Home Appraisal Cost in Canada: How Much and Why You Need it in 2021

A home appraisal is a big part of any real estate deal, but luckily — not the most expensive one. Here’s all you need to know about it in 2021. 

Whether you sell your house or want to buy one — you need a professional to look at it to tell you the true value. Of course, a said pro won’t do it for free, but the good news is — their service rarely costs a lot. 

Home Appraisal Cost in Canada in 2021 

The short answer is $200-500. That’s an approximate home appraisal cost that applies more or less nationwide. 

However, there are more details to look at if you want to get the best possible service for the smallest fair price. 

How to Calculate Home Appraisal Cost  

According to the Alberta Appraisal Institute, the appraisal cost for residential properties is based on four factors: 

  1. The appraiser’s time,  formula, and the difficulty of assessment; 
  2. Travel expenses;
  3. Car expenses;
  4. Other expenses (these include CMHC fees, professional association dues). 

No, you don’t need to calculate the commuting time and call the appraiser to ask them about the car they drive. It would be creepy, after all. You can just rely on the statistics, based on average price by province and city. 

Home Appraisal Cost — by Province

  • Ontario: $285; 
  • Alberta: $400 ($275 in Calgary, up to $850 in remote rural areas); 
  • British Columbia: $450; 
  • Manitoba: $300-400 (including the travel fee); 
  • New Brunswick: $275 (including CMHC fees); 
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $300-400 per property; 
  • Nova Scotia: $275 — $350; 
  • Prince Edward Island: $185 + fees (depending on assessment difficulty);
  • Quebec: around $300-400; 
  • Saskatchewan: $275 + appraiser fee; 
  • Yukon: $275 + fees (CMHC optional);  
  • Far North: around $300; 
  • Nunavut: around $275. 

Home Appraisal Cost — by City

  • Toronto: $500 ($350 in Mississauga, $750 in Aurora); 
  • Ottawa: $250 ($200 in Cornwall); 
  • Windsor: $300 ($150-250 in Leamington); 
  • St. Catharines: $250 ($150-250 in Niagara Falls);
  • St. John’s: $300 ($150-350 in southwestern Newfoundland);
  • Montreal: $275 ($150-225 in Laval and West Island, $325 in Outremont, the South Shore, the city area, etc.); 
  • Edmonton: $400 ($250 per city area); 
  • Calgary: $400 ($250 in remote rural areas); 
  • Brandon: $400 ($400-$500 outside Brandon); 
  • Halifax: $275 ($150 in Dartmouth, $325 in all other areas); 
  • St. John’s: $275 ($125-250 in different area); 
  • London: around $300; 
  • Peterborough: around $250; 
  • Kitchener/Waterloo/Oshawa: about $300-350; 
  • Barrie: around $350; 
  • Sault Ste. Marie: around $300-325; 
  • Winnipeg: around $400 per property.

As you can see — it all still fits in the $200-$500 price range, just with minor differences. Now, what exactly do you pay for? 

Why Do You Even Need a Home Appraisal? 

In short — because the appraisal is not just another procedure in the deal. It’s more like a warranty that nothing is wrong with your house, or if there are any problems — they are not so important to lower the price. Here’s what you should get for $200-$500: 

  1. Market knowledge of a professional appraiser (someone who looks at your house or the house you want to buy from a professional perspective, with zero sentiment and years of experience in this field); 
  2. Fit-up of the property (even though it usually takes just half an hour); 
  3. Value evaluation that gives you a rough idea of how much your home is worth at the moment; 
  4. Prognosis — what’s going to happen to the value of your home in the next 12 months; 
  5. Remedies: possible ways to lower the value, depending on whether there are any problems (e.g., a leaky roof, burnt-out fuse box, etc.). 

What Home Appraiser Should Tell You

The most important thing to understand about home appraisal cost is that you’re not just paying for a piece of paper with some numbers and statistics. A professional appraiser will look at several things: 

  • The house’s historical value — although there are no exact formulas, it’s definitely important. For instance, if you bought your property recently — it’ll depreciate by about $10,000 per year as the newer properties do (unless you’re renovating). If it’s older — it’ll keep its price; 
  • The house’s physical structure — it’s obvious, but you’re paying a professional to commission a structural appraiser to look at how the house is built and suggest any necessary repairs; 
  • The quality of the workmanship on the house — you might have an old but a well-kept home that’s been repaired several times over its lifetime; 
  • The local economy — the appraiser will look at any possible trends in your area and suggest future price trends.

You can live in your hometown from birth and still know less about it than a person whose job is literally knowing everything about the place. 

How to Find an Appraiser in Canada

Aside from clicking on one of numerous context advertisement banners that you will inevitably see after a Google search with anything related to home appraisal (lonely home appraisers in your area want to talk to you!), you have several options:

  • Ask your real estate agent to do it for you. However, only use this option if you’re working with a reputable agent — those who’ll do the job right and won’t charge you an arm and a leg; 
  • Use Freelancer — there is a whole “Appraiser for hire” section available on the website (however, proceed with caution, many shady companies upload fake profiles to make money on unsuspecting clients); 
  • Use online services like ProAppraisers or AI Canada; 
  • Use the website of the appraiser’s professional association in your province — this is a good way to find a reliable professional; 
  • Ask your real estate agent for a recommendation — if you already have one, still ask them about it — they might know something that you don’t. 

The Bottom Line 

Unless you work in real estate — you, most likely, don’t buy or sell houses every day. When the time comes to dive into this field, finally, you may find that you have a catastrophic lack of expertise. 

How many houses you’ve ever been to? Your friends’ house, neighbors’ one, maybe some relatives’ house… you’re lucky if you have seen a dozen or two. But did you ever pay attention to the details and try to calculate the real value, or you had better things to pay attention to? That’s exactly why you need a pro to look at it. $200 — $500 is a fair price for a good night’s sleep and a guaranteed no-surprises deal. 

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