A required step along the path to VA loan approval, the VA appraisal takes place shortly after contract acceptance. The appraisal helps lenders calculate a home’s reasonable market value and ensures the property measures up to the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs).
It’s a tall order for a VA appraiser. Compiling these detailed reports takes careful analysis, supporting documentation, and most importantly, time.
But just how long should a prospective buyer expect to wait for a VA appraisal?
The VA creates appraisal timelines that vary by location. Those timelines start from the date the lender orders the appraisal. Most states have a single timeliness benchmark, but a few states (notably Alaska, Montana, Washington and Wyoming) have guidelines that vary by city.
You can find the current VA appraisal timelines on the VA's website.
Timeliness guidelines are certainly helpful for buyers, sellers and agents on a narrow closing time frame. But don’t mistake these “guidelines” for “deadlines.” Delays can happen, and those delays could push a deal past its ideal closing date. Any of the following situations could extend VA appraisal completion times:
Appraisers must provide the lender with an explanation for any delays. To stay on top of any holdups, buyers are best-advised to stay in constant (daily) contact with their lenders at this stage of the game.
Anxiously awaiting the results of the VA appraisal, it’s common for buyers to wonder, “Is there something I can do to speed the process along?”
The answer to this question: Choose the right lender, and stay in constant contact.
Getting an appraisal report isn’t as simple as calling an appraiser. Take a look at the entire process:
The key point is this: There are several players involved in the VA appraisal process, and mistakes made by any of these players could result in delays.
Buyers can’t “choose” their VA appraiser or their listing agent. But they can certainly choose the right VA lender.
An experienced VA lender like Veterans United Home Loans orders VA appraisals promptly, knows how to handle appraisal delays, and has adequate SAR staffing to provide optimal VA appraisal turnaround times.
So don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right lender. When dealing with a potentially complex process like the VA appraisal, an experienced VA lender is one of the best advocates to have on your side. Choose wisely, and you’ll have your homeownership dreams (and keys) in hand as quickly as possible.