What is the difference between a Full Appraisal and a Drive-By Appraisal?

April 24, 2020

We are often asked the difference between a drive-by appraisal and a full appraisal (with no interior inspection, using photos and data from the homeowner and/or realtor). Especially during this time when interior inspections cannot be conducted due to COVID-19, it is important to know the difference and understand how each type of appraisal can be used.

Full Appraisal:

A full appraisal is more in-depth and includes a full exterior inspection (front yard, back yard, and home measurements). It requires the appraiser to gather data on the interior of the home through video conference and/or time-stamped photos and videos provided by the occupant or realtor. The comparables used are analyzed and adjusted for to provide an exact value. A full appraisal provides the Remaining Economic Life (REL) of the property and gives a detailed breakdown on the adjustments of the comparables. A full appraisal also has full liability coverage up to $2,000,000. 

Drive-By Appraisal:

A drive-by appraisal is less in-depth, the appraiser does not leave their vehicle to inspect the property, and he/she will rely solely on the most recent MLS listing for size, photos and room allocation. If there is no MLS data available on the property, this type of appraisal cannot be completed. The biggest difference with a drive-by appraisal is that it provides a 10% range of value. In lending situations, the lender will often rely on the lower end of this range in value for mortgage financing purposes.  A drive-by appraisal does not comment on the REL of the property and does not provide a detailed breakdown of the adjustments of the comparables. A full appraisal also has limited liability coverage up to only $50,000 

About Adlaw Appraisals:

For those unfamiliar with Adlaw Appraisals, we are an appraisal firm with offices in Vancouver and Kelowna, proudly serving the Greater Vancouver area (from Whistler to Chilliwack) and the Central Okanagan area (from Vernon to Penticton). Founded on our three pillars of Integrity, Accuracy, and Speed, it is our mission to assist the decision-makers in our communities to make smarter and faster decisions when it comes to real estate values. 

Take care, 
Adam Lawrenson, 
1-888-55-ADLAW (23529)
Adlaw Appraisals