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Home Appraisal – What If Your Home Didn’t Appraise?

Home Appraisal  – What If Your Home Didn’t Appraise?

In this article, you’ll find all the information regarding the Home Appraisal Process and, what to do when your home does not appraise

  1. What is a home appraisal?

    A real -estate appraisal closely examines a property to determine its value at the time of sale. The appraiser physically inspects the property gathering the following information: taking measurements, taking photographs, taking information about the features of the property and neighborhood information, and considering comparable properties in the area in order to determine value.                       

  2. Why is an appraisal necessary?

    In most real estate transactions, the buyer requires a mortgage from a lender. The lender wants to make sure the property’s value will cover the loan amount it is going to lend to the buyer if for some reason the buyer will default on the loan.  Appraisals are sometimes initiated by sellers who want to establish the value of their home either before selling or if they plan to refinance.

  3. Who are the appraisers and how are they hired?

    The lender giving the loan hires the appraiser through a third party. The lender and the third party are not associated and are not allowed to be in direct communication. Appraisers are licensed after having completed 300 hours licensing course and, internship hours.

  4. What does an appraisal cost?

    Appraisal cost depends on the complexity of the property and the area in the country. An appraisal for a typical property should be in the ballpark of $450-$900.

  5. Who pays for the appraisal and, who owns the information?

    In most cases, the buyer who takes the loan is the one who pays for it. Although rare, sometimes the home seller will pay for the appraisal in order to move the sale forward. The party that orders the appraisal is the one that owns the information. The mortgage holder is required by law,  to give the buyer a copy of the appraisal.

  6. Are appraisals a contingency to the sale?

    Depending on market conditions and part of the country the property is at. Most transactions are not subject to an appraisal, however, this is negotiable. For example, in a seller’s market, most sellers will not agree to such a condition.

  7. Is a Zestimate from Zillow the same as an appraisal?

    Absolutely not! Using Zillow home valuation is one of the worst ways to determine a property’s value. A Zillow valuation is done using a very broad brush that cannot and does not take into consideration specific market conditions, specific property’s location, updates, look, etc. Many times the Zestimate is off by over $100,000 the to actual market value.

  8. When are two appraisals required by the lender?

    Jumbo loans require two appraisals. Some jumbo investors require a 2nd appraisal at all times. Others may only require a 2nd appraisal when the loan amount exceeds a certain amount such as $1,500,000 or, $2,000,000.  Guidelines require two appraisals. Certain programs may require two appraisals if the subject property is a flip. A flip is when an investor bought the home, remodeled it, and sells it for a profit, all within a few months. The investor wants to ensure the value is accurate with such a rapid increase in price.

  9. If your home did not appraise – What next?

    Always make sure that your realtor meets the appraiser and hands him/her his/her own comparables. Getting an appraisal increased is not easy but it is not impossible. Here’s what needs to be done. Get a copy of the appraisal and look for mistakes. The most common would be to challenge the comparables used by the appraiser. If the appraiser is not from the area, challenge him/her with your own comparables as they may have not added enough value for features that warranted the value.

    By and large, appraisers will give top consideration to comparable neighborhood home sales within the past six months. Aesthetic qualities such as paint color or landscaping might be important to YOU when choosing a home, but appraisers do not give much credence to “subjective” home qualities. So, no matter how green the grass is, it’s not likely to influence the appraiser’s opinion.

    If disputing the value with the appraiser directly does not work (it’s hard to get appraisers to change their minds once they had sent the report) then send the refutation directly to the mortgage company.

    Lastly, have the buyers apply to a second mortgage company. Once a buyer has given all their documentation to a mortgage company, applying to a second company can be easier and you may be able to cut 7-10 days. Buyers should understand that just because a house did not appraise does not mean they are overpaying for it!