This is not an uncommon occurence.
An appraiser's "opinion" of value should be strictly based on facts - the amounts that similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for in the past 3-6 months. What someone is willing to pay or what your neighbor got for his uglier house last summer is irrelevant. Because no two homes are exactly the same, there is some subjectivity involved. For example, if house A has a deck and house B doesn't there may be a SMALL difference in value. If you spent $15,000 on a deck, do not expect it will add that amount to the appraised value. More like $2-3,000. That's just the way it is.
If you beleive the value is bogus, you have a couple options.
You can contest the value and request that they adjust it. You will need to provide at least 3-4 SOLD comps that more closely reflect your home. You can't just try and find comps to support your case. They have to be better comps than the appraiser used. Think airtight case. This is often fruitless but it's worth a try.
You can commission another appraisal. But you have to be prepared that the 2nd appraisal could come in the same or even lower. If it comes in lower then the lender has to use the lower of the two so this could backfire. Note: if the buyer is using an FHA loan then you generally can't order a new appraisal. As a matter of fact, that appraisal sticks with your property for 6 months and any future FHA buyers have to use that appraised value too.
My advice is to review your options with your realtor. Beleive it or not, you might be priced too high and it won't matter if someone is willing to over pay, unless you run into the magical "cash buyer". From there you can either lower the price down to the appraised value, offer to make a compromise with the buyer somewhere in the middle, or stick to your guns and be prepared to put the home back on the market. Just beware that walking away does not guarantee you won't run into the same exact issues in a month or two. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!
Good luck!... more