This is a commonly-asked question, since mortgage agents/brokers and appraisers aren’t authorized to provide a copy of the real estate appraisal report to the homebuyer/homeowner even though you’ve likely paid to have it completed. 


This is mainly because the lender is the appraiser’s client – and the appraisal report is prepared based on specific instructions from the lender. 


Lenders are also often hesitant to provide an appraisal report to a prospective homeowner because they could then shop it around with other lenders – even though that appraisal couldn’t be directly used for any other financing purposes. 


In addition to receiving permission from the lender, the appraiser would have to agree and prepare a letter of transmittal, an appraisal update or, in some cases, even an entirely new appraisal.


Why do lenders need appraisals?

Lenders rely on appraisals to provide them with an unbiased expert opinion on the value of a specific property by a third-party appraiser. This could include the home you’re interested in purchasing or the property you already own, depending on whether you’re making a purchase or refinancing an existing mortgage.


Lenders need to be rest assured that the home you’re looking to purchase is worth the money you require for mortgage financing or that it’s wise for them to enable you to tap into the equity in your existing property through a refinance.


The essential elements contained within a home appraisal report include information and data relating to: the overall condition of the property; the neighbourhood; variables that contribute to the sale of similar homes in the area; and the time spent in selling comparable properties. 


Appraisals requiring both an exterior and interior inspection of the property are standard practice. In some instances, however, an exterior-only inspection – called a drive-by – may be ordered.  


While a drive-by isn’t obviously as comprehensive, it’s likely to be used when there’s little question about the home’s value supporting the requested mortgage loan amount.


Have questions about appraisals or your mortgage options in general? Answers are a phone call or email away!