Before your mortgage application is approved, the lender will order a professional appraisal of the home to make sure that the agreed-upon selling price is justifiable based on the current market value of the property. The cost of the appraisal will be based on the complexity of the appraisal report and the time required to complete it.
A professional appraiser will choose the appraisal technique that is applicable to the particular property to arrive at an unbiased opinion of value. One approach is to look at comparable homes in the area that have sold within the last six months. If there are a number of similar properties that have sold recently, the appraiser's job is easy. It is more complicated to arrive at the appraised value if your home is located in a rural area or a diverse neighborhood.
The appraised value will usually be very close to the sale price. If the appraisal comes in lower, the real estate agent may be able to provide the appraisers with additional information on recent sales which will result in increased value.
If your home has been on and off the market for a few years, it might be beneficial to you to hire a professional appraiser to get the true value of your home in today's market. You will then be able to "list" your home at a "price" that will be more acceptable to the Buyer's mortgage company.
If you need assistance in finding an appraiser in your area, please contact me at Annette.Worswick@PrudentialNewJersey.com or on my cell at (908) 246-2752.