Appraisals have become a big issue over the last several years. As banks tightened up their lending standards, appraisers have become much more conservative in their valuations. If you are selling your home, this can become a big issue during escrow.
If the home doesn’t appraise, what are your options?
By default, the real estate contract has an appraisal contingency in it which means if the home doesn’t appraise, the buyer can walk with no ramifications. The appraisal normally occurs in about the first 7-14 days of escrow. This can be a stressful time for both the buyer and seller waiting for the appraisal to come in.
If the appraisal doesn’t match the agreed upon price, here are the options:
The first thing I do is try to get the appraiser to reconsider the valuation by providing additional data. If that doesn’t work…
1. The buyer can walk and get their deposit money back.
2. The seller can reduce the sales price to match the appraised amount.
3. The buyer can bring in more money to make up the difference between the sales price and the appraised value.
4. Both buyer and seller can compromise on points 2 and 3.
Most of the time, the buyer and seller agree to compromise.
My advice to sellers: If the parties can’t come to an agreement and the buyer walks, you may want to adjust your price or you could be in the same predicament when you find your next buyer and a new appraisal is ordered.