What happens when an appraisal comes in short? This is certainly an appropriate concern in our current real estate market, as prices look like they’re on a never-ending upward trajectory. As a seller, you have three options when an appraiser doesn’t value your home for the price you agreed to sell it for.

First, check the appraisal for human error. Mistakes can happen, so perhaps something got miscalculated. Take a thorough look through your home’s appraisal and see whether there are any issues that could’ve caused it to come in low.

If everything checks out, your next option is to prepare a rebuttal with the help of your agent. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. In any case, your agent can evaluate the comparable properties the appraiser used and see whether they were justified. If possible, they can also prepare their own list of comparable properties that can bring the appraisal up to where you need it to be.

“It can be challenging to get any adjustments made in an appraisal.”

Of course, depending on where things are in the contract-to-close period, don’t assume that the buyer actually wants the appraisal to come in low, because that could adversely impact them as well. I’ll be honest with you: It can be challenging to get any adjustments made in an appraisal. Oftentimes, appraisers will choose to stick to their guns, but a rebuttal is still a shot worth taking.

If a rebuttal doesn’t work, you’ll have to return to the negotiating table and see if you and the buyer can still make the transaction work. Who knows, maybe all you need is a slight adjustment to turn things into a win-win situation.

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic, give me a call or send me an email. I’m always available to help you.