I am assuming here that you are represented by a competent buyers agent who is helping you to evaluate what you should be offering. Your agent is part of the equation here. A big part. Your agent, and the listing agent, should meet the appraiser at the property when he comes to do his visit, and supply comps that support the price; and invite feedback from the appraiser if he has any questions.
I've not had a single buyer have a problem with the appraiser. I have, however, had sellers who are shocked when appraisals come in low. One was successfully challenged and changed, and the sale went through. The other was a crazy appraiser.
In case I have misunderstood and you do not have a buyers agent, I encourage you to get one. A good one would be helping with the problem solving here. I am in Leesburg, feel free to call me anytime 703-669-3142 / email@example.com
Amy is correct. This is happening quite a bit and I know it can be frustrating. The only thing I would add to what she said, is have your buyers agent comp out the neighborhood before putting together your next offer. This is what we call a Market Analysis. It will give you an idea of what the home should appraise for, at least generally speaking. This will also help dictate what your inital offer should be. I would not dictate you next move by what the seller is asking. Many sellers are not asking realistic prices, even in today's market. This is why analyzing the recent sales will give you a much accurate number to work with.
Hope this helps and best of luck!!!
Low appraisals are so common now and I know its frustrating for buyers, sellers, agents, lenders...everybody! If you have the knowledge about a given neighborhood or subdivision on what past sales have been and what current asking prices are now, you should be able to narrow down your search for a home to those sellers who are realistic with their asking prices.
A good buyer's agent should be able to help educate you about your preferred home locations and what those homes are averaging in sales prices.
Best of luck to you!