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What to do With a Low Appraisal

By Conrad Bastable

A low appraisal can seriously hurt your chances of selling your home, but there isn't a lot you can do to change that. Once the value is in, a reappraisal is the only way to change it - and the chances that you'll get a higher number are slim to none. So what should you do?

  • If the appraisal value is only a little lower than you were expecting the standard down payment on the home might be able to cover the difference
  • If your purchase contract with the buyer has an appraisal contingency, they have the right to leave your agreement - leaving you high and dry
  • If there wasn't an appraisal contingency, the buyer might try to void the contract or go through other legal trouble
  • As mentioned above, a second appraisal can increase your selling power, but it's wise to speak to a real estate agent to see whether or not this is even worthwhile
  • Finally, you may be forced to lower your price down to the appraisal value. While you and your real estate agent might feel that the price is already at "market value", a low appraisal doesn't leave you much wiggle room
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