Buying our first home, lender appraisals come in lower, sellers appraisal!?

Our lender's appraisal came in alot lower than the agreed selling price. We presented to the seller's, of course that made everyone upset- so they hired their own appraiser and they came back with a higher amount- very close to the agreed sales price. We then presented back to the lenders for further review and for them to hopefully increase the loan they give us. My question is if the lender can't come up to the seller's appraisal amount and obviously the sellers want the original agreed price- is it wise to go with another lender and start this whole horrible process again...? and run the risk that it might be the same dilemma after spending hundred of dollars in credit check, and appraisal fees? Or should we as the buyers get a third appraisal done? We really love the house but the process is really making this dream into a nightmare....any assistance by anyone that have gone through this process is appreciated!


Thanks for all the answers so far- I've been doing some research and apparently during May 2009, lenders who sell their loan through secondary markets to Fannie Mae etc (our current lender falls under this category) has to follow this HVACC (Home valuation code of conduct). HVACC requires their selection of appraisers to be chosen from a third party. The downside is that appraisers chosen either or out of state or inexperienced- the latter which might be in our case since i googled our appraiser and he started working during 2004.

They do not mention anything with direct lenders- does this HVACC apply to all? Or would it really be worth it for me to go to another lender, a direct one and perhaps have a more experienced appraiser ? Or we should just stick to our apartment and never buy at all! lol

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Seller's appraisers will always give their client a boost in price opinion, because that is who is paying them. Your lender can't accept the sellers appraisal. They are required by law to use a non-biased appraiser that is not chosen by either the seller or the buyer.

    If both appraisals were close, then there might be a chance of some compromise on the lender side (only of the lender appraiser is willing to increase the value), but if there is more than a 3% difference your lenders hands are tied. They won't be able to make the loan unless the seller lowers the sales price to the lenders appraised value or if you are willing to pay the difference in cash up front along with your down payment.

  • 1 decade ago

    Since the whole Mortgage meltdown, there have been many new rules and regulations come down that lenders have to abide by. One of those rules have to do with the relationship between a lender and an appraiser. In the past there was a lot of fraud involving inflated appraisal prices, many times due to the lender pressuring the appraisers to come in with higher values. The lender cannot consider the appraisal your seller has had done. He is an interested party. Neither will it do you any good to have your own appraisal done - the lender cannot use it. Your lender really can't order another appraisal, either, just because he doesn't like what the appraiser came in with. Due to limited communications allowed, about all your lender can do is review the appraisal presented, and if there are blatant errors, such as comparables that are not comparable, about all they can do is request that the appraiser consider more or other comps, and see if the value comes up some. But, to be honest, in my experience, that doesn't often raise the value by a substantial amount.

    You are more than welcome to go to another lender, and start the process all over again, but you will be taking the chance that a new appraisal will come in low, too.

    We, as lenders, cannot pick and choose who we want to do an appraisal. We have a list of appraisers that are on our approved list, and, at least in our institution, we have to rotate them out in an impartial way, so often, it is the luck of the draw who does the appraisal. Many lenders have them ordered through a third party so they have no say in who does the appraisal. This is all due to fraud in the past.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions.

  • 1 decade ago

    I feel for you! I've been in real estate for numerous years and have seen this happen one too many times. There are options here, depending on how saavy you/your real estate agent are, and there is an upside as well.

    Starting with the upside, which is always where I'd start, whenever I'm in this situation I've always taken the new appraisal and used it against the seller. I've always met with them and stated the honest facts, which are as follows: a $200,000 home can be compared to a $100,000 home, and in many peoples eyes look similar. It can also be compared to a $300,000 home and look similar. The difference is in the eye of the beholder. The bank pays an appraiser, in most cases not knowing who they are, to go to the home and give them an honest assessment of the home price. If it's equal-or-more-than the sales price, they're comfortable giving the loan. If not, the appraiser has just protected them. Either way, the appraiser knows they can do an honest job, get paid, and continue to work for that client (the bank). On the other hand, if a home owner invests in an appraiser, that appraiser is going to use the best possible comps they can to value the property, because THEIR client wants to see a high value. This ensures that any potential business in the future will come their way. Those two things understood, it's very reasonable for two different values to come in, the seller's being higher. I've had this work out in the positive many, many times, telling the seller that if they decline my offer, they'll not only sit on the market longer, but even if they do receive another offer, the next buyer's bank will probably reject it just as ours has.

    A second option, if that doesn't work and you still want to move forward on a possibly overpriced home, is to sit down personally with both appraisers and ask them to tell you about their comparable homes that they used to find the value. Ask them how they found them, how the square footage, age, location, and condition compared, and if they actually went to that home and saw the inside of it. This could push either one of them to move their value, either of which (assuming the home is more important to you than the price) would be beneficial to you.

    There are other options as well, but these are the strongest. If you have more questions, or concerns, feel free to call me at anytime and I'd be more than happy to help. I LOVE seeing people finding a home they love!!

    Source(s): Too many years in the real estate sales and investing industry.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The first 4 posts are WRONG. First, what type of loan are you getting. If VA or FHA, you have the right to walk away and get your money back. However, you can also take the lower appraisal and pay the 2000 at settlement OR work out a split (or all) with the seller. 2nd, what does your contract say? If should address this issue. 3rd. If the contract doesn't' address the issue and you are not getting a VA or FHA loan, they you must accept the appraisal and pay the 2000 at settlement, unless you can work out a deal with the seller. Talk with your agent

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  • PD
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Be careful. If you get it appraised for a higher amount or go with the seller's value you can get stuck with a house that isn't worth what you owe. This is acommon problem now with the crash in the housing market. Try getting another appraisal, 3rd party disinterested.

  • 1 decade ago

    If this is a can't-do-without-home, then consider putting up the difference. Bring to the table the difference between the loan and the appraisal value!

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,I had almoust the same problem..Found here some answers.It may help you.Goog Luck anyway!

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