Some lenders require this up front; others cover the cost for the appraisal and then get reimbursed at closing. If they ask you for an appraisal order form, it’s because they need to order the appraisal as soon as possible and this form allows them to do so the second they get the green light. If an appraisal is paid outside of closing by the buyer, or “POC”, it’s because appraisers have to be paid up front to do their work whereas lenders and brokers only get paid if the loan closes. Paying up front with a credit card mitigates the risk of the lender being stuck with the bill for the appraisal which is a “third party” fee. Every lender/broker handles this differently. Regardless, this is why many loan officers won’t order the appraisal until the inspection is finished, so get that home inspection done ASAP so you don’t slow down the appraisal. 🙂