A home appraisal is a report from a qualified professional that estimates the value of a home. When you buy a home, you will usually hire an appraiser to visit the home, review its condition and characteristics, find comparable properties that have recently sold in the area, and provide both you and the seller of the home with a fair estimate of its value.
Appraisals are also valuable to lenders so they can verify that a property’s value is equal to what the borrower is paying for it. This reduces risk for both the borrower and the lender.
At Unison, we require home appraisals to ensure an accurate home valuation when we are entering a HomeOwner or HomeBuyer deal. Unison uses independent professional services to ensure that our customers on both sides of the transaction are entering into the agreement based on an unbiased valuation. To do that we use Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs).
AMCs are far-and-away the preferred means for obtaining appraisals in real estate transactions. They provide a “firewall” between lenders and appraisers, as required by federal guidelines. If you would like additional information about AMCs and their position in the real estate industry, please see this page on the FDIC website.
Costs of Appraisals:
- HomeBuyer: When you purchase a home, in most cases your mortgage lender will require an appraisal. Unison does not require any additional appraisal of your home in this situation.
- HomeOwner: As with the title report and home inspection, Unison pays for the cost of the home appraisal. These costs are encompassed in the 3.9% transaction fee that we charge each customer. If you request a second opinion then a new appraiser will be sent to your home. Unison will cover the cost of the second appraisal if you choose to use a Unison program. However, if you choose not to do business with Unison, we will ask that you pay for half of the cost of the second appraisal.