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Should You Pay a Rush Fee for a Quicker Appraisal?

July 26th, 2014 1:27 PM by Robbie Sharrett

In a hurry to get the mortgage and close on the sale?  Need an appraisal done in one or two days?

Bottom line for this is - even if you tell your lender that you will pay a $100 - $200 rush fee over and above the appraisal fee you are already paying as part of your mortgage loan application it does not guarantee that the appraisal will be delivered to your lender by the requested deadline.

An appraiser may choose to take the rush order and the extra fee, but not guarantee delivery by indicating 'I may be able to do this by the requested delivery IF I don't hit any snags'.  There's the escape clause. 

Can some appraisals be difficult and time-consuming due to lack of comparable sales in the appropriate SOLD time frame?  Yes, of course. Murphy's Law most always kicks in when someone is working under a deadline - crazy things happen in the process which delay completion of work. 

Some people are confident in their capacity for meeting deadlines(knowing there will be delays along the way) and do complete the work as promised and paid. Some people do not meet deadlines. 

The appraiser is not working for the bank directly. There is an intermediary company(separation wall) through whom the appraisers complete their work in order to remove undue influence by anyone on the appraisal outcome.  

The bank cannot even choose a specific appraiser with whom they have had successful delivery of appraisals. The intermediary company puts out the request for the appraisal and procures the commitment from an appraiser. The bank is not supposed to have direct contact with the appraiser during the appraisal process. The appraiser takes instructions from an intermediary company. 

If you are ever in a position which requires a quickly delivered appraisal tell your bank that you will pay the rush fee, but you expect the bank to reimburse you if the appraisal is not delivered by the deadline you requested. If they say they will - get that in writing....yeah, good luck with that.  You can certainly try. 

Under current banking regulations the appraisal platform(the intermediary - the firewall - the company for which the appraiser really works) does not have to deliver a RUSH appraisal in less than 3 days. 

Once the normal appraisal fee is paid by you, along with the rush order fee, your money is gone.  Do not expect a refund of the rush fee from the appraisal company if the appraisal is not delivered by the deadline requested IF the deadline is less than three days away. 

An appraisal could be delivered in a couple of days...but if it is delivered on the third day it is still considered RUSH by the appraisal platform who procured the appraiser. 

If you think this is too much fuss over one or two days these two days can be the difference between moving forward with the contract or bailing out on the last day of due diligence if the buyer finds out the property did not appraise for the contract price - therefore, the bank will not loan all the money the buyer needs to buy the house. The delivery of appraisal is crucial to the buyer's due diligence deadline, particularly if the seller does not want to extend the due diligence period. 

Not all sellers will extend due diligence or the sellers will want an additional due diligence fee in order to extend the buyer's protection period for the bank loan process. 

Delays can arise on several fronts with the buyers during the loan application process.  Good record keepers are rewarded for all their organization during today's documentation-heavy loan applications. These kinds of buyers get all the paperwork in ASAP and the loan moves through its circuitous route. 

For those potential home buyers who need a loan and who have financial and work records scattered here and yon, the mortgage loan application requirements will be more frustrating for you.

Gather your records in one place as you prepare to look for a home to buy. Do not delay in finding what the bank needs for the loan application and get that to them as soon as you can. 

You cannot count on the RUSH fee to beat the due diligence deadline if you are down to the wire - that's more drama than you need during the already stressful home buying timeline.
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Posted by Robbie Sharrett on July 26th, 2014 1:27 PM


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