What’s Going On With House Appraisals?
In a hot SunCrest real estate market, with low house inventory, and multiple-offer (aka bidding war) situations becoming more common; purchase prices are being driven up higher and higher. While that might sound great for a seller, it creates problems for buyers and sellers alike when the home is being evaluated prior to purchase: a low appraisal.
Appraisals: A Refresher
When a home is being sold, a professional home appraiser is usually hired to evaluate the property. While the home’s condition, maintenance, and improvements can be taken into consideration, the largest factor they use to calculate a home’s value is “comparables,” or more plainly, how much similar houses in your neighborhood have sold for.
Why (Low) Appraisals Matter
Unless there’s a cash offer, a seller needs to “sell” their home twice. First, the buyer has to make an offer at a certain price. Then, in order for a lender to make a loan, they also want to make sure a home is worth what they’re lending out, so an appraisal is required. When a market sees rapidly rising prices like we’ve seen in SunCrest recently, appraisal prices may lag behind current sales prices, and we see appraisal values that come in below the agreed offer price. This gap may cause some hiccups to an already emotional process.
What To Do With A Low Appraisal
Fortunately, you’re not without options if you’re faced with a low appraisal. At the time an offer is submitted and reviewed, discuss the options of the “what if the appraisal comes in low?” Are the REALTOR and seller prepared to dispute the value with the appraiser if they feel it is wrong? Does a buyer have the ability to pay above the appraised value and/or work with their lender to restructure a loan? Having an experienced professional on your team who knows all the angles, and who is able to support, educate, and most importantly communicate, may not only help a buyer or seller achieve their real estate goals but might potentially save thousands—even tens of thousands of dollars—in the event of a low appraisal value.