The appraiser usually asks for a copy of the sales contract, so yes it is legal. If you think about it there is no better tool to determine the market value of a home than when you have a written sales contract. This shows what someone is willing to pay for your property and what you are willing to sell it for, which is current market value.
Sally W. Hamby
Pine State Mortgage
As we are seeing now the buyer and seller will change what they are willing to offer or accept based on things like the economy, the number of homes on the market, and their faith in the future. the appraiser's job isn't necessarily to set the value but to justify the agreed contract price based on recent sales of similar homes. If appraisers never had access to the agreed upon price the markets would likely stagnate, prices could neither rise or fall.
the rule of thumb has always been "we need to know what the value is". IOW, the appraisers in the past tried to support the price agreed. If you could find comps, and it made sense, then there you were.
However, please read to below link. The pendulum has swung too far now and in our area appraisals are a big problem. IMHO they are just wrong.
If you had an appraisal for insurance or other reasons, the appraisal might come out differently. So, not to worry, it will come out ok.
And as Edith Ann would say.....that's the truth...pthwwwwwww
Yes, in Utah in most cases the appraiser will have a copy of the contract. I know this has always bothered me too. It sounds as though this is standard procedure just about any where though.
There must be a reason and I don't know the answer as to why.
If you'd like, you can call an appraiser and ask them why this is so.
Becky Nay, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Having a contract does mean that the person is planning to purchase the home and not just getting someone elses home appraised!