Do You Need a New Appraisal When You Refinance?

Mortgage and Lending with Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA NMLS: 22343

Do You Need a New Appraisal When You Refinance?


It's September of 2019 and interest rates are again approaching historic lows.  This means that many homeowners are considering a refinance --- and for good reasons.  If there is a hurdle for some, it's the cost and risk of getting an appraisal on their property.  What happens if the appraised value doesn't support the loan amount, loan-to-value or the transaction itself?  Are these clients then out the money for the appraisal report, typically anywhere from $500 to $1200?


Earlier in the year, we introduced an appraisal tool that allows us to determine, in advance and with a very high degree of accuracy, if a refinance transaction will be eligible for an appraisal waiver.  This all happens before a client even makes a loan application, so we don't require any personal information.  How does it work?  We need three pieces of information:


  1. The address of the property.
  2. The estimated value of the home.
  3. A good idea of the loan balance being refinanced.


With the above, we can assess the probability of getting an appraisal waiver and if we do, we can be off to the races and closed on a refinanced with less time and less expense.  It's really that easy and it's a huge edge for the homeowner looking to save money on their housing expense.


Oh, and one of the best things about our appraisal waiver platform?  It works for purchases too!  If you're considering making an offer on a property, run it by us.  We can put in the address of the property and the intended offer price and we'll know in advance if you'll need an appraisal.  In cases where you don't, you can offer without an appraisal contingency, possibly further strengthening your offer.


Appraise be to God, 



Robert J. Spinosa
Vice President of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959


Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate's Human Resources Department.


Guaranteed Rate. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee NMLS License #2611 3940 N. Ravenswood ChicagoIL 60613 - (866) 934-7283


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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hi Rob Spinosa I do know about possibly waiving the appraisal. What I'm curious about is with the three factors....just exactly is the program looking for in the 'perfect' threesome score per se? Sometimes this makes zero sense as to why one home is ok'd and another with same 3 factors essentially is not. Nobody seems to be able to tell me why.

Sep 05, 2019 02:24 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Rob- I'm not really involved in this but would love to hear an answer to what Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 asked. Your information is very helpful for homeowners who are considering refinancing but concerned about the appraisal. 

Sep 05, 2019 06:57 PM #2
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Does the current assessed value have anything to do with getting an appraisal waiver? I've wondered about that in the past.  D 

Sep 07, 2019 08:12 AM #3
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Rob Spinosa 
One of many things I have always amired about you is your leading edge Client Service tools! Here's another example. All the best - Lynn

Sep 07, 2019 07:18 PM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

A lot of people seem to be confused about this appraisal situation. This is pretty clear. Good stuff!

Sep 07, 2019 10:19 PM #5
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Lynn B. Friedman I think the leading edge is generally where each of us aspires to be

Sep 07, 2019 10:21 PM #6
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Sounds a little risky to me! It sure sounds like stuff that caused problems in 2008! Who does your algorithms 

Sep 08, 2019 12:15 AM #7
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

I just had a buyer get an appraisal waiver which was great and saves $500 plus!  Strong borrowers, 20% down and an offer I believe is under value (Motivated seller already bought another house and 80 days on the market.)

Sep 08, 2019 04:02 AM #8
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Most of my clients pay cash so they haven't had to refinance, however, if they do I'll investigate the option of a waiver. I have yet to run into such a situation. Thanks for sharing the concept.

Sep 08, 2019 05:45 AM #9
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Rob - it's important to have a mortgage partner who understands the obstacles and can effectively run interference when necessary.  Of course, when it comes to sports analogies I understand it best to let others speak as I have learned over time.  The same is true for mortgage partners...

Sep 08, 2019 06:20 AM #10
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Rob Spinosa ,

We are seeing the same thing happen here..waiver of appraisal. Our Guaranteed Rate loan office has been touting this and many are utilizing this option. Great post..very educational to let people know the options.

Sep 08, 2019 06:36 AM #11
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Rob,

Lenders are all about risk. My guess is, that if the person does not want to take out a wad of cash and has had the home awhile, no appraisal, since prices have gone up everywhere.

Sep 08, 2019 07:08 AM #12
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Interesting:  In cases where you don't need an appraisal, you can offer without an appraisal contingency, possibly further strengthening your offer.

But that's if you know for sure ... and you are not a cash buyer (as then it's a mute point)

Sep 10, 2019 07:13 PM #14
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Rob Spinosa

Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County
Can I Get a Jumbo Loan with 10% Down?
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