Sy Nguyễn, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

Is it typical for the seller's side to be nonresponsive when the appraisal is lower than the offer price in hopes that we terminate the contract?

Asked by Sy Nguyễn, Chicago, IL Sat Feb 12, 2011

The home we are interested was appraised lower than our offer price. We have the appropriate mortgage and appraisal/purchase contingencies and the seller waived their right to provide financing. We contacted the seller's attorney of this issue, but the seller, agent, and attorney have been nonresponsive other than saying they would provide more comps to get the home reappraised more accurately, but have not come forth with this information to our lender's appraiser. Using Trulia, we were able to quickly find comps for the home aside from the comps found in our appraisal report, so the lack of comps is not an issue, nor is the time to find them, either. Is their nonresponsiveness a tactic used for us to force the issue by either terminating the contract because the appraisal has not come in their favor, opening the door up for renegotiations which they aren't willing to do, perhaps?

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They are not going to be happy about it but they will have to talk, even Obama will come to the negotiating table at some point.

We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (630) 639-1081.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 8, 2013
This happens all to often with the pressure on appraisers, and the short sale and foreclosure sales bringing down average sale prices. I makes it hard when a run down foreclosure gets fixed up to draw the right price. The lender will not lend above the buyer and seller should be actively trying top resolve the difference as any other buyer will be in the same pickle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 8, 2013
I think first thing you want to do is talk to your Attorney! He/She has to let the other party know that you are still interested on the property and you are still looking to buy the property in the new terms !!!

They should Understand that Reactivating the property will not do any good for the seller ! If your loan is Fha is even worse ....they can't take another FHA offer higher than what your property appraised for ----the price will be in the system!

if the difference on price is couple thousands i am sure you will work it out ! Happens all the time!

Last week i closed a deal where the seller initially accepted an offer $268,000 -$4000 credit back to the buyer . The property appraised only $260,000. Short story --deal closed with 260,000 and NO more credits to the buyer! Seller accepted $4000 less and buyer had to bring the extra $4,000 for closing!
Good luck to you ! "IF There is a will ....there is a way!"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 7, 2013
Sometimes could be adjusted in foreclosures and shortsale if they think that is an honest appraisal ....
i was in the same case Shortsale seller adjusted 30k lower ! great for the buyer !
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 16, 2013
What I have here is not legal advice, I am surprised your agent and attorney cannot address this concern. The ball is in your court as a buyer until the mortgage contingency waiver date. YOU as the buyer waive the mortgage contingency, not the seller. So if the mortgage waiver date was last Thursday, Did your attorney ask for an extension when the seller was notified of the below sales price appraisal? if the seller is unresponsive now, I suspect the waiver day is passed and YOU in effect waived the mortgage contingency. What is the seller to do? Offer to match appraisal after the waiver date? No, it is your side's responsibility to keep track of the mortgage expiration time frame and request the price be modified to match the appraisal within the time-line of the executed contract. My concern if I were you is that the waiver date has passed and you waived your mortgage contingency and now need to bring more money to closing, (since loan amount is based on appraisal) or risk default on the contract and loss of earnest money. You cannot renegotiate the contract if you violated the time frame. Hopefully you had a lawyer help to this point, but there is a good chance you might have to proceed to close with a mortgage based on appraisal and bring additional sums of money to cover the difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
Good Morning Roger;
Irrespective of the non-responsive owner/attorney, how do you feel?
The appraisal came in low...yes it could be a mistake and yes there's a possibility it could be adjusted; but I would still see it as the home is worth $X and the offer is worth $X+
If you still want the home, attempt to renegotiate the contract for $X and set a time-line for a response. If it does not work out it was just not meant to be. There will be a better home out there.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011

First understand and appreciate that the seller wants to sell their placing you in a position of backing out is counter productive to their cause. Additionally, a low appraisal or one that is not an accurate reflection of the current local RE market is an awakening that their home may be overpriced. What this means to a potential buyer with financing needs is that in all likelyhood a lender will not approve the buyers funding. This should bring the seller to the realization that accurate pricing is critical to their success.

Roger, keep in mind the the delay may be a direct result of working with an attorney, an appraiser, and a buyer that doesn't want to lose your deal.

If you really want the home, it may require you to be patient.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
Hi Roger,

Did your agent pull SOLD comps before you made the offer? An appraiser will only use sold comparable properties since the price on available properties means nothing. A seller can list their home for any price they want. Sold comparables show what a ready, willing, and able buyer paid for a home.

When a home appraisal is lower than the purchase price you only have 4 options:

- seller reduces the price to the appraised value
- buyer makes up the difference by bringing cash to the table (the mortgage company will only lend up to the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is lower)
- seller reduces the price a little and buyer makes up the difference
-the deal falls apart

You can try to appeal the appraisal (if you have sold comparables to justify it) but many appraisers won't budge on their number. Most mortgage companies will not allow you to order a second appraisal (do you want to spend the money to try). If you do, you can always apply for a mortgage with a different company and cross your fingers that a new appraisal comes in at your purchase price.

If your loan is an FHA mortage, the current appraisal stays in the system, attached to the home, for a few months. You don't even have the option for a new mortgage company/appraisal. How much effort do you want to put into purchasing a home at a higher amount than it appraised for?

If the seller won't give a response, you should put something in writing with a timeline. Unfortunately, you may have to walk away from the home.


Joe Finnerty
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Lehigh Valley Office, PA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 12, 2011
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