How to Dispute a Low Appraisal

Carolee Locklear
Published on April 26, 2017

How to Dispute a Low Appraisal


 Disputing a low appraisal is never fun. You have put your home on the market gotten what you think a fair price and the bank appraiser disagrees. In fact, they say that you have sold your home for too much money.

In cases like these you are going to need to know how to dispute a low appraisal. Read on to find out how to go about challenging the real estate appraisal.

Step 1: How to Fight a Low Home Appraisal

There may come a time when you put your home for sale at what you feel is a fair price. Along comes a buyer who makes an offer close to the asking price. You accept the buyers offer and think everything will be smooth sailing to the closing. Not so fast!

One of the major hurdles to clear in a real estate transaction is the bank appraisal. Sometimes the appraiser assigned to do the appraisal for the bank does not agree with the accepted sale price. The appraiser may in fact report back to the bank that the home is worth less than the agreed upon sale price.

There are times when the appraiser is not correct. Remember a real estate appraiser is a human being just like the rest of us. They can make mistakes! When you believe there has been an error made with your homes value you’re going to need to know how to dispute a home appraisal. Believe it or not this happens more than you might think, especially in a hot real estate market.

 Step 2: Get a Copy of the Appraisal

When you are going to step up to the plate and fight a low appraisal the first step will be getting a copy of the appraisal report. You will get this from the lender who is doing the mortgage. The buyer’s real estate agent will also likely be able to get this from the buyer as well.

Step 3: Look for Errors in the Report

Appraisers are like everyone else – they can and do make mistakes. Look over the appraisal report carefully looking for potential mistakes. Maybe the report indicates you only have three bedrooms when in fact you have four. You should be looking for errors that could cause the appraiser to value your home less than he or she should have.

Step 4: Look at the Comparable Homes

When trying to challenge an appraisal one of the key steps is making sure the appraiser used solid comparable sales data. You would not believe how many times an appraiser picks poor comps because of laziness or frankly not knowing the area well enough.

Location play a huge roll in real estate values. You need to make sure he valued your location appropriately in relation to the other homes used in the report.

Step 5: Do Your Own Work

Verify each and every fact is correct. It will be prudent to sit down with your real estate agent and go over the appraisal report in detail. Make sure proper adjustments have been made for any features in your home that the comparable sales don’t have.

For example if you have a two car garage and the other comparable properties don’t a significant “adjustment” should be made to account for this fact.

Step 6: Petition for an Adjustment or New Appraisal

After looking at the appraisal report in detail and finding things you feel were done improperly ask the lender for either a new appraisal to be ordered. A second alternative would be to have the original appraiser look over the report again. Point out the error or lack of adjustment you feel has impacted the final value.

Disputing an appraisal is not easy but if there are blatant mistakes you should be able to get an adjusted value. For a complete explanation of how to dispute an appraisal visit the reference above.

 Author: Bill Gassett, the owner of Maximum Real Estate Exposure

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Carolee Locklear
Berkshire Hathaway HS PenFed Realty
11886 Metro Center Drive, Suite 200, 20190
Reston, VA 20190
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