What Happens if the Home Doesn’t Appraise?

Real Estate Agent with E*Rae Realty 651873

In a Texas real estate transaction involving third party financing, ie. a loan, lender approval is required for the deal to close.  That approval is broken down into two parts.  The buyer must obtain approval for the loan based on their finances, credit, income etc. and the property must also be approved.  Physical conditions within the home may cause the property to become ineligible for funding, or the home may not appraise at the value agreed upon in the contract.  For the purpose of this post, I am focusing on the latter: what happens when a home doesn’t appraise.


If an appraisal comes in at a lower value than the agreed upon contract price, there are a few options for how the parties to the contract can handle this scenario. In order to illustrate these scenarios, let’s say that the Johnsons are selling their home to the Smiths.  They have agreed to a purchase price of $360,000; however, the home only appraised for $340,000.


The first option is that the sellers and buyers can agree to drop the contract sales price to the appraised value.  However, the Johnsons may not want to just drop the price to $340,000.  After all, they accepted the Smiths offer in a multiple offer situation, and they turned down a $350,000 cash offer.  So, let’s say the Johnsons do not agree to reduce the sales price to $340,000. 


This brings us to scenario number two; the Johnsons propose that the Smiths bring $20,000 cash to the table in order to close the deal at the agreed upon $360,000 sales price.  If the Smiths are capable of coming up with an additional $20,000 cash to put down on the property, this solution could work. However, the Smiths are not obligated to agree to this scenario even if they are financially capable of it. 


Let’s say the Smiths only have an additional $10,000 they could put towards the home. The Smiths could propose that they put an additional $10,000 down, and that the sales price is reduced to $350,000.  If the Johnsons approve, this scenario would also allow for the transaction to close. 


If the Smiths and the Johnsons cannot come to an agreement, the deal will fall through and the earnest money will be returned to the Smiths.    The third party financing addendum used in Texas real estate transactions is very clear on this.  However, there is one other option for the Johnsons and Smiths in this situation.  They could appeal the initial appraisal, or request a new appraisal.  It would be prudent for the Johnsons to make sure that the Smiths would still pay the agreed upon contract price of $360,000 if a new appraisal deems the property to be worth that amount.  Many buyers are inclined to not pay more than the appraisal amount, and in Texas, they are protected from doing so unless they want to bring the extra cash to the table.


This post originally appeared on shesellsaustin.com

Posted by
Erika Rae Albert 
Broker, Realtor®, GRI
108 Wild Basin Road South Suite 250
Austin, TX 78746
t: 512-779-7597
e: erika@shesellsaustin.com
www.shesellsaustin.com Facebook icon   LinkedIn icon   Twitter icon   Instagram icon



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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Erika

The appraisal often causes plenty of anxiety until the answer is in. I think it's important for buyers, or sellers, to know in advance what the options are in case the appraised value is not where it needs to be. Great summary and example!


Sep 27, 2017 05:09 PM #1
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I feel that an appraisal that come in under the list price has the sellers responsibility  written on  it.

If the appraisal comes in low with an above list offer it is on the buyer.

Sep 28, 2017 02:43 AM #2
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