How to Get a Property Appraisal

How to Get a Property Appraisal. People get home appraisals for any number of reasons: to determine the market value of a residence as part of a divorce settlement; to establish an inherited home's valuation; to verify equity for removing Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI); or to buy or refinance a home.

Step 1

Understand that if you are buying or refinancing a home, your lender will select the appraiser for you.

Step 2

Get a reference for a licensed appraiser from a local real estate broker if you want to know the fair market value of a property. Or look in the yellow pages of the phone book under Real Estate--Appraiser.

Step 3

Ask the appraiser for his or her rates, when the appraisal will be performed, and when the appraisal will be completed.

Step 4

Make an appointment with the appraiser and arrange to be present and allow the appraiser to walk through the property.

Step 5

Make sure your appraisal includes: an overview of your home and neighborhood, 3 comparable sales in your vicinity in the last three months.

Tip

If you are trying to remove PMI, check your loan papers for exact requirements. You will most likely be required to provide your lender with an appraisal showing the loan is less than 80 percent of the value of the property.

Warning

When you are purchasing a home, the appraisal will generally not give you an accurate valuation of the property; in most cases it will only tell you that the property is worth what you have agreed to pay for it. (That's why the appraised value on a purchase is usually the same as the selling price.)

Things You'll Need

  • Financial calculator

  • Writing pens

  • Notebooks