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How Long is an Appraisal Good For?

By Derren Peters

An appraisal report details several crucial bits of figures concerning prices and vales. One number you likely won't see is an expiration date for the appraisal itself. Most loan agreements don't specify the timeframe for when an appraisal is considered expired.

Different lenders have different time frames before they consider an appraisal expired, typically spanning between 60-90 days, never exceeding 180 days (6 months). Lenders want to have a current snapshot of the market surrounding the appraised home, which is why they require comparable sales figures (or "comps") that are no more than six months past, meaning the appraisal should be no more than six months old. Most appraisers and lenders agree six months is the maximum amount of time that an appraisal is considered valid, known as the "term of validity."

Lenders want an appraisal to use comps as close to the appraised home as possible, with few adjustments needed to match them up. Within six months is the preferred window, but they may stretch to a year if a sufficient number of newer comps are not available.

Expired appraisals can be recertified for another 90 days. Recertification is the appraiser confirming that the values are still accurate based on comparables in the area. Many times, if new information isn't available, they will use the same comparables. Most appraisers charge a reduced fee for recertified appraisals.

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