Assessments and Appraisals

The value on an assessment notice may vary quite a bit from a mortgage or real estate appraisal. One reason for this may be the timing that the assessment was done. Versus, the appraisal done reflecting the most recent value based on the current market conditions.

Home Appraisal

The appraisal provides you with a document outlining an estimate of a property’s current fair market value. An appraisal and an assessment are not definitively connected, most lenders will require an up to date appraisal report. Lenders use this valuation to base the size of mortgage they are comfortable lending.

Appraisers are highly regulated and provide unbiased valuations. They take into consideration the property, home, location, conditions and many other external factors. Nearby amenities and access to public transportation. Some lenders will provide a list of approved appraisers they accept.

Often the borrower that is responsible for the cost of the appraisal, which upon completion is sent directly to the lender. The lender will confirm they are making a good investment for the value of the subject property.

Even though the borrower has paid for the appraisal, they are often not able to view the report. The appraiser will perform the report following the parameters defined by the lender. As a result, it is the choice of the lender to allow the borrower to see the report. Incidentally, the reason for this strict access on the lenders part is to avoid the borrower taking the report to multiple lenders in search of the best deal.

Some lenders may offer to refund the cost of appraisal after funding your mortgage.

Preparing for an Appraisal
  • Appraisals do include pictures of the exterior and interior of a property, so clean up and consider the curb appeal of your property.
  • Make sure to note all upgrades that you have done and the costs associated to assure they are not overlooked.

Look for any small repairs that may affect the value and make repairs before the appraisal is done. It is likely that the appraiser may over estimate the cost, thus having a significant effect on your value. These are the key differences between Assessments and Appraisals.