4 Tricks for Dealing with Low Home Appraisals

What do you do if your appraisal report comes back below the accepted offer price? You’re not backed into a corner just yet. We’re going to lay out four options for your next move, broken down in the order you should give them a try.

Option 1: If you have an appraisal that you’re unhappy with, you can have your broker challenge the appraisal report. Have them prepare a set of comparables to justify why the property is worth what you believe it’s worth, so you can maintain the financing you were expecting to get.

Option 2: Ask for another appraisal. Banks are always allowed to call in another report for a second opinion, which will hopefully help justify your case.

Option 3: Go back to the sellers and explain that you now have two appraisal reports. Highlight that you’ve done all the comparables, and the property is not appraising for what you were willing to pay. In light of this information, you’re going to have to put down a lot more money if you want to get into this property, but you don’t have the extra money on hand.

You can also pitch the fact that, if you’re having this problem, any other buyer is going to have the same issue. Ultimately, nobody’s going to want to overpay for this property, so the price will need to come down..

Option 4: Cover the spread. If you do have the funds available and you really, really want this property, especially if you expect it to go up in value and become a great investment, you can dip into your pocket for the difference.

You always want to make sure that you and your broker have gone through the comparables to truly understand what you’re offering before getting yourself into this situation.

At LJ Realties, out of about 150 sales, it probably happens about once or twice a year. So yes, while it’s rare, it’s still a reality – and we’re probably going to start seeing it a little bit more often given recent market shifts.

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