Do You Know What a House Appraisal Is and How Long It Can Take?

If you’re ready to purchase the wine country real estate you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll need a home appraisal to complete the process. You can ask your realtor for recommendations, or get a tip from a trusted friend or family member. But what does the process entail? Keep reading to find out!

What Is a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal involves a licensed professional real estate appraiser surveying your wine country real estate to find an objective estimate of its value.

This process is necessary for a few reasons, primarily to inform your mortgage lender what the fair market value of your home is. By providing them with this information, they can be sure they’re not lending more money than is necessary. Appraisals also protect buyers from overpaying for a home.

How Long Does the Process Take?

On average a home appraisal could take anywhere between 1-3 hours. A lot of it depends on the size of the property and the home itself. Keep in mind that while the appraisal may not take more than 3 hours, the final report won’t be available until at least a week or two later.

Once the appraiser has finished inspecting the property they will begin comparing their findings to other similar properties in your area to come up with the value for your mortgage lender.

Ordering the Appraisal

Your mortgage lender will handle the task of ordering the appraisal after all of the home inspections are complete. If there are any repair negotiations on the table, the lender will wait until these are resolved before ordering the appraisal. The buyer will then assume the cost of the appraisal which can range between $300 and $400, depending on the size and features of the property.

The Results of the Appraisal Report

When the appraiser has finished their report and the results come in, three possible scenarios can unfold:

  1. The Appraisal Value is Lower Than the Purchase Price: As a buyer, you have a few options available to you if the appraisal comes back lower than the sale price. You can request an appraisal review in which another licensed appraiser conducts a report of the property to assess the accuracy of the first appraisal. You can also offer to pay the difference of the amount separating the appraisal value and the sale price. Finally, you can negotiate with the seller to see if they would consider lowering the sale price.
  2. The Appraisal Value is Higher Than the Purchase Price: This is an ideal situation for buyers as it ensures they have equity in their home before having to make their first payment. In this case, the seller cannot request more money from you and the sale will close as is.
  3. The Appraisal Value Matches the Purchase Price: This is the most common outcome of a home appraisal and indicates that no further negotiations are necessary from the buyer or seller and the sale can move forward.

Don’t hesitate to contact St. Helena Real Estate for any questions regarding home appraisals or any other Napa Valley real estate market information.

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