What Should I Do if an Appraisal Comes in Low?

August 1, 2018 2:29 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s a seller’s market right now—homes are being sold almost faster than they can be put up for sale. This means that if you’ve been considering selling your home, now’s a good time to do so, as consumer confidence and demand are both higher than they’ve been in some time.

Of course, an unexpected real estate appraisal result could quickly torpedo any real estate transaction. Many lenders rely on appraisals to determine if the mortgage a buyer is seeking is justified based on the market value of their potential new home.

So what should you do if your appraisal comes in lower than expected, especially if it’s below the agreed-upon asking price? The buyer will have several options at this point, including attempting to negotiate a new purchase price, adding to the size of their down payment to help make up the deficit or walking away from the sale entirely. But what about you as the seller?

Here are some tips from a real estate appraiser in Napa County, CA that could be useful to you in such a situation.

Talk with the buyer

Homeowners do have the option to appeal an appraisal if they disagree with the results, but before doing so, they should first find out of the buyer is willing to pay the agreed-upon price and increase their down payment. Otherwise you might end up complicating the deal more than necessary if the buyer is still willing to abide by the deal.

There are going to be some circumstances in which the buyer refuses to pay any more than the appraised value, but you should still at least talk to the buyer about it before trying alternate approaches or changing your selling price.

Obtain copies of the appraisal report

Get a copy of the appraisal report. Under federal law, lenders must provide the appraisal report upon the request of the homeowner within 30 days. Once you have this report, look it over carefully and find any factors that the appraiser might have missed in their analysis of the home, especially in comparisons of the property to similarly priced homes that sold recently in your area.

Follow the appeal procedures

Most lenders tend to have their own appraisal appeal procedures. You’ll want to get permission from the buyer first, then contact the lender to point out any discrepancies or other information the appraiser failed to consider in their assessment of the home. You might also ask the lender to perform a second appraisal for comparison purposes. You’ll still need to pay for that appraisal, and there’s also no guarantee a second appraisal would turn out any different.


There’s nothing you can do other than negotiate if the original appraisal stands after your appeal. The sale will likely fall through unless the buyer is willing to make a larger down payment or you’re willing to lower your price.

For more information about real estate appraisals in Napa County, CA, contact the team at County Appraisals Inc. today.

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