Do you have to have a contract signed in order for the lender to order an appraisal of that property?

UPDATED: May 9, 2012

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Do you have to have a contract signed in order for the lender to order an appraisal of that property?

If the appraisal of our home comes in lower than the asking price, the buyer won’t have enough money to make up the difference between the appraisal price and the asking price. We don’t want to sign the contract and have our house essentially off the market while we wait for the appraisal. Can the lender order a appraisal without a contract?

Asked on May 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lender can order an appraisal if it wants to, so long as the owner's consent, prior to tghere being a signed contract; on the other hand, a lender is not required to do so. Speak with the potential lender (the buyer's bank, so presumbly with the buyer), explain the situation, and see if they will have it appraised by an appraiser whose recommendation they will accept if you pay for the appraisal, prior to signing the contract; or if not, see what suggestions or alternatives they have.

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