How a Home Appraisal Works and How Much It Costs

A home appraisal is a professional opinion of a property's value. A home appraisal typically costs between $300 and $400.

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Written by Barbara Marquand
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When you apply for a home loan, a lender will usually require an appraisal of the property, whether you're buying a house or refinancing a mortgage.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a licensed or certified appraiser's opinion of a home's value. The appraisal is based on research of recent sales of comparable homes in the area, an analysis of the property and the appraiser's judgment.

The mortgage lender requires an appraisal to help gauge risk of making a loan. The property serves as collateral in case the borrower defaults, so the lender wants to make sure the loan isn't too big compared with the property's value.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Normally, an appraiser views the property inside and out. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, lenders are not requiring appraisers to step inside homes for many purchase and refinance mortgages. Instead, appraisers may rely on market research and other data, photos and exterior views.

How much does a home appraisal cost?

A home appraisal typically costs about $300 to $400, with a national average of $339, according to HomeAdvisor, a digital marketplace for home services. But home appraisal quotes can start at $600 in some metropolitan areas, and fees can exceed $1,000 for larger or more complex properties.

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