimate to fix it at closing.
- Curb appeal – Enhance your curbside appeal with plants, hanging containers, trimmed bushes and trees, mulched flowerbeds, staged patios/porches, and anything else that will give an excellent first impression.
- Safety – Make sure all smoke, gas, and security alarms are in working order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Appraisal Part Of The Closing Costs?
Yes, the appraisal is part of the closing costs the seller pays for. The appraisal process takes 3 to 7 days to complete before you an close.
How Much Value Does A Pool Add To An Appraisal?
A pool adds anywhere from 3% to 7% to the value of the home in an appraisal.
What Is The Appraised Home Value Versus The Selling Price?
The appraised home value lets you know what you should be either buying or selling the house for, and the amount could be quite different from the current listed price.
How Do I Dispute A Home Appraisal?
An appraisal is usually ordered by a lending service using an appraisal service they prefer, so sometimes the only way to get a second opinion is to go with a different lender, which could cause you to lose the purchase. You are legally entitled to obtain the appraisal report three days before closing and can check to make sure all the information is correct. Ensure it has documented the exact square footage and number of rooms. If anything has been omitted, you can send the documentation on to the buyer’s lender to correct it.
Home Inspection vs. Home Appraisal
Home inspectors will test an evaluate the structural integrity of a home, as well as testing mechanical systems (plumbing, HVAC, electrical), appliances, and health issues such as mold. An appraisal focuses on the neighborhood, size of the home, any home improvements, and sales from comparable homes. As a buyer, it is usually required by the lender to get both.
How Long After A Home Inspection Is The Appraisal?
The appraisal date in relation to a home inspection depends entirely on when the mortgage lender orders it. It’s usually carried out about a week after it’s been ordered, and the report delivered within 2–7 days.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring an Appraiser
Mortgage lenders sometimes look for the cheapest appraisers, which is not suitable for the buyers or the sellers. Many times buyers can’t choose the appraiser, but they can request a competent one. If you have any say in the matter, ask the following questions:
- How many years of experience do you have in the appraisal business?
- Do you have any local market knowledge about my neighborhood? Local experience is essential if you are a seller, as an appraiser from out of town will not know all the information about specific neighborhoods that’s important to buyers.
- Are you a private appraiser or a state-certified appraiser for federally regulated lenders?
- Are you qualified and up to date on your education to do appraisals? Check for proper training, professional experience, and membership in a professional organization for appraisers. Each state requires appraisers to be licensed and meet the requirements of the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB). The formal and final report must follow the Code of Professional Appraisal Practice of the Appraisal Institute.
- May I have a copy of the final report? Be sure to get a copy of the final report—it will help sellers and new buyers track further appreciation with upgrades.
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted property appraisers:
Fresno Appraisal | https://www.fresnoappraisal.info/2015-appraisal-fee1-780680-304750.html
Real Estate Appraisals Austin | https://www.realestateappraisalsaustin.com/
Home Appraiser Austin | https://homeappraiseraustin.com/austin-home-appraisal-fees/
20+ Home Appraisers in Ashburn, VA
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