When you say homes in this subdivision have "increased in value" do you mean there are actual CLOSED, recent, comparable sales....or simply that the builder has increased his prices?
You need recently closed sales to show market value....not the price the builder may be asking.
I can't imagine the appraiser wouldn't have used recent sales in the subdivision if they were available.
Did your daughter and her husband work with an agent? If so..ask him or her to intervene and see about contesting the appraisal.
Was the subject of an "acceptable appraisal" brought up in their contract? It might have been a good idea to state that the price would be adjusted if the house didn't appraise out, but without that verbiage, it's a little late now.
Believe me, the builder didn't "drop the ball".....if anyone wants this to close - he does - and he had no say in the appraisal!
The appraiser was doing his job...he can't adjust the appraisal to equal the sale price just to be a nice person. It doesn't happen that way.
And, I just have to add this...in my opinion, no one should buy a home - especially a NEW home - without having a comfortable savings/cushion in the bank for unexpected emergencies.
So - if they can't come up with the $8000 - what recourse does the builder have?
Will he reduce the price?
Why was the appraisal done only 2 weeks before closing? Didn't they have to have an approval in place before now?
Good luck - hope it works out well for them!