It is easy to be unsure what appraisal service to use. Cost is important, but so is the quality of the appraisal service you choose. The best resource for locating the highest quality appraisers in your area for quotes on appraisal cost is in fact HUD.
A HUD approved appraiser must pass strict quality control which includes:
While this does not prevent questionable appraisers, it does significantly reduce the possibility you will get an appraiser who will do anything questionable that a shady loan originator asks for. Again, a strong emphasis is placed on independent vendors to prevent relationships between parties from creating issues in your loan process.
WARNING: If you allow your Lender/Broker/Banker to order your appraisal, even when you are paying for the appraisal, the appraisal is then owned by the Lender/Banker/Broker. This can be, and usually is, a serious issue if you should choose to change representation during the course of a purchase transaction.
The party that owns the appraisal is under NO obligation to transfer the document to another Lender/Broker/Banker, nor is the appraisal service authorized to do this without the written permission of the party of ownership. This can result in your paying for TWO appraisals for the same property without any recourse.
By ordering your own appraisal through your own appraisal service, you control the transaction and can assign "use" to who you choose. This applies in both purchase and refinance transactions.
You can use this tool to search the HUD Database for appraisers to quote near you. These appraisers are ideal for all loan types from conventional to FHA.
If you are VA Qualified and are eligible for a VA Loan, you'll most certainly have no need to be concerned about your appraisal. The VA will actually assign the appraiser themselves, protecting the quality, ownership and independent nature of the appraisal on your behalf.
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