There are few things discouraging when selling your home than receiving a low appraisal. This could affect your buyer’s ability to finance the property, and in some cases can cause the entire deal to fall apart.
To help you overcome this possible obstacle, we have 5 things you can do if your Boston house appraises low.
REVIEW AND SCRUTINIZE
The first step when your house appraises low is to ask for a copy of the appraisal and go through it with a fine-tooth comb.
Make sure you keep your agent involved in this process to leave no stone unturned. They’re certainly used to analyzing appraisals for mistakes and questionable details if your house should appraise low.
Another important piece of documentation to review is the list of comparable sales that the appraiser used to help determine the value of your property. Your agent should have a list of the comparable sales used to assist in pricing your home when it was listed (at NextHome Titletown Real Estate, we supply a Customized Property Value Report). Compare that to the comps that an appraiser used to determine a home value, and contrast these two documents to help you and your agent understand how the appraiser ultimately came to their conclusions.
GIVE IT ANOTHER GO
After going through the appraisal and measuring up the two different lists of comparable sales, you may find it best to take things up with your lender and request another appraisal.
This will require asking your lender to appeal the appraisal themselves, and your lender will likely ask for some solid reasoning for the appeal. Legitimate reasons for appealing an appraisal include errors in the appraisal itself, improper data in the comparable sales, and the appraiser being unfamiliar with your city or neighborhood.
A lot of different, minute variables contribute to the end results of an appraisal, and sometimes people make mistakes.
Your lender wants to close your loan as much as you do – it’s how the loan officer is paid, and earning interest on the loan or selling it on the secondary market is how manys and credit unions make money. But, they want to ensure that the capital they are lending you does not disappear, which is why they rely on the appraised value to ensure that they are making a good investment.
If appealing the appraisal is not an option – or you aren’t comfortable attempting it in the first place – it’s worth a try to see if the buyer is willing to renegotiate in order to save the entire deal.
Keep in mind that the buyer will not want to pay more for your home than the amount at which it was appraised. This means it’s very likely that the buyer will request the agreed-to price for the home is dropped to a maximum of the appraised value.
Hitting the point that necessitates renegotiation is where you need to determine if you’re ok with getting less for your home versus rolling the dice all over again with another buyer and another appraisal.
We have seen situations where appraisals tank deals. Once, a seller was under agreement with a first-time homebuyer using a low down-payments and a VA Loan. The appraisal came back low, the buyer could not come up with the difference (of just a few thousand dollars), and the deal fell apart. Thankfully, we re-listed the home immediately and found a new buyer with a conventional loan. That appraisal came back higher, and the deal closed.
GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
As a home seller, you may end up in a situation where you feel it’s best to walk away from an offer or negotiation and try again from scratch.
An understandably difficult decision to make, canceling the sale, and relisting your home will eventually bring another buyer that could be the magic ingredient necessary to turn everything around. When you find yourself without the leverage to get what you want from the deal, be ready and willing to walk away and start over.
You will have lost time, but sometimes even those few weeks after your initial negotiation will reveal a whole new set of buyers who will have entered the market.
COOLER HEADS PREVAIL
As you’re navigating the web of negotiations and appeals, the overarching thing you need to do is keep your calm and don’t let the stress affect your decision-making abilities.
Leaning on your agent through the fallout when your house appraises low is a good start to help share the load and get a clear perspective on the best course of action. Whichever route you determine to be best for you under the circumstances, you will need to approach everything going forward with a professional attitude.
Professional Backup When Your House Appraises Low
Appraisals are a necessary part of the home-selling process, but they can be frustrating and damaging when your house appraises low. Contact our Boston team at NextHome Titletown Real Estate for help at (617) 657-9811 if you need to navigate this situation!
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