You have an appraisal coming up and are wondering, ‘how long does a home appraisal take?’ Everyone has a packed schedule these days and it can be challenging to make room for a full walkthrough. Homeowners also don’t need the added stress of waiting for the home appraisal results to come back.
Knowing how long the process can take will help you schedule things properly and avoid the related stress.
- Full appraisals take 1-2 weeks and can take up to 4 weeks if the appraisal is complex.
- An appraisal inspection can take anywhere 20 mins and a couple of hours.
- Appraisal delays can happen if an appraiser isn’t available.
- A lender will usually order an appraisal before they approve of a mortgage
- There are different kinds of appraisals and some take less time than others.
What is House Appraisal?
The process of assessing a property and determining its value is called home appraisal. Qualified and licensed professionals carefully examine your property, look at the data regarding your local real estate market, and study comparable property sales to come up with a value.
There are different kinds of house appraisals and they include different types of checklists. These types include:
- Full Home Appraisal
- Drive-By Home Appraisal
- Desk Home Appraisal
- Hybrid Home Appraisal
- Exterior Home Appraisal
Your appraisal will go faster or slower depending on the type you choose.
» What is Home Appraisal: What you should know about house appraisals.
How to Get a Home Appraisal?
Getting a home appraisal isn’t difficult. You need to contact a local home appraiser near you and make sure they’re qualified enough to handle the task.
If you’re a buyer, your mortgage lender will most likely make the arrangements. If you’re a seller and wish to make get an estimated property value before placing your home on the market, you can just contact a home appraiser company near you.
Once you have found a good appraiser, it is all a matter of picking the right type of appraisal before scheduling an appointment. Most sellers choose a desk or drive-by appraisals to save time and money.
How Long Does an Appraisal Take?
The home appraisal timeline can vary depending on different factors like how busy the appraiser is or how big your property is. However, we can provide an estimate to help you plan things well:
1. Scheduling a Home Appraisal – 48 Hours to 14 Days
Scheduling a home appraisal can take anywhere between 48 hours to 14 days. Most appraisers will respond within two business days unless they are very busy. However, you can expect the appointment to be scheduled a few weeks down the line.
That’s especially the case in a good real estate market or if there’s a shortage of appraisers. This is after you have prepared a list of possible appraisers suitable for your needs.
2. The Home Appraiser’s Visit and Walkthrough – 20 Minutes to 3 Hours
This process doesn’t take much time. An appraiser will come armed with a comprehensive checklist and will make notes during the walk-through. If you’re getting a conventional loan and the property is small, those would take less than an hour. However, if you’re applying for a VA loan or if the property is large, you can expect it to take a few hours.
The appraisal timeline also depends on the type of appraisal. A drive-by or exterior assessment won’t take much time as the experts won’t enter your property. They will just examine the exterior and leave.
If you choose a desk appraisal, the expert won’t come to your property and will only rely on comp analysis to provide a valuation.
3. Reviewing Comps and Analyzing Data – 2 to 7 Days
The next step in the home appraisal process is to analyze all of the data collected. The appraiser will look at the notes they made during the walkthrough, compare the prices of recently sold properties in the area, and look at real estate market trends. Once they have assessed all of the information, they will calculate the value of your home.
Reviewing comps and analyzing data can take a few days, especially if the appraiser is busy with other clients as well. Most appraisers will look at comparable properties sold within six months of the appraisal. Once they have compared the sold properties with your property, they will come up with a valuation.
4. Preparing the Home Appraisal Report – 2 to 7 Days
The report is usually prepared alongside the analysis. The expert will carefully consolidate the information into a succinct report of around 7 pages. This report includes information like the values of comparable homes, recent renovations that brought the property value up, flaws bringing the property value down, etc.
Once the report is prepared, it is sent to the client. Buyers, sellers, and mortgage lenders can all have a copy of this report.
» Home Appraisal Checklist: Look at our home appraisal checklist page to understand what’s included in the home appraisal process.
FHA Appraisal Timeline
The FHA home appraisal happens as soon as the seller agrees to the buyer’s offer and is willing to proceed. For an FHA appraisal to go forward, the buyer should first be pre-approved by the organization. Once the buyer places an offer and the seller agrees, the FHA engages a certified and qualified appraiser to look at the property.
FHA appraisals happen quickly after the organization finds an FHA-approved appraiser. The expert will conduct comp research, market analysis, and visit your property. Once that is done, you should get a report in a few days to a week. It will only take longer if the required checklist is a bit more complex or if the property is large.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Appraisal Back?
