How to Handle a Low Appraisal on a West Chester or Liberty Township Home
Date: December 19, 2018




The strength of the West Chester and Liberty Township real estate market can sometimes have an unintended consequence: a low appraisal. It can be heartbreaking – for buyers and sellers – when an appraisal comes in low. After all, at this point you’ve already signed the purchase and sale agreement and all parties are anxious to get the deal across the finish line!


First things first: a low appraisal is not the end of the world. It’s important for all parties to remain calm. A low appraisal does not = a death sentence, but it will take some compromise and working together to get it resolved.


So, what are the options when the appraisal on a West Chester or Liberty Township home for sale comes in low?


  • Lower the price. When an appraisal comes in low the seller can opt to lower the sale price to the appraised value. The seller doesn’t have to opt to lower the price but, it is an option.


  • The buyer can make up the difference in cash. The buyer can always put more money down at closing to account for the difference in the appraised value and the agreed upon sale price.

  • Compromise. The seller and the buyer can work to find common ground in terms of the seller lowering the price and the buyer bringing more cash to closing to account for the remaining difference. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split, it can be any combination as long as both parties are in agreement to the terms.

  • Buyer can withdraw from the transaction. A buyer that has an appraisal contingency in place can withdraw from the contract if the appraisal comes in low. This is last resort as a low appraisal doesn’t mean a lender won’t provide a loan on the home. It just means that they will only provide a loan based off the appraised value and any shortage must be accounted for in the form of increased cash at closing, a lower sale price or a combination of the two. (Side note: this is why it’s always important to work with a West Chester or Liberty Township real estate agent to advise you on your contingency options when submitting your initial offer!)

  • Appeal the appraisal. Appealing the appraisal can be done through the lender. A good real estate agent will be able to help pull comps from the West Chester and Liberty Township real estate market to share with the lender, who can then share these with the appraiser. Sometimes the appraiser’s database lags a bit compared to recent transactions in the marketplace. An agent specializing in the local market will have a pulse on current (and pending) transactions that can help steer the appraiser in the right directions. There are no guarantees the value will be changed if an appeal is made, but sometimes it can result in a successful outcome. An appeal can be necessary if an error is discovered in the report as well. 

Nobody likes receiving news of a low appraisal. It’s frustrating for the buyers and disheartening for the sellers who have listed their West Chester and Liberty Township home for sale. But the fact of the matter is: low appraisals DO happen from time to time, especially when buyers get caught up in a bidding war to secure the home of their dreams.

Weighing the different options to find a win-win for both sides is always possible. It just takes keeping a level head and working as a team to achieve a successful outcome.


Have you encountered a low appraisal? How did you handle the situation? If you’re looking for additional advice regarding low appraisals, give us a call today. As the top real estate agents in West Chester and Liberty Township, Ohio, we’d be happy to talk you through your options to help get your deal across the finish line. Call us today!