Real Estate Appraisers near Me: Cost & Free Quotes

If you are looking for a real estate appraiser, read our guide and find out the cost while also accessing free quotes for an appraiser near you.

national average

$290-$380
Flat free
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low: $250
(Minimum costs)
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high: $450
(Maximum costs)
The cost to hire a real estate appraiser varies depending on your location. Insert your zip code for a quote based on your location.

A real estate appraiser is a qualified and trained professional whose work is to estimate the value of buildings or land. This is done before the piece of land, or a building is sold, taxed, developed or mortgaged. Basically, appraisal involves property description, gathering market information, and property valuation. A real estate appraisal is required when you need to determine the average market value of a building or land. It helps you make important decisions when selling, buying or insuring a building or piece of land. Real estate appraisals are also a part of tax assessment, and they are used when estimating the amount of money, a property owner needs to pay in taxes.

A real estate appraiser deals with properties in areas that they are fully familiar with and they can identify the environmental problems and other surrounding issues which are likely to affect the value of that particular property. They work for individuals, real estate companies, government, banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies and other related firms that may require property appraisal services.

Through their skilled expertise, real estate appraisers examine significant factors that are likely to affect the market value of a home. Such factors include structure, design, size, location and environmental concerns. The appraiser will use this knowledge to estimate the market value of that particular home.

After arriving at market value estimate of a piece of land, or building, the real estate appraiser, submits to you a written report which is authentic can be used for mortgage purposes, taxes, selling and buying property, settling estates and even in divorce settlements. But mostly, in U.S real estate appraisers are commonly used for mortgage valuations. Before a bank agrees to loan you money for a mortgage, they need to find out the worth of your potential home.

Real estate appraisals can be used for the following purposes:

  • For mortgaging purposes
  • Land or home sale between buyers and sellers
  • Tax assessment
  • Used by the government when acquiring private property
  • During divorce settlements
  • When businesses are planning a merger
  • Used by insurance companies to determine the value of a building
  • Lease negotiations

A real estate appraiser’s role is to check and verify the legal status of a building or land in public records. During appraisal, the real estate appraiser will inspect the property including the new one and the old ones and note any unique characteristics. They will assess the surrounding areas, noting even factors such as the distance from the main highway, or the noise from the surrounding social amenities. The real estate appraiser will take photos of the of the property both the interior and the exterior. The appraiser will then compare the property with other similar properties within the area to determine or estimate its market value. Afterward, the appraiser will prepare a report and current data for the property which will be handed over to their client.

If you are planning to sell or buy a home, you will need the report of a real estate appraiser. The report and the outcome of their appraisal work will affect the buyer, the seller, or even the lender depending on the valuations report. But, their role in real estate and property buying cannot be emphasized enough.

Reasons Why You May Need A Real Estate Appraiser

During these times when real estate investments are rampant, knowing the value of your home, or a property you intend to buy its essential. In fact, a real estate appraisal can help more than knowing the value of a property. They can enlighten you about the surrounding factors satisfy your curiosity about the current value of your home. A real estate appraisal will enable you to make important and informed decisions on whether to sell or buy a particular property. But, there is more to gain when you engage a real estate appraiser before you make a real estate transaction.

You Could Save On Property Taxes

When you are planning to sell or purchase a home or a piece of land, paying tax becomes and expenditure. The real estate market is quite competitive and also volatile. Property values keep fluctuating unexpectedly and sometimes unrealistically. In such situations, you might end up getting the wrong real estate assessment from the government authorities which might result in higher taxes than what the property is worth.

A real estate appraiser will greatly help you determine the real value of the property and get a fair tax assessment. If the appraisal report shows the property’s value is lower than what was initially projected, then the property tax will be lower, and you will end up making significant savings. But, even if the appraisal report gives you the same value as it was projected or the value of the property turns out to be higher than what was projected, you can work with tax assessment given thereafter comfortably knowing that you are paying the right amount of tax and that you are not being ripped off. A real estate appraiser will provide you with an impartial and fair observation.

