DO I NEED TO GET AN APPRAISAL?
Quite often I am asked by home buyers and sellers "do I need to get an appraisal?". My question is why do you think you need one? If you are utilizing the services of a professional real estate agent they are going to provide a seller the market information to set the price. An agent representing the buyer will use the sales information to determine the offer price.
Sometimes when there is no real estate agent involved one party or the other may be inclined to get an appraisal so they know the expected value of the property in question before they arrive at a sales agreement. For the home buyer doing so is wasted money if the intention is to get a home mortgage on the property. It may be useful information, but it will not be the appraisal a lender will use for their process.
When one seeks a home mortgage lenders will need an appraisal from one of their verified sources. They do not accept appraisals that are ordered by an interested party such as the home buyer or home seller.
When I'm processing a home mortgage for a buyer they often ask if they need to get an appraisal because they don't know who is responsible for what in the transaction. When an appraisal is required (and it is not always) it is part of the costs quoted to the home buyer and who pays for it is part of the discussion.
Whether you need an appraisal is something a mortgage loan officer will clarify in each situation but it is hardly ever something you will get yourself as a home buyer or seller.