When the Bank Says No. Have you ever been caught in this scenario? The buyer is eager to buy; the seller is eager to sell… and then BAM…. the home is appraised below the contract price. A lower than expected appraisal typically means a borrower must come up with a higher down-payment or lose the deal. Appraisal problems can have a big impact on a transaction.
According to the National Association of Realtors, In May 2013:
- 9% of real estate agents reported a contract cancellation;
- 10% reported a delay; and
- 13% experienced lower sales price negotiations due to a low appraisal
To challenge an appraisal, borrowers should make their case with the commissioning lender. The key to successfully rebutting an appraisal is leaving your emotions at the doorstep! A rebuttal needs to be limited to factual errors, flawed methodology by the appraiser and/or additional new or missed “comps”, which are recently sold homes that are comparable to the home that is for sale. During the housing crisis, comps were sometimes hard to find and appraisers often included foreclosures or short sales. However, with home sales improving, it is now worth pulling more comps to see if an appraiser missed something. Appraisals of luxury homes should be detailed and display a higher level of specialized knowledge than those for conventional homes.
How to Challenge a Low Appraisal? Draft a Rebuttal Letter!
- As the borrower, you should draft a letter with help from your real estate agent and a hired appraiser
- Stick to the facts – avoid emotional pleas
- Include data, exhibits and professional opinions to support your claim of errors in the appraisal
- State that if the flaws aren’t promptly corrected, the appraiser will be reported to the licensing board for further investigation
- Have the rebuttal professionally bound and sent to all the parties in the transaction.
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