Awful Appraisal. Now What?

Updated: Oct 8, 2018

For most of us, appraisals become part of our lives with our first home purchase. However, we may also need appraisals to refinance our home, to help with asset division during a separation or divorce, to verify value in the case of an intra family transfer and to value an estate in the case of bereavement.

For a home purchase or refinance, an appraisal typically will cost between $500-$750. This appraisal will be ordered by your lender. Personal appraisals, however, usually cost between $700-1,200 because as individuals we do not benefit from the bank’s volume discount.

Yet, all appraisals and appraisers are not created equal. The appraisal process itself can be highly subjective and appraisal results can vary greatly based on the competency and care of a particular appraiser as well as the sales comparisons that the appraiser chooses to use. I recently received an appraisal from a well-known local company that was error ridden and more than 35% off in market value. It was especially egregious in that the appraiser used single family home sales comparables for a duplex (a completely different property type!)

Should you or a loved one need an appraisal from a competent local appraiser, I would be happy to provide you with referrals to local appraisers. And, should you receive an awful appraisal for any reason, I would be happy to help you in disputing the appraisal’s value with property information and relevant sales comparables from the local marketplace.

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