What Should You Do if Your Appraisal Comes Back Too Low?

What Should You Do if Your Appraisal Comes Back Too Low

If you’re like many people, you know that a home appraisal is an important part of most real estate transactions. So what can you do if yours comes back low? This guide explains.

What Should You Do if Your Appraisal Comes Back Too Low?

When a buyer wants to take out a mortgage loan to purchase a home, the lender typically sends an appraiser to determine the property’s value. If the appraisal says that the home is worth more than what the seller is asking, the lender usually has no problem allowing the buyer to borrow that amount of money.

However, if the appraisal says that the home is worth less than what the seller is asking, things get pretty sticky. Lenders don’t like to let people borrow more than a home is worth – so sometimes they offer to let a buyer borrow the same amount that the home appraised for. The buyer usually has a few options at this point. They can ask the seller to lower the price, come up with the additional money on their own, or walk away from the deal.

If you are faced with this situation and your deal is at risk because the home appraised too low, what can you do?

Most real estate agents recommend that you ask the appraiser to take a second look (through the lender, of course) or ask for a second appraisal. You can do both if you’d like. Or, if it’s easier, you may simply wish to lower your asking price or otherwise negotiate with the buyer.

Join our team

Please fill out the below form completely and include your resume & cover letter and we will get back to you quickly!

  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 50 MB.

    Asking the Appraiser to Review Their Report

    Sometimes it’s worth working with your real estate agent to contact the lender to ask for a review. You may want to include comparable properties in the neighborhood, as well as other assets that the appraiser may have overlooked. Often, appraisers are willing to reopen files to look at new evidence that they may have missed the first time around.

    Related: The things you should take with you when you leave the house for a showing

    Asking for a Second Appraisal

    Usually, if you can’t get the appraiser to take a second look, or if you feel that the first appraiser was biased in some way, it’s a good idea to ask the lender – through you’re a real estate agent, of course – to send out a different appraiser. However, if you do this, you will most likely be responsible for paying that appraiser’s fee. (Home appraisals typically cost between $300 and $500.)

    Beautiful Townhome in Hunters Green $349,900 Pending

    17543 Fairmeadow Drive Tampa, Florida

    2 Beds 2 Baths 1,747 SqFt 0.090 Acres

    This delightful 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath Townhome in the well-manicured community of Copperfield Townhomes boasts numerous updates and a spacious open feel with vaulted ceilings and additional natural lighting and views exclusive to the end units. The kitchen features all new appliances, solid oak cabinets, beautiful quartz countertops, an elevated countertop with additional storage on the back side, and a convenient pantry closet. Beyond the kitchen is the finished lanai, with AC and a large storage room, or step out to the screened-in porch where you can enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee and early morning breezes. The half bath, an interior laundry nook with New full-sized washer and dryer, and the spandrel under-stair storage closet complete the downstairs. Upstairs you’ll find a split bedroom layout with the master bedroom and second bedroom being separated by a bonus space which is perfect for a home office or game room. Both bathrooms upstairs feature new shaker-style vanities with beautiful quartz countertops. The second bathroom offers a walk-in shower with new contemporary tile, while the master provides a tub/shower combination. The spacious master bedroom suite boasts a walk-in closet as well as a wall closet, a linen closet, and two nice-sized windows. Other notable features include a newer water heater (2020), new A/C unit, updated electric, new water softener system,gorgeous wood-look laminate flooring throughout, stylish baseboards, chair rails, full-sized washer and dryer, ceiling fans, and ample closets & storage. The well-manicured Copperfield Townhome community is pet friendly (with restrictions) and offers a sparkling community pool, sidewalks, and maintenance-free Florida living. Take advantage of plenty of parking with one assigned space at your front door and guest parking nearby. Centrally located with easy access to the Veterans Expressway, shopping, restaurants, Tampa International Airport, and beaches, this charming home offers both comfort and convenience.  Don’t miss out. Schedule your private tour today! $299,900 Active

    7524 Hollowell Drive Tampa, Florida

    2 Beds 3 Baths 1,396 SqFt 0.020 Acres

    Look no further! This stunning block home is the epitome of what you've been searching for. Meticulously maintained, it boasts 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, plus bonus add-on rooms. With granite countertops in the kitchen, ceramic tile throughout, and a 2023 roof and A/C, this home offers both style and substance. Freshly painted inside and out, it exudes charm with beautiful stone detailing on the exterior. Enjoy the convenience of no CDD or HOA fees, and relish its prime location just minutes from the highway for an easy commute, close to Tampa International Airport, fine dining, and fabulous parks. Don't miss out on the opportunity to make this income-producing property yours! $379,000 Active

    2405 Durham Street Tampa, Florida

    2 Beds 2 Baths 1,488 SqFt 0.110 Acres

    Welcome home to this lovely open concept townhome in North Tampa. As you walk in, you'll be greeted by an updated open style kitchen, which is not typical for this community. Washer and dryer are located inside the townhome for convenience. Upstairs you'll find two spacious bedrooms each with their own bathroom. Flooring has been updated throughout the home. Lighting has been updated as well with LED lighting in some areas. Another rarity, is a wood burning fireplace which is located on the living room. This townhome offers a rare backyard space which is chic and spacious. It's a perfect place to hangout and grill. The backyard is also fully fenced in and has a storage closet. The community offers a pool and tennis courts as well as ample parking for both residents and guests. The HOA takes care of all exterior and community maintenance. This unit has a newer roof and siding! The location is ideal with easy access to I-275. $260,000 Active

    13813 Stone Mill Way Tampa, Florida

    2 Beds 3 Baths 1,261 SqFt 0.040 Acres

    What if You Believe Discrimination Was Involved?

    It’s one thing to think an appraiser made a few mistakes, and entirely another thing to believe discrimination was involved in a low appraisal decision. If you believe that discrimination was involved, talk to your real estate agent. You may wish to file a complaint with the fair housing agency, contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or file a complaint with the state appraisal board. As a last resort, you may even consider hiring an attorney who focuses on fair housing issues to help prevent the same thing from happening to other people.

    Related: The only kitchen staging tips you’ll ever need

    Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Tampa Bay?

    You can use this website to search homes for sale in Tampa Bay and all its communities. Our site is directly connected to the Tampa Bay MLS, and we update our listings every hour. You can even use our site to create your own account and get emails as soon as a new home hits the market, price change alerts and so much more.

    While you’re here, check out these listings:

    Waterfront homes for sale in Tampa