About Appraisals

Key Variables
Prospective clients are often interested to find out what an appraisal might cost and how long it will take to complete. The four key variables are 1) the type and size of property, 2) the intended use of the appraisal, 3) the reporting format selected, and 4) the scope of work. There are some links between the second, third, and fourth variables.

Scope of Work
The scope of work for an appraisal can vary widely, depending on the four key factors listed above. To illustrate this point, the fee for an estimate of value for a single-family home might range from $50 up to several tens of thousands, just based on the scope of work. Issues in defining the scope include the nature of the property inspection, the value definition, the valuation approach(es) used, the range of valuation data to be researched, and the depth of the research.

Reporting Formats
Final appraisal reports can be either oral or written. Often, the reporting format is influenced by the intended use of the appraisal. Written reports can be very brief, using a short template form, or they may be formatted in a longer narrative format.

Appraisal Fees
Fees for appraisals are primarily based upon the amount of time needed. The number of hours needed is influenced by the four key variables listed above. Most appraisers require a signed contract and a retainer before any work can begin. Some assignments can be performed for an agreed-upon flat fee. Other assignments can only be performed on an hourly basis, billed and paid monthly, often with an estimated range of costs.

Completion Time
The time it will take for completion of the appraisal can range from a few days to many months, depending on the listed factors. Other schedule variables include the availability of staff.



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All rights reserved. Updated July 10. 2017.