How long an appraisal takes to get back depends on how busy the appraiser is. In a busy real estate market with few appraisers, the report can take a few weeks. After the physical assessment, you can expect the appraiser to reach out to you in around 2 to 7 days.
If they take more time, feel free to contact them to know more about the house appraisal timeline. Their office should be able to give you a more accurate timeline. Some appraisers claim to have a fast appraisal turnaround time and will deliver the report in two working days.
Confirm the timeline with your appraiser during their visit to get a more accurate idea.
» Home Appraisers: What to know more about home appraisers? We have a post that can help you.
Why Would Appraisal of Home Take Longer?
Sometimes an appraisal can take much longer than normal. If it takes more than a couple of weeks and you are feeling concerned, get in touch with the appraiser’s office directly. Let’s look at some reasons why the appraisal time frame is longer than expected:
1. House in Poor Condition
If the property has several flaws, the appraiser will have to spend more time recording each of them in their report. Flaws also make it more difficult to calculate the true value of the property as the appraiser must determine how much the buyer will have to spend to repair them.
A complex appraisal takes longer as it requires more effort. If you have an old, outdated, or damaged property, you can expect the appraisal of home to take much longer. In most cases, it can take up to 3-4 weeks.
2. Active Real Estate Market
An active real estate market means busy home appraisals. Almost every real estate deal requires an appraiser. If there are a dozen properties on the market and only three or four qualified appraisers in your area, you can expect the appraisal to be delayed.
An active real estate market also means that appraisers need to study more data and have to research more comps. The market is more competitive and property prices will be impacted by the demand.
3. Lack of Qualified Home Appraisers
Home appraisal is a declining profession, and the number of appraisers being lower than it was a few years ago. Many areas have only a handful of certified professionals, which means they have less time on their hands. A busy appraiser may only be able to schedule an appointment a few weeks down the line.
» What Hurts Home Appraisal: Understanding what hurts a home appraisal can help you better prepare for it.
What Happens After Appraisal?
After the appraisal report comes back, there are three paths to take and they are as follows:
- Proceed: The buyer and seller are satisfied with the valuation and decide they don’t want to change the buyer’s offer.
- Renegotiate: Either the buyer or seller has changed their mind about the initial offer on the property and wants to negotiate the offer value again.
- Back Out: The buyer, seller, or lender can choose to back out of the deal at this point if they can’t come to an agreement or are dissatisfied with the results of the home appraisal.
Some buyers may want to wait for a home inspection report after the home appraisal report before making a decision.
How to Find a Home Appraiser?
Finding a home appraiser has never been easier. You can just google online to find high-rated professionals near you. You can also look at the local home appraisal bureau or department to seek out certified appraisers in the area.
We make things a little easier by providing a ‘home appraisers near me‘ list. Just look for your state and find the highest-rated appraisers in the area.
Make sure the appraiser is certified by the state before hiring them. Appraisers aren’t allowed to practice without a state license.
How Long Does an Appraisal Last?
In general, most home appraisal reports last for around 90 days. After 90 days, the report is no longer valid and the buyer or seller must go through the entire process once again.
However, FHA appraisals remain valid for a little longer, lasting for around 180 days. That is double the amount of time available for conventional loan applicants. FHA appraisals used to be valid for 120 days but the HUD added 30 more days to ease the burden on the borrowers.
» Home Appraisal Costs: Need a home appraisal again? Look at our comprehensive list of home appraisal costs to plan a budget.
How long does appraisal take? Anywhere between 2 days to 4 weeks depending on how busy the appraiser is and how complex the appraisal checklist is. Factors like the condition of the property can delay the appraisal report significantly as well. If you’re in a hurry, you may want to hire a professional with a fast turnaround time. Ask them about the appraisal timeline before hiring them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does a house appraisal take?
A home appraisal can take anywhere between 2 days and 4 weeks depending on factors like appraisal checklist complexity and the appraiser's schedule.
2. How long to get appraisal back?
You may get your appraisal back in around 2 days to a week, longer if there are any complications or if the appraiser's schedule is packed.
3. How long does an FHA appraisal take?
FHA appraisals don't take much time and the whole process is usually done in a week unless an FHA-approved appraiser is unavailable.
4. How long do appraisals last
Appraisals for conventional loans last for 90 days, after which you need to get a fresh appraisal. FHA loan appraisals can last for around 180 days.
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