Home Buying in 95138>Question Details

pam, Home Seller in 95148

What will a bank appraiser do? May he/she come inside the house or just the outside?

Asked by pam, 95148 Thu May 3, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Erika and thanks for your post.

To be frank, recently, I've observed that appraisers are literally zooming in and out of the home. In fact, one of my more recent buyers had TWO (2) appraisers who came to the home. The first one arrived 20 minutes late to our appraisal appointment, spent 10 minutes taking pictures of the home, taped off only one corner of the lot and left. And, yes, they do come inside the home, but they're really only looking to see if the home has three bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms and is in good-ish, not compromised, condition. The second appraiser called in by the lender did a "drive by" appraisal (never even got out of the car).

So, Erika, it is likely that the appraiser will come into the home, but don't worry too much about this since the appraiser will be in and out of the home pretty quickly.

If you have any questions about the appraisal, talk with your lender (if you are the buyer) or with your agent (if you are the seller) for more information!

Good luck!

Grace Morioka
Area Pro Realty-People's Choice
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Hi Erika

A bank appraiser will measure the home from outside to get the dimensions from the outside wall.
Then come inside to measure each room and inside wall measurement.

Check condition and upkeep of property, whether any upgrades were done, if so when.
Whether any additions with permits.

They see whether the property details gel with those listed on County records.
Always prudent to keep on top of what the County Records has on file for you, and correct
iff any errors.

The Bank appraiser depending on whether the loan if FHA has a complete different set of
guidelines and more stringent.

They have a very good idea of what the property is worth. A good appraiser has already called
the Agents with homes that Homes for Sale that are Pending, and asked what the homes are selling for, they have also accessed what has sold, and what is active and what the market is doing.

They have a very good idea of what the inventory levels are and $ / sq. ft.


Let me know if I can answer any other questions



1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Erica, the appraiser will definitely come inside and will ask about the kitchen/bathrooms/etc. Are there any problems with your property that you would like to keep private? It also will depend on the equity you have in your house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
You received great answers on what an appraiser will do. What the appraiser doesn't do is inspect that property (like an home inspector). They don't go in the crawl space or attic. They will make note of anything which affects value, missing appliances, possible non code items, additions, etc.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
An appraiser will need to see the interior of the home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
I sold my house on auction; the appraiser that appraised my house for the bank hasnt given his appraiser to the bank so we can settle; its has been almost 2 months since he has seen my house. Since the new law came into affect that protects the appraiser and no one knows who did it and cant contact him by law-- my question is ; how can I get my house settled the appraiser is taking too long. Isnt there something I can do?? I wonder if he forgot to hand his papers in to the bank.. Please can u help?? thank you Donna
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
As others have shared, a bank appaiser should look at both the inside and outside of your home. They will be looking at appearances, but also taking measurements, noting the location of the home on the lot, views, neighborhood, etc.

The job of the appraiser is to take all variables into account so they must do a thorough review of all features.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Hello Erika,

This depends on the assignment the appraiser gets from the lender.
It could be exterior or full - with interior.

Irina Karan
CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Hi Erika,

The appraiser in most circumstances needs access to your home. You did not state what type of transaction(purchase, refi, short sale, etc) you are inquiring about and the level of the appraisal can vary depending on several factors. The appraiser has a set of guidelines they follow to conform to the banks guidelines. As stated already they will measure your property, take pictures and check for upgrades, additions and many other things. Depending on the size of your home the appraiser usually needs 20 to 30 minutes at your property. All the appraisers I have worked with have been very professional and very easy to work with. Its a fairly straight forward process and you, your agent or someone else can meet the appraiser and give them access.


Jim Guido
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
An appraiser should come inside, but unbelievably many just do drive bys. And keep in mind, the measuring process is VERY subjective. We had one unit where the smallest measurement was 1200+ sq ft and the largest was 1600+ sq ft. Apparently someone found (or lost) a very large room.

This is why basing a purchase price or offer price based solely on square footage is a bad idea. Additionally, if you base an offer price on size and the buyer's appraiser comes back with a much smaller measurement you are going to have an argument on price. This is why we no longer post square footage on our listings unless we are very sure on size.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Thank you, Erika:

I am a former Real Estate Appraiser.

It is not possible to make an accurate appraisal of a home without inspecting the interior.

Several years ago it was common for the Banks to do what they call a "drive by appraisal" where they merely look at the house from the outside but do not inspect the interior or they would do something called an "AVM". That is an appraisal by an Automated Valuation Method where they do not inspect the house at all but use a computer program to set a valuation using public information about the house.

In fact when I was a Real Estate Appraiser, the banks were boasting that they would put all of us Real Estate Appraisers out of business because the banks could now use computers to do Auromated Valuation Methods of a house, instead of high cost Real Estate Appraisers. If necessary they could use a low cost bank employee, instead of a high cost Real Estate Appraiser to drive by the house to make certain that the house was still there.

That was when I and many of my colleagues changed our careers and became Real Estate Brokers instead of Real Estate Appraisers.

Some of the worst mistakes that caused the current foreclosure crises came from Drive by Appraisals and appraisals by Automated Valuation Methods.

Drive by appraisals and automated valuation methods did not work very well for the banks and in fact they were one of the primary causes of the current foreclosure crisis.

Most banks have learned their lesson, and they no longer do drive by appraislas or use automated valuation methods instead of true Real Estate Appraisals by Real Estate Appraisers.

I would be amazed if the appraiser did not want to inspect the interior of your home. The appraiser cannot do an accurate appraisal without inspecting the interior of your home.

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
Hi Erika,

It depends on what the appraisal is for and who the lender is. Each lender will have their own requirements which will dictate whether they need to go inside or just do a
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
The appraiser will walk around the house and measure it. The appraiser will also come in the house to take measurements, take pictures, and take notes about the special conditions and features of the house. The appraiser will also check to make sure that your house has smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector. California law requires those safety items. Many lenders will not fund a loan if the appraiser notes the absence of smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detector. Also, your water heater must be properly strapped for earthquake safety.

The appraiser does a great deal more to complete the appraisal after visiting your house.
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordTeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
If this is an appraisal for a refinance they will most likely need to enter your house, take measurements and photos.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 3, 2012
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