Who Owns the Appraisal Report?

The answer may surprise you, and it has far-reaching implications.

You, the borrower, pay for the appraisal report at the time your lender orders it — with the exception of the VA loan.

(With VA, it is paid at closing.)

You pay by credit or debit card after making full application and after you have received the initial disclosures, which is a packet of information about the loan that includes a form for permission and payment of the appraisal report.

It’s wise to get your home inspection done before ordering the appraisal, just in case there is a fatal flaw with the property that makes you rescind your offer.

Even though you pay for the appraisal report, the lender owns it. By law, you receive a copy of the report. But you do not own it.

On the appraisal report is the lender’s name.. You cannot take that report and switch off to another lender with it. No other lender will be able to use that appraisal report, with the first lender’s name on it, for approval of your loan.

You can certainly show your copy of the appraisal report to anyone you choose, including your real estate broker, your mother, or even another lender. But you don’t own the rights to it, and you cannot request the appraiser to change anything on it. Only the lender has that right.

If there is an error on the report, such as an address typo or the valuation is wrong, then the lender is the one who communicates that to the appraiser and asks for the correction.

It’s good to know upfront how these things work. If you have a general question about the appraisal process, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it.

This weekend, I will be posting an Easter message here, just so you know.

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