Federal Housing Administration
What home buyers and sellers should know about appraisals

When it comes to real estate, the appraisal is the linchpin around which all else revolves. Both buyers and sellers are in a holding pattern until the appraiser arrives at the property, looks it over and comes back with a figure for what he thinks the place is worth. Such is the case whether the property in question is a single-family house in the suburbs or a $200-million office tower in the city. "Nothing happens in real estate until the appraisal report is signed and an opinion of the property's value is provided," says Brian Coester, an appraiser who presides over his own appraisal management company. With that in mind, here are some things you should know: ...