Can you have a Good, Fast & Cheap Appraisal?


Is it possible to get a good, fast and cheap appraisal?

With the surge of home sales appraisers have been busier than ever working diligently to complete appraisals in an effective and efficient manner. Don’t get me wrong this is a good thing for appraisers, the problem is that lenders and AMC’s are expecting the impossible, a good, fast and cheap product.  An appraiser’s job is to provide a necessary and valuable service that takes time and effort, and this cannot be accomplished good, fast and inexpensively.

Let’s define what these terms mean for an appraisal.

Good- This could be defined differently but the quality and accuracy of the appraisal would determine how good of an appraisal it is.  The quality of information in the appraisal such as the subject description and details and what comparables are used is important. Without accurate and detailed information, the appraiser may select comparables that are not comparable to the subject. So, what makes an appraisal good is using good information to start.

Fast-Some people are often happily surprised by how quickly we can get an appraisal back to them, but just because we are quick does not mean we compromise the quality. When an appraiser is familiar with the market he can find comparables and information much quicker therefore speeding up the entire process.

This is not always the case, if the appraiser is not familiar with the area than it takes more time to research comparables and the market area. It is not always best to have a fast appraiser if the appraiser is sacrificing the accuracy of the appraisal for time.

Cheap- The word cheap has a bad connotation with it, people often associate cheap with a bad product or service. I am sure you have heard the term “you get what you pay for”. In many cases I have seen this to be true with appraisals.

I have over 25 years of experience I have seen appraisals completed in a less than good way. I have found this to be more common in appraisal where the appraiser was paid less. The appraiser will often try to turn more appraisals around in a much shorter period to make up for the low payment for each appraisal. This is not always the case as noted above if the appraiser is familiar with the area they can speed up the process, but this is not the norm.

Now for a quick review:

A good and fast appraisal is not cheap, and a good and cheap appraisal is not fast. Good should always be required but for it to be fast the appraiser must spend more time on that one specific property therefore foregoing other work. Because of this the appraisal will cost more.  An appraisal that is good and cheap will take longer because the appraiser is working on more appraisals at once to make up for the low payments.

In conclusion you can only have two of these three things at once and if you are getting a fast and cheap appraisal you may want to consider that the quality of work may be poor. So the next time you have an appraisal remember this. Fast + Good = Expensive, Cheap + Good= Slow, and Cheap + Fast = poor quality work.


Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule your appraisal appointment at 760-741-7699, or use our contact page on our website.

Brandlin Appraisals Inc. specialize in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, date of death, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more throughout San Diego county. For more information please contact us at (760)741-7699, or visit our website at, or email us at

Mike Brandlin
San Diego, CA // Real Estate Appraiser
(760) 741-7699

San Diego Real Estate Appraisal Services For:
Divorce Appraisals / Marriage Dissolution
Bankruptcy Appraisals
Bail Bonds Appraisals
Estate / Date of Death / Retrospective Appraisals
Financial Planning & Trusts
PMI Removal Appraisals
Pre-Foreclosure & Short Sales
Tax Assessment Appeals
Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase, FSBO’s
Probate Appraisals


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