When You Can Hire Your Own Home Appraiser - And When You Can't


When selling a home, the appraisal fee is typically paid by the buyer, but the lender chooses the home appraiser. Why? Because appraisers must be a neutral party.

Just to be sure it’s a neutral party, the lender cannot be affiliated with the appraiser, either.

According to regulations established in 2009 by the Federal government, lenders need to go through an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) that has a roster of licensed appraisers to choose an appraiser or a separate entity at the bank, credit union or mortgage company that is a buffer between the appraiser and loan officer. This is to prevent “affiliations” between the lender and the appraiser, and also ensure the appraiser is licensed and certified in your state.

When is it possible to choose your own appraiser? Only when there is no mortgage loan.


  1. If you are paying cash for the home, and you want to ensure the price is fair, you can choose your own appraiser.

  2. If you need a valuation of the home, but are not getting a loan (refinance, etc) you can choose your own appraiser. For example, PMI removal process, estate settlement, a divorce situation, etc.

  3. When the loan qualifies for an appraisal waiver, you can choose your own appraiser to do an appraisal.


Even without choosing your appraiser, agents and sellers can still have input, as they allowed to provide information to the appraiser about the home, any improvements or repairs made, and nearby comparable homes that were used to develop the sale price.


If you have a question for "Ask The Appraiser"  send us an email at: steve@masterappraisalservices.com