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Can I get a refund for an appraisal after it has been completed?

I know that the answer is likely no, but I have to ask since I feel like I paid $400 for erroneous work.

I am refinancing the $436,000 balance on the loan for my San Diego home.  The appraisal came back at $498,000 due to what I feel are inappropriate comparison homes.  My home is on the rim of a canyon, and the lot contains a lot the actual canyon land, whereas the comps were all in the middle of city blocks.  I appealed the appraisal and submitted what I felt were better comparisons.  All of my picks had the same number of beds/baths, were within 10% of the sq footage of my home, were more recent sales than the ones used by the appraiser.

The appraiser refuted the appeal and cited that my suggested comparisons didn't count due to minor differences in age, area and upgrades.

Ultimately, the low appraisal killed the loan because PMI would have been invoked and it no longer made the deal worthwhile for me.

I locked in a rate with a different lender and got a new appraisal.  The second appraisal was conducted just two weeks after the first but came in at $627,000 because he correctly used comparison homes that were canyon-rim homes like mine.

I know appraisers are subjective humans.  But at a certain point, you can't just use inferior methodologies.  Can I get my appraisal fee back?  Perhaps I can dispute the charge with my credit card company (after my other loan closes, of course)?
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February 05 2013 - Adams North
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The simple answer is probably not, as an appraisal request is a request for work completed and an opinion of value by a trained/licensed professional, but in your case maybe. 

Did the 2nd appraisal you get use any of the comps that you suggested? If so, and maybe even if not, the least I would do is contact the appraisal management company and show them the second appraisal you bought. That is a huge difference in opinion of value and one of the appraisers got it wrong. 

I would like to know what happens with this if you do pursue it. I would hope they would give you something for the the expense as the new appraisal was so much higher than the first one. That is like night and day. 

Sincerely,
Greg
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February 05 2013
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Thanks all!  I will contact the appraisal management company and seek a refund using the second appraisal as ammo.  I'll let you know how it goes!
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February 05 2013
As always, very thoughtful and thorough responses, Greg.  Thanks for your valuable input!
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February 05 2013
I've had only one successful rebuttal out of maybe five total.  I did have one client who was successful disputing the charge with her credit card company claiming that she paid for a defective product. 
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February 05 2013
Most appraisals go through a management company.   Your best approach might be to call the management company and explain your frustration with the result and poor quality work, they might consider a partial refund for customer service reasons.   

As you know they have no obligation to refund you as the work was performed, so consider anything you get back as a win.

Glad to hear you got a better result on the second effort.  
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February 05 2013
 
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Can I get a refund for an appraisal after it has been completed?
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February 05 2013 | 5 answers
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