Q: I have a contract on a house, and I’m supposed to pay for the appraisal. I don’t want to pay for it until the inspections are done and I know we have a deal. Is that OK?
A: This is an interesting question. There is nothing in the contract that says you can wait to order the appraisal and risk closing late, but it’s a very common practice to wait until inspections are completed and repairs negotiated. After all, no one wants to spend money on a house they’re not going to buy. Or, if it’s the seller paying for the appraisal, on an appraisal they cannot use.
That said, talk to your Realtor about the situation and see what you think is best. Some people like to get the appraisal ordered, but then put it on hold if the repairs aren’t negotiated by the time the appraisal is ready to be completed. Other people like to put it off altogether but be warned, this can postpone the closing and create frustration for both you and the seller.
The best advice I can give you is this: If you are going to wait to order the appraisal, you should be diligent about getting the inspections done as quickly as possible and turning in your repair request in a timely manner. You have deadlines in your contract, but there’s no reason not to get the objections to the inspections to the seller early. This way, you can postpone paying for the appraisal avoid delaying the closing.
All of that said, if you really feel this is the house for you and feel confident you’re going to close, then go ahead and order the appraisal and try to get the repair negotiations done before it happens so you have some peace of mind. In other words, there’s no right answer, but since you didn’t tell the seller that’s what you were planning, a delay in the closing may be problematic for them.
Good luck with your new house, and congratulations on purchasing at a time with such great interest rates.
Talia Freedman is the owner of Talia Freedman and Co.