Avoiding a Low Appraisal

Both parties are happy with the price, the appraiser shows up and the property appraises for less. A story we see too often.

The lack of “comps” can dictate short appraisals in a declining housing market.

If the agreed-upon-price is $450,000 and the appraisal comes in at $395,000, who will cover the difference? The lender will only cover the $395,000. This can throw a wrench in the whole process.

Another thing to consider is the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which prohibits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lenders from having direct contact with the appraisers.

This results in lenders working with appraisal management companies which can include appraisers with limited experience and knowledge of the area being appraised.

Tips for getting the best appraisal.


Request an appraiser from your lender that works frequently in the county the property is located in. It is important to also make sure your appraiser has a professional designation and a residential appraiser certification. A couple of examples are: Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) and Appraisal Institute’s Senior Residential Appraisar (SRA). Be present when the appraisal takes place. Mention any information regarding short sales, foreclosures and local comps that you are aware of.


Before ever listing your home, get an appraisal. Find a certified, qualified appraiser in your area. This will help you set a realistic price for your home. Make your pre-appraisal available to any interested buyers and the buyer’s appraiser. If an appraisal comes in low ask questions. Something may have been missed.

Best of luck on your next appraisal experience!

Posted in Home Buying Tips.

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