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As a buyer, if a private appraisal should be performed on residential real-estate prior to purchase, what criteria should be considered when selecting the appraiser, and how can someone locate and evaluate the required information about competing appraisers efficiently?

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    I think this is quite location-specific. Are you in the US? I know the customs and practices around real estate are quite different between the US and the UK, so if I wrote a (UK-based) answer to your question it probably wouldn't help you. Could you add a country tag, edit the question, or comment to indicate where in the world you are?
    – Vicky
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 12:20

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Usually when you buy a home, the mortgage company will send out a third-party neutral, and anonymous appraiser. This is to ensure that the appraisal is fair and objective. But I'm not a real estate expert. However, I would ask them questions like how many appraisals do they do? How long have they done it for? How many properties in the area have they appraised? Do they have the license? Are they well-known? Etc. etc.

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    Also note that you can challenge the appraisal if it is a hindrance to your purchase. We bought vacant land once and the appraisal came back at half of the actual market value because the appraiser misread the dimensions of comparable lot. We challenged it and got an updated appraisal that matched our expectations.
    – D Stanley
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 14:09
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    @DStanley I have also challenged an appraisal that almost prevented our sale because there were some typos in it that impacted the final value.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 14:16

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