Low appraisals are happening more frequently this year because low inventory is putting upward pressure on pricing. In most residential single-family unit sales, they’re basing pricing on comparable sales data, otherwise known as comps. The comps they’re using have already closed, so it’s historical data. As inventory is lowered and prices increase, the data is months old, so it isn’t justifying the higher price. The appraisers will keep up with the market but only at a conservative rate, which could lead to appraisal shortfalls, or low appraisals.
You have four options if you receive a low appraisal:
1. Either party can walk away. The earnest money can return to the buyer, and no deal happens. That’s always an option in an Oklahoma real estate commission contract.
2. The buyer can bring cash to cover the difference. If they’re putting 20% or more down, it may not even affect their loan amount to cover the distance between the appraisal and purchase price.
3. The seller can lower the price to the appraised value. This generally happens when the buyer doesn’t have enough cash to cover the difference.
4. The buyer and seller can meet in the middle. Maybe the buyer only has a few thousand extra dollars, so the seller can come down some of the way. You can bridge the gap to get the deal done.
Issues like this can always arise, which is why we always recommend you work with an experienced, educated real estate agent to guide you through the process, whether you’re a buyer or seller.
If you have further questions about low appraisals or anything else concerning real estate, reach out via phone or email today. I would love to help you.