Appraisal FAQ

Top Questions People Ask

How accurate is Zillow(TM)?

Zillow uses advanced computer algorithms and averaging techniques to guess at the value of a property. In the appraisal practice, this is the only approach to valuation that is considered unacceptable. Zillow estimates or Zestimates[™] are usually higher than what the property will appraise for in an actual valuation. This is because Zillow’s algorithm cannot accurately determine things like: gross living area vs non-living area, overall feel of the property, quality of upgrades, and more.

How much do appraisals typically cost?

If you are buying, selling, or refinancing a property through a traditional bank, expect to pay between $600-800 for your appraisal if your home is considered to be within a tract development. High-end, unusual, or other complex properties can raise this price significantly.  Ordering a private appraisal will usually be cheaper than going through a lender.

Will my property taxes change due to an appraisal?

At no point is your appraisal sent to the tax assessor since they do not have a legal right to receive a copy. Your taxes will not be affected by our valuation. If you think your property taxes are too high, you may use our appraisal as a basis to request reconsideration of the assessment. Keep in mind, it is not common for property taxes to be over-inflated.

Can I choose an appraiser if I am getting a bank loan?

If you are getting a private money loan or any loan that is not federally regulated you may choose any appraiser to value the property. Most lenders sell loans that are federally regulated and most often you cannot choose your appraiser due to bias issues. Appraisers are required by federal law to be unbiased in their valuations.

Do you sent a copy of the appraisal directly to me?

Generally, If you have contacted us to order the appraisal, we will send a copy directly to you. If your bank orders the appraisal, we will send a copy to your bank and you can ask for a copy from them.

Why did my property appraise for less/more than the house down the street?

A single comparable does not make an appraisal. A minimum of 3 comparable sales have to be adjusted and reconciled for an appraiser to give a defendable valuation which will take into account the various features of each home and compare them to yours. 

How do I know if an appraiser is good/fair?

There really is no way to know if an appraiser is good/fair unless their appraisal is reviewed by another appraisal firm. We offer a low cost review service to help homeowners with this topic.

What do you look at in the inspection?

As real estate appraisers, we take in all the relevant facts about your home: square footage, lot size, age, bed/bath count, views, upgrades, etc. Anything that is considered permanently affixed to your home (i.e-ceiling fans, flooring, appliances) will be included in the valuation.

Do I have to clean the property before you inspect it?

We do not take your personal property into consideration when inspecting your home unless it is damaging the physical property itself. It always helps to leave the walkways inside AND outside your home clear for easy access.