For Insurance Coverage

Most insurance companies will ask for a recent appraisal report for your home before they insure it. The aim is to ensure that they are aware of the value of the home to ensure that they cover it appropriately and to its worth.

Having a real estate appraiser appraise your home will give the market value of your home. This way, you can fully have peace of mind knowing that your home coverage is based on the right value of your home and that your investment is properly covered. In case of anything, the insurance company will have confidence in the value of your home, and you will not have to deal with disputes regarding the correct value of your home.

Avoid Financing Delays

When you are trying to get a bank or a mortgage institution to finance the particular home you intend to buy; the lender will only agree to start off process when a real estate appraisal is done. When you engage a real estate appraiser, you will reduce the time taken to finance you. Before a bank or a lender finances the home or property you want to buy, they will need to be aware of the market value of the property.

This way, they will be in a better position to know that they can dispose of the property to settle the balance of your loan in case you default your loan payments. Otherwise, without a proper real estate appraisal, the financing process may take longer which will work to your disadvantage.

Get an Assurance and Have Confidence

When sellers finally decide to put their homes up for sale, some overvalue the price than the actual cost of the home. This practice also is also common with real estate agents who are looking to get a higher commission out of the sale, since, the higher the house sales, the more commission they earn. But sometimes, if you overprice your home, it might end up staying in the market for an extended period. But also, underpricing the property might lead to considerable losses when its sold.

All these situations come about when the property owners are not aware of the market value of their property and lack sufficient financial knowledge. To avoid finding yourself in such unclear situations, its best to involve a real estate appraiser to give you the actual picture of your property. Unlike the real estate agent, a real estate appraiser is not a party to the sale or purchase of the property in question; thus, they give an unbiased opinion which will only be based on market value and the surrounding factors.

Ensure Fair Settlements

When the issue of estate settlements arises, there can be a lot of uncertainties which could end up prolonging the settlement process. When you need to divide assets, it’s good to have the market value of the properties in question to ensure fairness. A real estate appraiser can help you get the market value of the home or property to be divided based on the current value. This way, the settlement will be easier, and there will be less conflict among the parties involved.

Enables Fair Acquisition

If you are planning to buy a home, you obviously want to get the best deal as much as possible. No one wants to feel ripped off. It can be quite disappointing to find out later that you paid exorbitant costs during the purchase of your home. Before you start negotiating with the seller, you can hire a real estate appraiser in confidence and have the property appraised without releasing the report to the seller.

This way, you as the buyer will be in a better position to negotiate for a fair price confidently knowing that you will not be paying way over the market price of that particular home or a piece of land. The seller might choose to have the property appraised, and the two of you can have a fair negotiation to suit both your interests.

Have Realistic Goals

When you know the market value of your home or land, you can confidently make investment decisions and goals. For example, if you want to develop your land and rent the house out, you can calculate rental rates based on the value of your property. Or, if you want to list your home, you can set a realistic price knowing that you are not overcharging or undercharging. The right pricing can help you make a quick sale.

Make Future Improvement

A real estate appraiser will examine the structural details of your home and generally assess the state of your home as part of the valuation process. In their report, the appraiser will point out areas in your home that might require some work and improvement. This can work to your advantage. You can use the appraiser’s recommendations to work on your home and upgrade it. As a result, through the recommendations, you might end up raising the value of your home for a better sale in the future.

Peace of Mind

If you own a home or a property, you will always want to know the current market value for your property. A real estate appraiser will give a detailed report with surrounding factors and the estimated market value. Getting an expert opinion on the value of your property can give you added peace of mind. You can make better investment plans without uncertainties, but with sufficient knowledge based on financial information from a credible source.

As we mentioned, a real estate appraisal can work to the advantage or disadvantage of the involved parties. For instance, if you are buying a home, a real estate appraisal may reveal a lower market value for the house you are about to purchase. You might end up paying a lower price than the one the seller had quoted and end up making significant savings.

