The Home Appraisal Process: What to Expect as a Buyer

What you should know about the home appraisal process as a buyer.

The home appraisal process is an important and necessary part of the home buying process. For the most part, this is a hands-off process for both the buyer and seller. The homeowner will have to give the appraiser access to the home unless there is a lock box on the front door. Aside from that, the buyer and seller don’t need to be involved in the appraisal process at all.

During the home process, there are a few steps that occur:

  1. The buyer/borrower makes an offer to buy a house.
  2. The seller accepts the offer, eventually, and the two parties sign a purchase agreement.
  3. The signed purchase agreement will then go to the buyer’s mortgage lender.
  4. The lender will order an appraisal. They are almost always required when a home loan is used.
  5. The appraiser will visit the property and compare it to recently sold homes to determine its value.
  6. The lender wants to know if the house is worth what the buyer has agreed to pay for it.
  7. If the home appraises at or above the agreed-upon purchase price, the loan will likely move forward.
  8. If the home appraises low, the seller may have to lower the asking price. Or the buyer can back out.

During their visit, the home appraiser will make note of the agreed-upon purchase price. He/she will then review recent comparable sales in the area to determine if the property is worth the amount the buyer has agreed to pay. These are known as “comps” for short. He or she will examine both the interior and exterior of the home, comparing them to the recent sales and examining features that the comparable homes do not have. All of this can be done within 1 to 3 days, generally.

Have more questions about home improvements? Buying and selling a home is no small feat, so it pays to have a trusted, experienced professional on your side! Contact Dean Rathbun when it comes time to finding the perfect plan of action to buy your home. We are happy to help you.