How long does a home appraisal take?

Short answer

It can take about ten days to get an appraisal report, but it might be longer if there are delays scheduling the appraisal appointment.

In this article:

A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of how much a property is worth, also known as its fair market value. It’s a necessary part of the homebuying process, as most buyers need to have their property appraised by a third-party (known as the appraiser) as a condition of their mortgage loan. Homebuyers today are having to wait longer than ever for their home appraisal, and just how long it takes might surprise you.

How long does an appraisal take?

A home appraisal typically takes two days to a little over a week. To complete the appraisal process, the mortgage lender must first order and schedule the appraisal, then gather data about the home. Finally, the appraiser needs to review the data to complete the appraisal report.

The home appraisal process begins after the seller accepts your offer. Let’s breakdown the steps and how long each of them takes:

Steps Description Timeline
Scheduling the home inspection Your lender will order an appraisal from a licensed third-party professional. 48 hours for initial outreach, but the appointment date can fall much later depending on your and the appraiser’s availability.
Walkthrough An appraiser will come to your home to inspect the interior and exterior of your property. 20 minutes - 3 hours
Reviewing comps The appraiser will pull comparable homes to factor into their valuation. 15 - 20 minutes
Compiling appraisal report Your appraiser then compiles their findings into an appraisal report that’s typically around ten pages long. How long it takes them is highly dependent on how many other homes they are appraising. 2 - 10 days

Your appraisal results don't expire; they're generally accepted by a mortgage lender for the next 90 days.

Why is my home appraisal taking so long?

Not every appraisal fits neatly into the above timeline. This is especially true in hot markets, and since 2021 much of the country is experiencing a buying boom.

If your appraisal is taking a long time in 2022, a combination of factors is likely contributing to the wait. One major issue is that there is a logjam for lenders: Banks are currently working through an influx of mortgage applications as home buyers look to close on new homes, as well as refinancing applications. There may be limited appraisal slots open right now to work through them in a timely fashion.

Qualified local appraisers are also in short supply. The appraisal industry has been shrinking at a shocking rate of 3% a year. With fewer appraisers to do the work, homebuyers have to wait longer for their home appraisals to happen.

How much is your home worth?

Our valuations are 40% more accurate than other leading estimates.

There is little homebuyers can do in the face of this national backlog. If you’re waiting for your home appraisal, your best option is to have patience. You can also look into alternative means for assessing your home’s value.

Can you get an appraisal back faster?

You can’t fast-track your appraisal, but you can ensure a smooth appraisal process for yourself and your appraiser with proper preparation. Make sure to clean up and declutter your house — this can help give them easier access and gives a better impression of your home.

Reference our buyer’s and seller’s checklist for what you should do before and after the appraisal — including what to do if the appraisal comes in lower than expected.

While home appraisals are unavoidable for most, there may be a faster way to get them done than the traditional route. Desktop appraisals offer the same valuation of your property’s value, but they’re conducted remotely. Meaning, an appraiser never visits your property. They are faster, cheaper, and, in some instances, a more accurate home appraisal than their traditional counterparts. (A standard home appraisal usually costs a few hundred dollars.) As of March 2022, most single-family home purchases are eligible for this appraisal method.

How long after the appraisal is closing?

The closing process can take up to 60 days. That means after getting the appraisal, which takes about ten days, it might be anywhere from 30 to 45 days to close on the home.

If you aren't at this stage yet, but you want to be, see if any of Orchard's listings interest you.

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