Low Appraisal - County SF vs. Appraiser SF Question

3 Replies

I just received the appraisal back on an investment property I'm purchasing that came in $5k low.  My purchase price is $140k and it appraised at $135k.  

As I'm scouring the details of the appraisal I'm noticing differences between the appraiser's listed SF for the subject property as well as several of the comps used when compared to the county tax assessor's website.  These differences range from 50sf up to 120sf in some cases.  

When factoring in the adjustment $/sf he is using, these differences in SF would raise the value almost up to my purchase price of my own property and some of the comps.

Do I have a leg to stand on to appeal?  Or, does the appraiser's field measure trump the county website?  What is the most successful way to appeal for those who've had success?

If not able to adjust with the appraiser, does anyone recommend going back to the seller to renegotiate based upon the difference in SF from the listing and what the appraiser field measured?

County sqft numbers are off a lot of times.  The appraiser actually measured the house so I would use their numbers.

You have nothing to lose and something to gain by asking the seller to negotiate based on the appraiser's sqft.

@Matt Sauls  

From my personal experience it really does matter who the appraiser is. I had a property, the first one I bought actually was appraised a couple years before I bought it when it was purchased by the seller. It was a tri-plex and the seller was needing to reorganize finances to do whatever it was they wanted to do in their life. It came out at 65K and I live in an area where values change vary little year to year so things are fairly constant.

I chose someone based on you know, who does multi unit appraisals in town kinda thought process. He comes out, doesn't say much, doesn't ask many questions, doesn't seem interested really in anything that is going on but goes about his business. It was my first experience so I figure this must be they way this guy is or this is the way appraisers are in general right. I wait a few weeks and he gets it done in a timely manner, I think oh good I can get with the bank now and move forward..... (I had this property 2 or 3 years on lease option and time was up. I had made some repairs to the property and the roof which needed to be replaced at time of purchase was a little more tattered now than before) So I get the numbers and of course only care about the bottom figure bc that is what matters to the bank right. Comes back at 55K....... At this point i'm saying to myself WTF right....... I mean hey I was new to this but I did my homework and nothing major at all had changed and if it changed it was better than when I took over. I had done many little things and those add up when making something more tidy right (paint, trees trimmed etc etc). I was really upset about this. Needless to say I have never used him again for anything - he is also an agent.

I however, went with a different appraiser for everything else I have done and had much much better results and a much better relationship as well as more conversation with the second individual.

Bottom line is that, it may pay for you to have a second appraisal done on the property by another person and since the information you get from your request of an appraisal is privy only to you and your financing institution then you would be able to use the second more favorable eval to support your deal. You will likely learn a few things in the process and it may very well be just one persons opinion over another and at times though opinion is not supposed to enter into the situation, it does. I have heard many stories like this where appraisals were effected by opinions as well as numbers and as important as the numbers are this can be a major issue in order to get a deal done or to be satisfied with the end result.

Hope this helps,


*** Oh, I now plan in late spring to spend about 45K going toward a roof, siding, windows, new porch and HVAC changes and that should double the value of the property and I should be much happier!

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