From what you are saying, it sounds like the appraiser just duplicated the previous appraisal.
What you can do is press the buyer's lender to have the appraisal reviewed. They may or may not.
If you feel the appraiser did not do what was expected and what was paid for, you can file a complaint with the Nebraska Real Property Appraisal Board - http://www.appraiser.ne.gov/
FHA guidelines require a second appraisal for properties located in a declining market, however, effective as of last Wednesday, no second appraisal is required for loans exceeding $417,000 and for cash-out refi's. A second appraisal is still required when a property is resold between 91 and 180 days following acquisition by the seller, and/or if the resale price is 100 percent higher than the price paid by the seller when the property was acquired.
You did not mention what the updates were so I cannot comment on them, however, in regards to the new appliances -- They may or may not add value. If they do (determined by market reaction to such amenities) the amount of increase will not equal the cost dollar for dollar. There is also the principle of substitution that comes into play, whereas new appliances serve the same functional utility as older appliances, same with different types of floor covering or window coverings. While new appliances may attract more buyer interest, the overall market reaction to similar properties dictates the amount of value increase, or decrease in some instances with some upgrades, improvements, and/or amenities.
As others have stated - if the appraisal does not affect the closing of the transaction, or changes the contract price, you may want to just ignore it.
In this economy, feel happy you did not see the appraisal come in even lower than it did. 19% was the average usa house price drop over the last year. It sounds like you did ok.
Unfortunately, an appraisal is a reflection of what similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and updates and applicances really don't affect the value much, if at all. In my experience, appliances are a non-factor and updates, while they may appeal to a prospective home buyer, hardly ever factor into the appraised value UNLESS the updates are uncommon to the homes in the area. Even then, you're lucky if it adds $1000-2000 to the value.
It's a sign of the times Brianne, and sad to say but there is probably nothing you can do about it except grin and bear it and try to make up the difference on the next home you buy.
best of luck
Is the house already sold? If so, then don't worry about it, it didn't affect your sale.
However, if you are still in escrow, then it's a different story....Did the appraisal come in lower than the buyer's purchase price?
If the appraisal came in at the purchase price or above, don't waste your time trying to get it re-appraised. The bank just wants to make sure they are not loaning money on a home that's valued below the purchase price. Most of the time (In my experience) appraisers come in at the purchase price, even if the property could easily appraise for 10k more.
If you really think the appraisal will affect the sale of your home, then ask your agent for a second evaluation.