What Is The Difference Between Desktop Appraisals And Full Appraisals?

Mar 28, 2020 | Published by 2 Comments

A common question I get is, “What is the difference between a desktop appraisal and a full appraisal?”

I’ll be the first to say that there aren’t many differences between the desktop appraisal and the full appraisal in terms of the comparable selection and the research. However, as with any two different things, there are factors to consider in determining which works better for you and your situation. The first thing I recommend is to find out if the intended user will accept a desktop appraisal or if they will require a full appraisal. Once you have this answer, then you can discuss which appraisal type makes sense for you.

So that you have some background, here is information on the two types of appraisals:

The desktop appraisal is a valuation performed without a physical inspection of the property. All research is done as the name suggests, from the appraiser’s desk.

A desktop appraisal is made based on tax records and a multiple listing service (MLS). Here is a sample of a single family home desktop appraisal done by one of our certified appraisers.

A full appraisal means that an appraiser visits your home and takes photos, measures and evaluates in person the condition of your home. Here is a sample of a full appraisal for a single family home done one of our certified appraisers.

A desktop valuation is a great tool for homes that are in average condition. Full appraisal evaluations are recommended for homes that are in poor or highly upgraded condition. Full appraisals are also recommended for tax appeal cases and divorce in which someone might be disputing the value.

Discuss your property and needs with one of our appraisers before making any final decisions.  Please keep in mind that a proper assessment of your home or condo is far more important in the long run than some money that you may save immediately.

Let us know, are you in the process of deciding between a desktop valuation or a full appraisal? What are some of your determining factors?

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This post was written by Joseph Castaneda


  • Lon McPherson says:

    I am renting a home and would consider buying it. I have concerns that I will need to put a significant investment into the home (roof, porch, pool, siding, HVAC, trees, and other items). As a renter can I have you come in to do an appraisal?

    Thank you,

    Lon McPherson
    Ocala, FL

    • Hi, Yes you can order an appraisal for that exact reason. It is very common that we do an appraisal for this exact reason. Please be advised however that the appraisal can not be used to obtain financing. If you were to get financing the bank will require that they randomly select their own appraiser.

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