There are many low appraisals in our current market. This is how we deal with them.

In our current market, the appraised value of a home not matching its offer price is pretty much a daily occurrence. We have limited inventory, which is causing bidding wars and offers over asking price to become the norm. The challenge that comes with this is that appraisals haven’t caught up with the market, so many are still coming in low.

The problem is that appraisers aren’t looking at the pending or active homes for sale and making their estimations based on those prices, they’re just looking at the sold numbers. There really aren’t a lot of sold homes to compare because of this limited inventory.

We recently listed a house in Manteca and had four offers on the same day. The issue was that when we listed the house at $405,000, we received a $450,000 FHA offer. If this was a viable offer, that would be great—but it wasn’t. There’s no way the house would appraise for $450,000, and since the buyer is buying FHA with just 3.5% down, we know they don’t have enough to make up the difference in the appraisal. Oftentimes when the appraisal comes in low, the expectation in this market is that the buyer makes up the difference in cash.

“Don’t automatically take the highest offer.”

If you’re a buyer in this market, it’s very important you and your Realtor discuss this prior to submitting the offer. You could lose your deposit, your dream house, and have a huge fiasco. You better have some backup if that’s what you’re going to do.

If you’re a seller, you shouldn’t automatically take the highest offer. Look at the offers closely and make sure your agent is paying special attention to whether the buyer can cover any difference in the appraised value and the offer price.

If you have any other questions about how to buy or sell in this market, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.