As the seller, your house might fetch good money if the appraisal report shows that the value of your home has rapidly risen during the time you were occupying the house. Or better, if the appraisal report shows a higher market value than the one you had quoted.

But, a real estate appraisal could end up bringing bad news to either of the parties. If you are selling your home and the appraisal report shows that the value of your home is lower than what you had quoted, it may hinder your sale transaction as no buyer or lender will agree to pay more than your home’s worth. But the upside of an appraiser’s actual market value of your home is that you will get the right tax assessment, and you will not end up paying more than the actual value of your home.

Cost of A Home Appraisal

Whether you are the one selling or purchasing a home, having a real estate appraisal is relatively affordable. The average cost of professional real estate appraisal comes to about $350. Most people spend about $290 to $380, but some report having spent as low as $250 while others have spent about $450. It’s important to negotiate with an appraiser for a flat fee or an hourly rate. Some appraisers may charge a percentage of the total value of the home which might end up costing you a lot of money, and yet the practice is considered unethical. You should be vigilant on the pricing when you are hiring a real estate appraiser.

When you are buying or selling a house, a real estate appraisal is an essential part of the deal. With an appraisal, you will avoid coming across unpleasant surprises when you are about to close a deal. An appraisal gives you the assurance that the price is fair and its based on the market value of the property. A real estate appraiser will assess your property, and based on their findings they will give you factors that led to their final opinion and show you the value of similar properties nearby.

They will provide you with the actual size of the home in square footage, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the size of the living room, kitchen, and any other amenities and additions to the home. They will you inform about the nearest social amenities such as supermarkets, hospitals, schools, distance from the highway and also include environmental issues in the area.

A professional will give the market value of a house based on the permanent features and physical characteristics of a house. Furniture, decor, and anything that is not permanently attached to the house does not count during appraisal. Apart from the number or of rooms and square footage, a real estate appraiser will look at the condition of the house (whether new or old) its appeal and the functional layout. Here is a list of essential features and items of a house that a real estate appraiser will look at to come up with an appraisal report:

  • Size of the home in square footage
  • The home’s location
  • The current condition of the home – includes the age of the home
  • Permanent features such as the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.
  • Home additions and remodeled features including recent structural improvements
  • Additional architectural features such as a fireplace
Real estate appraisal costsAverage costs
National real estate appraisal average cost$350
Cost range$290-$380
Minimum costs$250
Maximum costs$450

Who Is Usually Responsible for Paying the Real Estate Appraiser?

Generally, no set rule specifically dictates who should be responsible for paying the appraiser’s fee during a real estate transaction. But, in most cases, a real estate appraiser’s fee is usually paid by the buyer. The cost will be included in the final closing costs of the sale. But, in some situations, the seller may choose to pay for appraisal costs.

Generally, the decision about who will cater for the fee is usually a negotiable issue between the seller and the buyer. If you are the seller and you want to make a quick sale without delays, you can choose to pay for the appraiser to accelerate the sale. But, regardless of who pays the appraiser’s fee, a real estate appraiser is supposed to give a fair, unbiased and impartial opinion based on the current condition of the house and surrounding factors.

How Long Will the Real Estate Appraiser Take to Appraise A Property?

A real estate appraisal will take around two to seven days to appraise a home. The appraiser will take the following steps:

  • The appraiser will visit the home and assess its general condition and take measurements
  • Survey the neighborhood and similar homes for comparison purposes
  • Study the location, its surroundings, environmental factors and social amenities

Make a report based on their appraisal which will justify the final opinion of the market value of the home. The appraiser will indicate the cost of comparable homes that were recently sold, their assessment on the house, and other market and surrounding conditions.

Normally, a physical examination of a house takes about 15-20 minutes unless the home has complicated features and other conditions which may require further investigations. During the physical examination, the real estate will take photos of the essential features of the house and document them. The photos taken on the site show the actual condition of the house and special features.

