How Has the Home Appraisal Process Changed?

If you’re looking to buy a home this season — or thinking about refinancing — you may be wondering how things have changed to in recent months.

Many routine activities, including parts of the home financing process, look a little different now due to social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Getting a home appraisal is one such step that you may be curious about. Whether you’re moving up, downsizing or refinancing, we have answers to your home appraisal questions and more:

Q: What is a home appraisal?

A: Typically, it’s a process in which a licensed professional assesses the home and learns as much as they can. Then, they compare it to nearby homes that have recently sold. The appraiser’s job is to gauge the home’s value based on the property and data from the community.

Q: How are home appraisals being conducted right now?

A: Many appraisers are doing desktop and drive-by appraisals. The former means that they’re doing research based on local data, comparable sales and other recent appraisals. The latter involves the appraiser literally driving by the home to look at its exterior and the surrounding neighborhood. In both cases, they might also ask for videos and photos of the home’s interior if they’re unable to visit in person.

Q: When should I get a home appraisal?

A: The process of verifying a home’s value begins after you sign a contract to purchase or refinance it. The home appraisal is generally scheduled for you. It would normally happen within the first few days after all parties agree to the terms of the home’s purchase, but it may be postponed in some cases due to social distancing guidelines.

Q: How much does a home appraisal cost?

A: The cost depends on various factors, including the property size and the type of home. Most often, an appraisal is a few hundred dollars, which is typically wrapped up into closing costs.

Please reach out to our team if you have questions about any part of the homebuying and home appraisal process.

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