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Home » When Buying a Home, What Is an Appraisal and Who Pays for it?

When Buying a Home, What Is an Appraisal and Who Pays for it?

Our Annapolis Real Estate Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Are Here to Advise You

If you plan to sell your property in Annapolis, Maryland, you might have heard about the importance of a real estate appraisal. Appraisals are professional assessments of the value of a property. Appraisers use various methods to determine the value, including analyzing comparable properties, considering market trends, and evaluating the property’s condition and location. The appraisal report provides an impartial and objective opinion of the property’s worth and helps buyers and sellers make informed decisions.

Here are some instances when you might need a real estate appraisal:

  • Selling your property: Before listing your property for sale, you might want to get a real estate appraisal to determine its market value. This can help you set an appropriate listing price, negotiate with potential buyers, and avoid overpricing or undervaluing your property.
  • Refinancing your mortgage: If you plan to refinance your mortgage, the lender might require a real estate appraisal to ensure the property’s value is sufficient collateral for the loan. The appraisal can also help you determine if refinancing is viable based on the property’s value.
  • Estate planning: Real estate appraisals can also be useful in estate planning and settling an estate. The appraisal report can help determine the property’s fair market value for tax purposes, estate distribution, or probate matters.
  • Property tax appeals: If you disagree with your property tax assessment, you can hire a real estate appraiser to provide an independent valuation. The appraisal report can help you negotiate a lower tax assessment and reduce your property tax liabilities.

Real estate appraisals serve the critical purpose of providing an unbiased and objective assessment of the value of a property. The primary reason for conducting an appraisal is to help buyers and lenders determine the fair market value of a property when considering a potential purchase. This is essential for lenders, who must ensure they are not overvaluing a property or lending more money than it’s worth. Likewise, buyers want to ensure they are not overpaying for a property. Appraisals may also be necessary for property tax assessments or estate settlements.

The cost of a real estate appraisal varies depending on the size and complexity of the property, the geographic location, and other factors. Generally, appraisals cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In most cases, the person responsible for paying for the appraisal is determined by the agreements made between the parties involved. In the case of a purchase, the buyer is usually responsible for arranging and paying for the appraisal as part of the home-buying process. However, in some circumstances, such as refinancing, the lender may require or arrange for the appraisal and charge the buyer.

How Long Appraisals Take?

The time it takes to complete a real estate appraisal depends on several factors. The property’s complexity, the appraisal’s intended use, and the appraiser’s availability are all variables that can impact the appraisal timeline. Typically, a standard residential appraisal will take several hours to several days to complete. More complex properties, such as those with multiple buildings or specialized uses, may take longer. If the property being appraised has special features such as a pool, detached garage, or other amenities, these features may require additional time and effort on the appraiser’s part.

Our Annapolis Real Estate Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Are Here to Advise You

If you need legal help with a property, speak with our Annapolis real estate lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen. Call us at 410-295-3000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients in Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland.

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