Factors That Affect the Actual Value of Your Home During Appraisal

A home appraisal is a crucial step when you are buying or selling a home. The appraisal helps you to know the market value of the home you are about to buy or sell. Before a lender or bank approves your mortgage or loan, they will need an appraisal report that will show the current market value of that particular house. A real estate appraisal report will give your lender an objective assessment of your home, and they will be in a position to match the market value of the home with the loan amount.

The value that the real estate appraiser gives your home is very important. If the estimated market value turns out to be lower than the initial price, you might end up losing out on your mortgage; thus, it’s essential to have the appraisal done before you begin the lending process. However, it’s important to know the factors that are likely to affect the value of the house during appraisal. They include:

The Location

The location of the home is of the key factors that are likely to influence the value of a home. Different neighborhoods have varying values depending on amenities within. The neighborhood value will be determined by multiple factors such as proximity to schools, stores, hospitals, crime rate, even the rating of the nearby schools. Others amenities such as parks, beaches, and proximity to metropolitan areas can influence the value of a home.

The Square Footage of The Home

Without a doubt, the size of the home will also influence its value during appraisal. The appraiser will take measurements to determine its square footage and the number of stories. They will determine the size of the livable space when evaluating the house. Generally, a home with higher square footage will cost more, but the layout will play a significant role.

Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms

The number of bedrooms in that home and bathrooms will influence the value of a house during appraisal. A home with three bathrooms or bedrooms is likely to cost more than one with less. The real estate will also factor in the other homes within your neighborhood with the same number of bedrooms or bathrooms and make a value comparison.

The Age of The Home

Newer home is likely to be more valuable than an older one. Older homes tend to have several issues especially repairs and maintenance. But also, some traditional homes may have a historic value depending on architectural features. The appraiser will use unique features to conclude the market value. But generally, newer homes are more likely to cost more.

Curb Appeal

The landscaping of your home and the curb appeal can add the value of your property. A home appraiser will assess your landscaping and note its features and design. If your home lacks a curb appeal, it could lower the value of your home. A clean and well-designed yard can increase the value of your home.

The Structural Stability and Strength of Your Home

Among the things that a real estate appraiser will look at when appraising a home is the structural strength of a house. The structural condition of your home will impact significantly on the value of your home. A home with a solid structural strength will be valued higher than one that is observed to have issues. An appraiser will look at the construction of a house, the materials used and generally the structural integrity when determining the value of your home.

Recent Upgrades

Recent renovations and remodeling projects in your home can significantly increase the value of your home. These are some of the features that a real estate appraiser will look at when determining the value of your home.

These are just some of the main factors that a real estate appraiser will use to value a home. Others include the style of your home, the state of the major appliances and systems in your home, etc. An appraiser will give you a comprehensive report to show how some of these factors influenced the value of your home.

Hiring the Right Real Estate Appraiser

When you decide to hire a real estate appraiser, you want to hire someone who will do the job right. Buying or selling a house is not a small matter. It’s a big investment, and things have to be done right and accurately to avoid losses and misunderstandings. When you are hiring a real estate appraiser, you need to make sure the person is geographically competent, has access to the right MLS which is an essential tool for a home appraisal. In short, the real appraiser you hire should be someone who will make sure that they accurately and fairly value the property.

Research: A comprehensive research will go a long way in landing you a competent and a reliable real estate appraiser. But before you embark on a mission to search for a real estate appraiser, you need to check on government and state laws in your state on appraisal rules. This way, you will know the qualifications of an appraiser and licensing requirements. You can search your states web for these details or visit the government agency responsible, or email them or you could make a call to get the details.

Referrals: You can ask around from your friends or family members or people close to you for recommendations to a qualified and reliable real estate appraiser. But it’s advisable that you avoid asking for a referral from affiliated parties such as the lender or the bank. Alternatively, you can search on online platforms for a real estate appraiser but make sure you read reviews, go through the company’s website and check with your state agency about their licensing and qualifications.

Questions to Ask A Real Estate Appraiser

Before you hire a real estate appraiser, you need to interview the appraiser to know about their qualifications, their experience and their expertise in the appraisal filed. Asking the right questions will give you a chance to engage the appraiser and have a discussion that will not only enlighten you on their experience, but you will also be able to get significant background information.

