In the 'old days' (about a month ago the way things have been changing---) we would have an appraisal done when listing. Of course in yesteryear we could use any fee apraiser for the loan too. For several years ereal estate agents and mortgage brokers pretty much cant choose and are supposed to have only limited contact, if any so that doesnt work. As a buyer you can write your offer so that the final price is your offer OR whatever the appraisal comes in---whichever is less. If I were representing a seller, we would be cautious about that. Its all a poker game. I value homes for banks that are considering loan modifications or are actually foreclosing. Some are for homes they have already taken. Ive valued opver 3,000 homes all over the tri-county area. Im bank appraisal trained and mortgage underwriter trained and I can tell you that appraising is part art and part science. It should be ALL science but its a terrible market now with other things to consider. All the short sales and REO (bank Real Estate Owned) properties mess up all the numbers. I am often the 3rd or 4th agent called to value a property. The banks sometimes show us the previous values and I see huge variations from the different agents. Value. What is value now? FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS HOMES WERE NEVER WORTH THEIR PRICES. IT WAS ALL FALSE. ALL INFLATED BY THE BANKS. What is the value of real estate? In any given area, its the price that the MOST people can afford, people being Joe and Jane Average Worker. Those people keep our economy going while parasitic professions such as ours (and all 'sales' people) rely on them for our income.
Value is supposed to be taken from the last three most similar homes as close to the subject as possible, also taking into consideration the asking prices of whats available for sale now. What happens when there have been only two sales within the last 9 months and one was 5 miles away? We are facing those problems.At any rate, if the appraised value doesnt work then challenge the appraisal or, as another said, walk away. Maybe you can get sellers to accept your 'or appraised, whichever is less' clause. That will be a pound of Sees candy if you use it and it works. lol