Before hiring an appraiser, please consider inviting a few agents to give you their CMAs (comparative market analysis).
In fact, appraisers deal with comparable sales (unless liquidation value appraisal is ordered), which could lead to underpricing your home, if the values are rising in your area. An experienced agent will look at expireds, pending, back up and active listings in their analysis, helping you price your property the right way.
If you hire several appraisers - you would get several different values on the same property.
Appraising is more art than science. In many cases, if the buyer's lender pays for the appraisal - you'll get a lower value (appraisers can loose a vendor, if they are not conservative). If the homeowner orders the appraisal, however, the price will be much higher, and, sometimes,
When pricing a property, it's also important to know what type of buyer buys in your area.
If it is a cash buyer, and the property is located in desirable area - you don't need an appraisal. The buyer may even overpay, if they really like your property.
If the buyer needs to go through FHA program, the bank's appraiser will for sure appraise lower than the value you'd get appraising yourself, as homeowner.
I guess what I'm saying is: you can save money and still price your property well, by enlisting experienced realtors - and asking questions on how these realtors arrived at their price opinions.
One more thing - visiting other competing properties on the market is very good - you'll know what you are up against.
Hope this helps,
Beachfront Realty, Inc.