Some people, when buying a home, take a look at the few hundred dollars that an appraisal costs and try to skirt around it.

That’s a very bad idea. Why? In the general scheme of things, the cost of an appraisal amounts to a pittance compared to the final cost of the home. And that $500 or so is money very well spent. That’s because an independent appraisal puts everyone at ease. It lets you, the buyer, know exactly what the true fair-market value of the home is—the value on which taxes likely will be based and around which other comparable homes in the area are priced (because they had appraisals, too).

Also, if you’re a seller, you might want to embrace the appraisal idea, too, because if you’re willing to fork over the cash, that might very well grease the wheels for that potential buyer who’s ready to pull the trigger but is watching all those tertiary costs stack up and starting to waffle. Just sayin’.

So, whatever your position in the transaction, buyer or seller, learn to like appraisals. They save time. They save headaches. They save wondering who’s taking whom for a ride. And it might just save the deal everyone wants to make.