Low Appraisals

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

A recent article from RIS Media discusses the increasing percentage of real estate deals that are getting snagged when the appraisal comes in lower than expected. According to the article, this past June and July alone saw 16 percent of real estate professionals reporting a sale cancellation as a result of low appraisals.

What can you do?

 1. Negotiate with the seller to lower the price — clearly the simplest solution, though not always the easiest. The earlier in the transaction you address this, the more leverage you may have. Consider that this summer the average home sale took 88 days. Your seller may be willing to balance time against dollars.

2. Ask the seller to carry a second mortgage for the difference — this solution means that the buyer incurs more debt, although it doesn’t cost the seller any more.

 3. Do your research — do you have any reason to contest the appraisal? Check the appraisal management company and specific appraiser’s credentials. Find out what comparables were used and don’t be shy about asking to see a list of recent comparable sales that justify the agreed-upon sale price.

4. Ask for a new appraisal — if your research uncovers some doubt or discrepancy, ask the lender to conduct a second appraisal. You might be charged for it, but if your research is convincing enough to you to think one is warranted, it might be worth the money.

 5. Order your own, independent appraisal — this can go either way, as the bank will most likely ask the original appraiser to say whether they agree or not with your new one. If they don’t agree, the bank could request another, third, appraisal, or just reject yours altogether. On the other hand, if they agree with your new appraisal and the disputed factors you present, the original appraisal might be adjusted.

Posted by

Dan Lesher Realtor, Principal Broker, CRS, ABR, ePro, PSC, Member NRBA

Realty World Select

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia