Your Realtor should have advised you to submit the invoice and should have taken care of this for you. What did she advise you?
The item needed to appear on the settlement statement and paid by someone. The invoice belonged with the escrow officer, not the loan officer. Your Realtor would know this. Normally, this would be a buyer expense, but per contract as you explained, it would have appeared as a seller expense.
The same thing as a home inspector. Did you pay them at the time of the inspection?
It's only $350-$450. You need to pay it. If you don't, the appraiser can put a lien on your house and that would cost you a lot more to remove it in the future.
p.s. Where was your Realtor in all this?
To answer your question, the "norm" is for the buyer to pay for their own appraisal.
-Amy S. Arey, Realtor
Halo Group Realty, LLC
Have your buyers agent or mortgage broker resolve all these issues
National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Texas Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
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Typically I would say appraisal is a buyer expense, but you could of course work this into the agreed flat amount that the seller would pay.
In the end I hope you will pay the appraiser. You got the appraisal and this is a normal buyer expense, most often paid for directly by the buyer before the appraisal is even done. I'm actually surprised you got a copy of it without having first paid for it. You are the one who benefitted from the appraisal being done...without it you could not have gotten a loan or the house. I can see where the misunderstandings happenned on all sides of the issues, from your point of view, from the lender's and from the appraiser. The lender in most cases would not have paid for it, but would have charged it back to you or collected fees up front.
My guess is if the appraiser took the claim to small claims court they would probably win the case against you and potentially be able to put a lien on your home for the amount and court costs. It's probably not worth that fight or hassle and probably just easier to pay them.
Two points for future use, one is always use a good real estate consultant, who will protect your interests throughout the process, and two is always get a written Good Faith Estimate.
Nicole Arenas, Real Estate Consultant