What if the appraised value isn’t what I expected?

A drawn image of a house and dollar sign with a magnifying

When you make an offer on a property, both you and your real estate agent should have a solid idea of what the appraised value will be.

When you apply for home financing, your financer will need to know that the home is worth the amount you’re asking to finance. So a professional appraiser will evaluate the property, looking at the condition of anything that is permanently affixed to the house. They’re not evaluating the decor or furniture—they’re looking at physical characteristics like the home’s age, square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, and the location.

The hope is that the appraisal is close to your offer. If you’re surprised by the value the appraisal assigns to the house, your next steps will depend on whether the appraisal was high or low. If the value from the appraiser comes back higher than what you agreed to pay for the property, then there would be no issue for you. Congrats! You have immediate equity.

However, if the value comes back lower than the agreed-upon price, a few issues will come up. The first is a question as to whether the value that came back is correct.

Recent sales of similar homes in the area could drive down the value if they are lower than your contract price. You and your real estate agent can ask for a review of the appraisal through the appraisal management company that sent the appraiser.

You may also order a new appraisal with a different management company and appraiser if your home financier will allow it. In this case, you would have to pay for the second appraisal as well as for the first.

Since the home financer will only finance an amount based on whichever is lower between the appraisal or contract price, one of two things must happen if the value remains low. Either the sale price must come down, or you must cover the difference between the appraised value and the sale price.

If the seller is unable or unwilling to lower the price, then you would either come up with the difference or move on to another property.

We’re here to support your Islamic Home Financing needs. Your Guidance Residential Account Executive is here to help with any questions. Looking to refinance or purchase? Rates have dropped to historic lows! Have a friend or family member who is looking for a home? Call 1.866.Guidance, or start an application today.

Have friends or family members that may be in need of down payment assistance, check out our down payment assistance for qualified buyers.


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