Are You Licensed to Operate Within the Area Where the Property Is Located In?

A state license is the minimum requirement of a real estate appraiser; you need to find out if the appraiser’s license allows them to carry out appraisal within the geographical location of the property in question. Ask to see a copy of their license and note the appraisal license number.

What’s the Location of Your Office?

The location of the appraiser’s office will you give a sense of their geographical competency. During real estate appraisals, you need someone who understands your area and its environs. Do not make the mistake of engaging a real estate appraiser outside your area. They will probably not have the right information and knowledge of the area, and they may not be able to make a competent and credible conclusion.

You need someone who understands the area where the property is located well and is already familiar with the marketplace and surrounding factors. When asking this question, make sure you ask local stuff to test the appraiser’s knowledge about the area.

Have You Had Any Disciplinary Cases?

This might seem like an intimidating question, but it’s not. You need to find out if the appraiser has had any disciplinary record that you should know of. An appraiser who has had a disciplinary case might have tried shrewd methods or tried to cut corners during an appraisal. You need to hire someone who is extremely reliable and has no questionable professional conduct. Integrity is of the essence when it comes to real estate appraisals.

Ask If the Appraiser Has A Designation

As we mentioned, a licensed appraiser basically has the minimum requirement which means they have passed the minimum government standards. But a designated appraiser has put more effort and education to ensure they are more proficient and better than the bare minimum. It is an excellent way to gauge the appraiser, and it shows that they have invested in their profession.

How Long Have You Been in The Appraisal Field?

The level of experience is essential when it comes to real estate appraisals. Experience level of not less than three years is a good start. It shows that this person is familiar with the field and they will not have a hard time identifying the relevant factors that count when doing appraisals. Experience gives you an edge, but lack of it does not necessarily mean you are incompetent in your field. But when it comes to real estate appraisals, you need an experienced appraiser.

Have You Appraised This Type of a House/Property Before?

Asking this question will enable you to gauge the experience of the appraiser and knowledge on how to go about appraising the home or property in question. It’s essential to know if the appraiser is familiar with the specific type of a house you want them to appraise. For example, if you have a traditional home that qualifies as for historic value, you need someone who can understand its dimensions and architectural features.

What Techniques and Approaches Will Use to Appraise This Home?

Asking this question will give you insight into how the appraiser works and if they will go into details in their appraisal. It will also enable you to gauge someone who is likely to take a shortcut.

What Are Your Charges?

Knowing the appraiser’s fee upfront is essential. This way you will be able to know if they are affordable and if, their charges are within the normal cost range.

How Long Will You Take to Complete the Appraisal?

Working with a timeline is essential. It shows availability and reliability. You need the answer to this question upfront to avoid experiencing unnecessary delays.

What Kind of Information Will need from Me?

A real estate appraiser will require documents related to the house such as leases, expense statement, building plan, surveys, etc. The information will help during the compilation of the appraisal report.

Avoid Appraisal Scams

Appraisal scams are prevalent, and you should be wary of individuals with a questionable record. It’s essential to vet the appraiser before you hire and ensure that you get the relevant information about them. You should avoid a real estate appraiser who charges a percentage of the value of the house appraised. It’s unethical, and a clear conflict of interests since the appraiser may become biased and overvalue the property just so that they can get a higher commission.

Secondly, you should ensure that the appraiser gives you a formal written report. The report should be showing all the factors that the appraiser used to arrive at the market value of the house. It should carry the signature and the company logo and contact information of the appraiser.

Conclusion

Real estate appraisers play an important role in the real estate industry. Buying or selling a house is usually a significant transaction that will involve a considerable investment. Before you close the deal, it’s important to get an objective assessment of the property and ensure the price is fair based on the relevant factors.

Real estate appraisers will look at the location of the home, its structural strength, its square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, neighborhood amenities and the environmental concerns to evaluate and come up with the market value of your house. A real estate will give unbiased and impartial opinion about the estimated value of your home

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