What is an appraisal and why does my lender require one?

An appraisal is something that your lender will require in order to make the loan. They will pick an independent appraiser to determine the fair market value of the property you are trying to buy. The appraiser will find comparable or like-kind properties that have sold and based on a wide array of factors will determine value based on what other people have paid for similar properties. An appraisal is something that the buyer typically pays for, either before closing or at the closing table. Real Estate is only worth what the public is willing to pay for it.