Appeal Your Real Estate Appraisal
Last week I received the results of a recent appraisal of our home for a refinance. I was shocked to learn the appraised value was significantly lower than I expected. The appraiser had indicated the value of the property had fallen by $50k in the past 25 months (when our last appraisal was done).
The lender suggested I immediately appeal the appraisal. There is no cost to appeal so there wasn't a downside to at least trying to get the appraisal adjusted to be more inline with what we expected.
Here are the tips I learned along the way about filing an appraisal appeal:
- Keep in mind appraisals rarely get adjusted based on an appeal.
- Use publicly available data (common data sources are county property records and MLS data) to demonstrate why you think an adjustment is warranted.
- Keep emotions out of the appeals, the appraiser typically reads the appeal so statements about the mental capacity of the appraiser in check.
- Compare the appraisal to other appraisals you may have received to look in differences/discrepancies in calculation methods.
I reviewed the appraisal and in my appeal highlighted 3 points to make the case for an adjustment:
- I submitted 2 comparables that were in the same proximity as those in the appraisal, but more recent transactions whose price/sq ft was more favorable.
- One unfavorable comparable was listed in the appraisal as having the same approximate heated square footage as our house, but county property records indicates the house is about 300 sq feet smaller. I included a copy of county property records that showed the smaller square footage.
- The appraiser did not make any adjustments for land size. Our property is .5-1 acre bigger than the lots on the comparables used and no adjustment was made for the larger lot size. All previous appraisals on this property had made adjustments for lot size. I included a copy of the county property records that indicated the lot size for all the properties.
Im not optimistic that the appeal will work as I have little hope that the appraiser will acknowledge errors in his comparable analysis; at best I'm hoping he will revise it upwards ~$15k. However, even $10k would give me the flexibility of not having to pay down $8k in our mortgage refinance.
Related in Real Estate:
No Closing Cost Loan Example (Nov 29, 2012) I've gotten multiple requests to clarify the recent no closing cost refinance loan I just completed. Its a bit of a vague term and could be done different ways, but the end result is that there are no out of...
3.5% 30 Year Fixed No Closing Cost Refinance (Nov 27, 2012) We finally closed this week on our 3.5% 30 year fixed refinance with no closing costs (no closing costs = a credit from lender/broker large enough to offset refinance costs). It took us over 2 months (67 days from initial...
Appraisal Appeal Unsuccessful (Nov 05, 2012) Not much of a surprise, the appraiser dug in and didn't budge after we submitted our appraisal appeal: Our more favorable comparables were based on county property records. Interestingly the appraiser indicated the MLS data is generally considered more accurate...