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Navigating the Hurdle: When Your Home Appraisal Falls Short

Navigating the Hurdle: When Your Home Appraisal Falls Short

Purchasing or selling a home is an intricate process that involves many steps. One such crucial step is the home appraisal. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, An appraisal is a written document that shows an opinion of how much a property is worth. After all the negotiation, anticipation, and excitement, it can be downright disheartening to find out that your home appraisal has come back lower than expected, and can be a significant setback. However, hope isn't lost. Here are some actionable steps you can take when faced with a low home appraisal.

1. Understand Why It Happened

First, it’s crucial to understand what is contributing to a low appraisal:

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Appraisers often use recent sales of similar homes in the area to determine the value. If properties similar to yours sold for less than your agreed-upon price, it could influence the appraised value.
Local Market Conditions: If the local market is slow, if there's an overabundance of properties available, or if there are foreclosures in the area, it could result in a low appraisal.
Home Condition: Any damages, outdated elements, or needed repairs can negatively impact your home's appraised value.
External Factors: Even if your home is in impeccable condition, external factors like proximity to undesirable establishments, neighborhood reputation, or nearby commercial developments can decrease your property's perceived value.

2. Review the Appraisal Report for Errors

Once you receive the appraisal report, go through it meticulously. Look for errors like incorrect square footage, wrong number of bedrooms or bathrooms, and any missing features that could add value. Appraisers are human, and mistakes can happen. Pointing them out might lead to an adjusted (and higher) value. Although not easy, you can also appeal an appraisal if there are inconsistencies or errors in the appraisal.

3. Change Lenders

Buyers have the right to change lenders if they want. Although this would likely delay the closing, and there is no guarantee that another lender’s appraisal will come in higher than the original appraisal.

4. Renegotiate

If you're selling your home and the appraisal comes back lower than the buyer's offer, it’s time to return to the negotiation table. Here are a few options:

Seller Concessions: Instead of reducing the price, offer to cover some of the buyer's closing costs or offer other incentives.
Split the Difference: If there's a gap between the agreed-upon price and the appraised value, consider meeting the buyer halfway. For instance, if the difference is $10,000, you might reduce the price by $5,000 and have the buyer bring an extra $5,000 to the table.
Cancel the Sale: This is a last-resort option. If no middle ground can be found, and you believe the property is worth more, consider putting it back on the market.

5. Fix up the House

Take a proactive approach and address the issues pointed out in the appraisal report. Fresh paint, new appliances, landscaping, and minor renovations can sometimes make a substantial difference in perceived value. Once improvements are made, you can request a new appraisal.

6. Sell to a Cash Buyer

If you want to sell your house fast and the other options do not work for you, you may want to consider selling to a cash buyer. Burnett Home Buyers purchases houses with cash, so appraisals and financing contingencies are not necessary. Because of this, we can buy your house fast.

Call or text us at 513-802-9870 for a free, no-obligation cash offer now!

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