Questions an Appraiser Cannot Answer

If you have ever had your home appraised, you have probably had a million questions for the appraiser. Most of us will not ask so many questions that we become obnoxious, but ask we will. There are questions the appraiser will be happy to answer, such as what an appraiser looks for during an inspection or what is the inspection process Then there are those questions that are strictly taboo and here are a few that you will never get an answer to:

May I ask what you are paid?

As a general rule, appraisers are not at liberty to divulge this information. If you are refinancing your home or purchasing, you might want to know but you will not get an answer. The AMCs (Appraisal Management Companies) increased the fee to the homeowner, due to their being an added layer. Before the introduction of AMCs, it was pretty laid out what the fees were. Once they became involved and the rates went up because of their involvement, things changed. These companies are charging more for the appraisal but the appraiser is not necessarily making more money. In many cases, they are paying the appraisers even less than before.

An appraiser, in general, will not disclosed that information because their could be a misunderstanding on the part of the homeowner. The homeowner might have been told a certain fee and here comes the appraiser with a different fee amount. Any questions regarding the fees should be directed to your loan officer. They will be able to break it down and tell just what you need to know. Also expecting them to divulge their salaries, is actually a pretty rude question. I doubt most of us would be very comfortable if someone asked us what we made for a living.

So, what do you personally think my home is worth?

When the inspection is underway, the appraiser’s job is to collect all the physical information regarding your property. He or she has absolutely no idea what the home is worth because they still have to look into sales and the performance of the market and then analyze this data.

They are not trying to keep information from you, but they couldn’t possibly give you even a ballpark quote because they must complete the entire analysis. Another reason is because if the appraiser is doing the inspection for a bank or a mortgage company, they are under a appraiser-client privilege. As the appraiser is hired by these institutions, they are the clients of the appraiser and may only communicate their findings to these people.


An appraisal can be a little nerve racking because there is so much at stake for your refinancing or mortgaging a new home. An appraiser will probably be more than happy to answer general questions for you. Asking certain other questions, they are just not able to do or due to ethics cannot answer them. If you ask something they cannot answer, respect that decision and move on to something else.

Why Tax Values Cannot Be Relied Upon
Newer Homes in Older Subdivisions

Call Now