I have 27 years in full time residential appraisal. A couple of comments. First you are legally able to get a copy of the appraisal. You can do further investigation on each sale used ( drive by them, compare neighborhoods, use internet, review subject sales history etc...) Do the same for the sales provided provided by the agent. Be sure to find out the type of sale it was such as arms-length, short sale, foreclosures, auctions etc... Keep in mind that some of these were bought by investors who renovated the house and are justified for selling at profit.
Second, although there are some very good and educated in their profession, but there are also some who , let's say are not the brightest spoon in the drawer. So the comps they provide may be good or just sold for more or same but are NOT comparable to your house.
Third Banks are no longer allowed to choose the appraiser. So relationships built over years of working together ( bank know who they are working with and their professionalism). Now 3rd parties are ordering the appraisals. Most are interested in a true value. They just want it done fast and for a very low fee (they keep a large portion of fee charge to buyers). Many appraiser, due to slower times and working with these companies or whatever, are taking on assignment in which they are not qualified, including not properly knowing the area, EG Neighborhood s in zip 01609 range from most expensive and desirable to, lets just say less desirable. Some values can change from 1 or 2 streets away,
Bottom line is agents can submit additional sales. A good agent will have a package for the Appraiser which would include good comparables for considerations. Instead of after the fact. The most successful agents in the area are very well ready for the appraiser because they know how important the appraisal is to the sale. Some agents cannot be bothered to even meet the appraiser,
Last thing, you should not be upset when a good appraiser does not meet sales price . He is watching out for you as I am sure you do not want to overpay for a property. Be prudent and educated yourself ! Good luck... more