Deadly Appraisal

     “What do you mean my house didn’t appraise?!” This conversation is one no Realtor ever wants to have. Sometimes a rogue appraiser can produce a low value for the home. What’s worse is that in some conditions, that appraisal with remain with the home for up to six months. You can appeal the appraisal, but very rarely do appraisers adjust their value. So how do you prevent this problem?

     When listing their home, a seller needs to price their home correctly. This is done through effective comparative analysis of similar homes that have recently sold. Essentially the seller and the listing agent need to perform their own “appraisal” when determining a price for the home. Sometimes sellers want to list their home over market value with the hope of earning a little more money. If you do this, you run the risk of the appraiser adjusting the price for you.

     In rural locations it’s important to know who the lender is for the buyer. As a seller, you want that buyer to work with a local lender because the lender will work with local appraisers. The last thing you want is for an appraiser who has never been to your town determining what your home’s value is. Value can be “street specific” and an out of area appraiser won’t know which streets are more valuable and which are less valuable.

     Another way to avoid unfavorable appraisals is to be aware what type of loan the buyer is using. If you have a pool, be aware that USDA loans cannot take into consideration a pool’s added value. If you own a property that needs extensive repairs, you may not want to accept an offer from a FHA buyer. Typically government loans require properties meet a specific standard. If your home doesn’t meet those requirements you may need to make expensive repairs for the home to meet the appraised value.

     In the real estate world appraisers wield considerable power. When they make a decision it is nearly impossible to change it. To stack the deck in your favor price the home right, work with buyers who use local lenders, and know what type of loan your buyer is getting. 

John Jennings III

BRE #01982171

John Jennings, III is a licensed Realtor® who works for Mid State Realty in Coalinga, CA. For more articles like this one go to John can be reached at and (559) 970-4312.

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