Normally to even be considered in a multiple offer situation, you need to promise to the seller that you will perform quickly. Time is of the essence. Since the appraisal is usually one of the gating items, lenders will by default order it ASAP.
If you wanted to save money on the appraisal, then you should have given a longer contingency period. The downside of that is if you do it this way, the seller might not pick your offer. Even if your offer price is higher, the seller will prefer to choose a buyer who really likes the house and is more likely to follow through on the purchase. By accepting your offer, the sellers may have lost out on the other buyers who wanted to buy their house.
What are the issues with the house? Yes, if they are serious issues, then you should back out. On the other hand, some issues are common and may already have been figured in your winning offer price. Did the sellers provide you with their own inspections before you made your offer?
You really need a buyers agent to explain all of this stuff to you. If you had an agent, he/she would explain to you that the CAR contract is an AS-IS contract by default, so when you make your offer, you base your offer on the current condition of the home.
Every step of the process has tradeoffs. You should pick a realtor who explains the pros and cons of these different ways to proceed at each step in the process, and then let's you decide which way to go based on all the information presented to you.
You could have decided to wait on paying for the appraisal until after the inspection. I imagine you were in a multiple offer situation and needed to make your timeline tights in order to win the bid.
You or your agent will order inspections, at your request. Your lender will order an appraisal because it is needed to approve your loan. The appraiser usually will not go to the property without payment first. Usually the appraiser will ask for a credit card up front. Did you do this?
Your inspections and appraisal fees are insurance you invest in during the investigation of a property. If either of those fails your approval and you have contingencies in place and have not removed those contingencies your earnest money should be returned to you. However those cost are absorbed by you.
The Seller took their property off of the market in hopes that a buyer would perform. The seller has no protection during this that a buyer is going to go through with the purchase. The seller has probably lost other buyers. It's part of the process.
During your initial consultation with your agent all these things would have been discusses, prior to you getting into a car and looking at a property.
In this multiple offer market with short contingency time periods, lenders are currently under the gun to turn loan approvals as fast as they can, so diligent lenders will get the appraisal ordered as quickly as possible. Your agent should have known this - if condition issues are present, then you can try to stagger the appraisal and inspections - BUT someone has to consciously do this - otherwise they will all happen at about the same time. And, as you've noticed, once it's been done, you are on the hook to pay for it.
You can tell your loan officer to hold off on ordering the appraisal until you give him the go ahead. I do it all the time.
Best of luck!
Most people don't "get" why you want to hire an agent that is smart as a Dr., shrewd as an Attny & concerned about your $$$'s as a family member. That's why there are 5,000+ Realtors in Santa Clara County alone and folks hire their neighbor, their relative, their kid's soccer coach, etc... They also don't get why you want to hire a Realtors with the experience & wisdom that can ONLY come from doing many transactions. The average Realtor does less than 2 transactions a year! You'd never hire a surgeon or an attorney that only did 1 or 2 surgeries/yr or 1 or 2 legal cases. EVEN when you have a higher standard and select from the top 10% that do 80% of the business, that doesn't mean you'll get someone that's diligent, smart, etc... that's why Real Estate won't become a more professional profession (weed out the rookies, the unethical, the lazy, the not so bright, etc...) until the consumers start seriously interviewing, checking credentials, references, etc...
The answer to your question is yes the lender can move too fast, or the inspection too slow, etc... and yes you will be liable. HOWEVER, now comes another example of where an real pro will shine. A real pro will get you the home you want, with concessions from the Seller IF appropriate.
Good luck! Always hire the best & encourage those you know when Buying or Selling to do the same. Why not?
That being said, you and/or your agent can request the appraisal not be conducted before a certain date or activity (like the inspection). Many lenders will not force the client to pay for the appraisal if they back out of the purchase - but this is a courtesy and they absorb the cost (appraiser still has to get paid). BTW, $1000 sounds like a lot for an appraisal. Even on a rush I typically see around $600 for appraisal.
Lenders typically order the appraisal within the first week in order to confirm the value of the property within your contingency period (usually 17 days)
NEVER heard appraisal taking place before the inspection/option period is over.
Somebody guffedup and wnat to blame you to foot the bill.
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If you want out, sounds like this is the time to get out before you are asked to sign off on your inspection contingencies. If you didn't pay for an appraisal but they orderred it, I wouldn't pay even if they asked. I'm confident they'll push you to pay for it but as confident that if you dig your feet it, the lender will eat the appraisal fee.
No, they shouldn't have waited for the home inspection though to be finished. Also, you never order the appraisal. The lender always does.
The $1,000 for an appraisal is way high. They are usually $450-$500. The $1,000 sounds more like loan origination fees that may/may not include an appraisal fee.
The key question is whether you (not anyone else) authorized this. This is between you and your lender.
A manager should be able to waive the fees, if they want your business on the next transaction. Worst case you can always go to small claims court to have the judge settle the matter.
One of the biggest problems is getting a loan funded when promised. Most lenders are large bureaucracies which plod along step by step. A delay ordering the appraisal could cause you to close escrow late which could cause the sellers to ask for more money from you to cover the expenses they wouldn't have had if you closed escrow on time.
Different lenders and even different loan agents at the same lender can provide ways to minimize your loses but this is not something they are required to do. Ask your real estate agent to talk to your loan agent to help reduce the costs. The real estate business is very person/agent dependent. Different people/agents are given different help because of the likelihood of receiving help in return.
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Your lender has absolutely no relation to your home inspector. You and your Realtor are guiding both sides of the process so one doesn't wait for another... it's just about how you guys schedule things.
As several others have noted, it is standard practice in our highly competitive market to order the appraisal right away as you get into contract. If you don't want the appraisal ordered because you're not sure about the property then by all means tell your lender that. If you don't give them your credit card number, they will not be able to order the appraisal.
Once the appraisal is ordered it's a sunk cost (just like any inspections you choose to do), so if you back out of the transaction you are not getting that money back.
Now if the lender ordered the appraisal "automatically" without notifying you, or getting your permission, then just let them know you will not be paying for it. After all, why should you, if you didn't order it? (hope that helps)
If on the other hand you signed a document giving them permission to order an appraisal and gave them your credit card number (and just forgot about it) then the fault is not on the lender.
Talk to your agent, if the appraisal has been ordered but not happened yet maybe your agent can pull some strings to get the appraisal postponed until your other issues are resolved.