How can I contest an unfair home appraisal?

Asked by Jat, Roxborough, Philadelphia, PA Mon May 7, 2012

I own a single family, unattached 3 story home that is in very good condition. I bought the home 6 years ago for 245K and have invested over 60k in improvements. I was interested in refinancing at a lower rate and the appraiser valued my home at 200K but compared my home to incomparable attached row homes. I believe he was sorely off in his valuation - what can I do?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Scott Hulen’s answer
Scott Hulen, , 64068
Tue May 8, 2012
When we contest an appraisal we usually get the appraisal price increased because the appraiser forgot major items in the appraisal such as finished sq. footage, wrong garage count, fences, fireplaces and hardwood floors. The problem here is making up 45k or roughly 20%, this is almost impossible to do against these guys if they are even half way competent. You might make up 20-25k but if this is an FHA appraisal you may be stuck with the number unless you can talk the original appraiser into changing their numbers. An appraisal is a matter of opinion and sometimes these are wrong, an appraiser mainly relies on recent sales of surrounding like & type properties if you live in 200k area they are hard pressed to get you to 245k even if you have the best, most well upgraded home in the area. By the same token the guy with the 180k home greatly benefits from the surrounding 200k homes, the system is not always fair and the appeal process is almost nonexistent but this is the federal government at work, the democrats set up many of these rules under the Dodd Frank Act. Good Luck!
0 votes
, ,
Mon May 7, 2012
Hello Jat,

I have contested appraisal and won, and contested appraisals and lost.
You need comps......that have sold within the last 6 months and with in a mile.

There is no gurantee that you will win, but if you try to get cute, you will definitely lose. Be sure your comps are the best available.

1 vote
Kevin and Da…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Wed May 9, 2012
Hi Jat,

You have a few options. #1 Ask your loan officer the same question. He should be able to help you get answers. #2 Contact Alan Openshaw, the Broker who replied to your question or any other or #3 Build your own case by finding comparable properties on Trulia that substantiates your claim.

Good Luck,

Kevin D. Jamison
Remax Specialists
0 votes
, ,
Tue May 8, 2012
hello Jat,

email me the address. I will take a look.

0 votes
Michael Solo…, Agent, Huntingdon Valley, PA
Tue May 8, 2012
They should not compare a row home to a single unattached thats like comparing a lexus to a kia
0 votes
Jacques Ambr…, Agent, Forest Hills, NY
Mon May 7, 2012
Actually I have been able to argue with appraisers, and furnish them with additional information/compls and they have ammended their appraiser. Your broker should be able to come up with some comparables and talk to the appraiser.
0 votes
I work for an AMC nationwide appraisal management company if you need some assistance as far as appraisals give us shot
Flag Wed May 9, 2012
Brooke Willm…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Mon May 7, 2012
You need to address this with the lender and see if you can get that appraisal thrown out and a new one done. Arguing with appraisers is fairly futile. A single family rowhome should never be compared to twins or attached rowhomes but if the appraiser doesn't realize that (which is appraisal 101), you just want a new appraisal. The downside is that you'll have to pay for one and you're out the money for this one.

You can always change lenders too if this lender doesn't want to toss out the appraisal. (If you are doing an FHA loan, the appraisal can't be "tossed out".)
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more