FSBO: Understanding Home Appraisals?


A home appraisal is one of the most important parts of selling and buying a home. It is also one of the most misunderstood parts of the home selling process. What is an appraisal? How do you navigate the process as an FSBO seller? Let’s take a closer look.

What Appraisers Look For

There are several factors involved in a professional home appraisal including:


  • The sales price of similar neighboring properties
  • Bedroom count
  • Bathroom count
  • Square footage under air conditioning
  • Number of garage spaces
  • Lot size
  • Views
  • Property condition
  • Special features like swimming pools
  • Neighborhood quality

Establishing a Timeline

How long does an appraisal take? The on-site appraisal process is typically short. A full appraisal should be completed in under an hour.


The entire process of receiving the actual appraisal depends on how busy the market is at the time. This can be a week or two in a slow market, or as long as six weeks during busy periods. Make sure you know before signing a real estate contract, as this can really impact how long it takes to close the transaction.


An appraisal may be good for 60 to 90 days. However, re-appraisals can be required if the market is changing rapidly. Especially, in a declining market, as well as if there has been a natural disaster in the area.

Who Pays for a Home Appraisal?

The buyer traditionally pays for the home appraisal and is issued to whomever orders the appraisal. So, one buyer cannot use the same appraisal as another buyer who backed out previously. As the FSBO seller, if you order an appraisal for your own knowledge, it probably can’t be used by your buyer.


So, while it is very important to know how much your house is worth before trying to list it for sale, few homeowners will pay for a full appraisal. You can get an instant rough estimate using much of the same data an appraiser will use by using this free home value estimator.

How to Get a Home Appraisal

As a home seller, you are free to ask a local Realtor for a referral to a qualified home appraiser for your own benefit. However, it is the buyer’s responsibility to order the appraisal and pay for it if it will be used to obtain mortgage financing for the transaction. Typically, the mortgage company will actually do the ordering and coordinate with the appraiser.

Flat-Fee Realty Service in Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you are looking to buy a home in Minneapolis, contact Home Avenue today. We offer flat-fee realty service that can save you thousands of dollars in realty fees and costs. You can also take advantage of our cash back rebate incentives, as well as our FSBO services.


To find out more about our products and services, call us at 952-929-7355, or you can send us a message on our contact page.