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The Appraisal and Survey

It is usually the responsibility of the buyer to obtain a survey and an appraisal of the property after the offer is accepted. If doing a mortgage, the lender will pick the appraiser and if the seller does not have a current survey, then the title company will order a survey. Both the appraisal and the survey will be pre-paid by the buyer. 

The lender will order the appraisal at the point in the underwriting when the mortgage is going ahead. The title company will need the survey prior to closing to issue "Title Insurance" for the property. Normally, the seller pays for the major portion of the title insurance. The buyer pays for the survey if one is not available from the seller.

Real estate appraisals are an integral part of the purchase and sale of property, particularly if the buyer is seeking funding from a lender. The appraisal value of a home can make or break a sale, so it only makes sense that so much weight is put upon it.

Whether you are buying or selling, you have minimal control over the appraisal – but that doesn’t mean you need to be in the dark about what it involves and how it is determined.

There are numerous myths about real estate appraisals that people usually discover the hard way. As a buyer or seller, it is essential to have at least a general understanding of how appraisals work.

Below I am going to summarize what you should know about real estate appraisals. Use this as your guide to understand the appraisal process.