How Much is a Home Appraisal, and Why Do I Need One?

You’re buying a home! What an exciting time. But along with the excitement comes the reality of the expenses that come with purchasing a home: an earnest check, an inspection, a home appraisal…and we haven’t even gotten to the actual purchase of the home! Two common questions we get from that list are, “Why do I need a home appraisal, and how much is a home appraisal?” Let’s start from the beginning.

What is a Home Appraisal?

Simply put, a home appraisal tells you how much a house is worth. More technically put, a professional real estate home appraiser goes through a process which helps them determine the fair market value of a home.

how much is a home appraisal?

We mentioned a home inspection above. That is different from a home appraisal in that it provides a much more in-depth look into the home’s structure and bones and maintenance issues. 

A home appraisal is based on what you can visibly see (for example, crumbling stucco or a caved in roof), along with a process of pulling public records, floor plans, photos, an in-person walk-through, real estate comps and more.

How Do I Choose an Appraiser?

You don’t have to! Your lender hires the licensed appraiser as a third party so it’s ensured there are no biases when the decision is made.

How Much is a Home Appraisal?

As the home buyer, it is your responsibility to cover the cost of the home appraisal. In rare occurrences, a negotiation will be made for the seller to cover this cost, but that is definitely unlikely in the seller’s market we’re in.

Depending on what area of the country you live in along with the size of your home, the price of your home appraisal could cost anywhere between $400 – $2000. 

If the home you’re hoping to buy is in a rural area or on lots of land, your appraisal can cost more and take longer. Home appraisers may be harder to come by and they have to survey boundary lines.

We’ve answered your “how much is a home appraisal” question (and hopefully others!), but we want to make you aware of one more thing: if the appraised value doesn’t match your agreed-upon purchase price, an appraisal gap will exist. Take a look at our blog on  covering the appraisal gap here.

All of this information is why it is so important to work with a trusted real estate agent and lender. They will help navigate all of these steps to make you feel confident moving forward in the purchase of your home.