Profile picture for smalho

home appraisal

Our home appraisal came out very low, almost 100,000 less than purchase value 3 years ago. The appraiser included the home sold next door for very low price due to financial problems. He did not consider any upgrades in our home in the appraisal. We have stainless steel appliances in kitchen with granite countertops. Is it fair to do so and should i call the appraiser about this
  • May 22 2009 - Naperville
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for liau77
We waged a war on the bad appraisal. It came $25K lower than we expected, and the calculations looked unreasonable. There were 3 comparables, and one rental property sold in a very bad shape, and the appraiser chose to take into consideration 2 comparables and that ran-down house. We successfully argued by e-mails and phone calls, not with the appraiser, but with the loan officer, and she would tell the arguments to the appraiser. My husbands realtor said we could appeal the appraisal. We were verbal and relentless, but made reasonable points, and, luckily, the appraisal was changed to be only $5K lower. :-) It was very tiring, though, so think what you want to do. There are options for you.
  • July 10 2009
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Profile picture for Space_Truss
Appraisal fraud is very common in some areas, most of the underwriters started to do online search of the area in addition to the appraisal report.

If you paid 500 3 years ago, and can sell your house for 400 today, I think you are lucky. In AA county Maryland, almost everyone who paid 500 in 2006 sold for less tan 400 in 2008.
  • July 08 2009
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I agree with all of the responses below, but just wanted to add that a bank is always going to look at the value of your home from the worst case perspective.  One of the reasons they evaluate an appraisal is to see the value of the property they would have on their books if you were to foreclose.  So from that perspective, comparing it to other distressed sales actually makes sense (unfortunately).  So a lender is unlikely to just "throw out" comparables from distressed sales.
  • July 08 2009
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Arguing with the appraiser won't do you any good.
Most home values, even in really nice areas, have gone down 15-20% off peak. Take what you bought it for times .8, and that's probably a decent ballpark. Cosmetic improvements are subjective, and nice upgrades liek stainless appliances and granite counters cost quite a bit, but are not getting you as much of a return, especially today. And there are people with financial problems selling for cheap everywhere, along with foreclosures everywhere, and bring the values down. It's part of the bigger problem.
You could pay for another appraisal for a second opinion. You could look your house up on zillow.com  You could look up current listings on refin.com to see what houses are going for. You could call a realtor and tell them you are thinking about selling your place, and what do they think it could fetch.
Chances are, though, is that the values is much less than what you thought. Sorry, but that's the harsh reality.
  • May 28 2009
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Profile picture for shapiroamg
Now how is the appraiser going to substantiate the next door neighbor's financial issues? Were they ever in foreclosure? As for the other comps, are they also on the same street or neighborhood? Were they sold prior to or after the neighbors? where are similar properties that are on the market now being priced? how long have they been on the market? 

Sorry for all the questions, but I would figure that some of these play into the value arrived by the appraiser.
  • May 22 2009
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Profile picture for smalho
the other properties used were 40000-70000 higher than next door property.
  • May 22 2009
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Profile picture for shapiroamg
Even with those circumstances, it would be very hard for an appraiser to ignore a comparable property right next door.

You can definately call the appraiser. What were the other comparable properties? were they valued the much higher than the next door property?

  • May 22 2009
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