Ask Your Appraiser

February 28th, 2017 2:23 PM


Whether you are a home seller or looking to buy, a low home appraisal could cost your deal to fall through.


Here’s a common scenario: You list your home for $350.000, you receive an offer of $275.000, you end up setting at a price of $300.000. An appraisal is done before closing and it comes in at $255.000.  That’s $20.000 less than what the seller offered and $95.000 less than what you expected to receive. Not to mention that the $255.000 appraisal price is the maximum amount of which the lender is willing to lend.

Now, $35.000 is hanging in the balance. Does the seller pay the difference in cash? That would mean they have the extra cash laying around and are willing to pay above the appraised value of the home (not likely). And after you’ve already come down on the price in negotiation with the seller, you may not be willing to come down again so drastically.

Needless to say, the deal is shot and its back to the drawing board for you both.

Here are a few steps that could save you from the aforementioned scenario as a buyer or seller:

  1. If you are a buyer, have your lender hire an appraisal from your county or neighborhood. An appraisal familiar with your area and knowing your area well could mean life or death to your deal.

  2. Make sure the appraiser is qualified. Your appraiser should be certified by the state’s national board of real estate appraisers. An appraiser who belongs to a professional organization such as the Association of Georgia Real Estate Appraisers (AGREA).

  3.  Provide any information regarding your home, the neighborhood, and any recent comps you know of. This information won’t promise to change your appraisal value but it could be welcomed by your appraiser. The more information, the better.

  4. As a seller, consider obtaining a pre-listing appraisal before you even list your home.

  5. A pre-listing appraisal will provide you with a much more realistic market value and could save you from wasted time, energy and money in the future.

Low appraisals are typically seen during a declining housing market because of the lack of comparable homes in the area. Not having “comps” to compare your home to makes it difficult to determine the most accurate true market value. When the market is slow, good comps age fast, and with a rise in foreclosures, can result in appraisers have a hard time justifying the price you set.

To get in touch with an appraiser in your area or for more information click on one of the areas below closest to you:

|Dekalb County|Dunwoody|Fulton County|Gwinnett County|Marietta|Sandy Springs

Getting an appraisal


How To (Financially) Prepare To Purchase Your First Home:

A complete step by step debt demolishing method


Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting milestones one can reach in life. But unfortunately, many people who believe that they are ready to be home owners find themselves faced with the challenges of being able to afford it and not having enough cash saved up for the down payment. 

Although getting out of debt and saving up for a down payment may take time, dedication and a whole lot of self- control, doing it this way can very well save you from making the mistake of jumping into a home you weren’t financially ready to purchase.

Mentally, we all know we shouldn
’t spend more than we earn. It’s one of the common sense “rules” that we try to live by, but maybe let slip a little too often. These slip ups may have caused us to fall in a pit of debt that we can’t seem to find a way out of. It’s time to move forward and take the necessary steps to reduce your debt.

We’re going to first change how you manage your money, making it easier to save money for a down payment on a home

Here are some tips and advice that can put you in the best position to be a home owner.


Where Does Your Money Go?

Have you ever heard of the “Debt Snowball”? Create a list of all the places your money goes every month; including rent, credit cards, utilities, food, car payments, gas, insurance, charity, Starbucks, etc.

Then, split the list into two, separate lists.

The first list includes items that you’ll always have to pay (e.g. utilities). The second list includes debts you can pay off like your Sears credit card. That goes on the second list.

For the second list, reorganize the order of the items by largest account balance (Debt Snowball).

The Snowball method will help you to rapidly reduce the number of debts you owe.

First, make the minimum payment for every bill.

Then, make an extra payment for the one item that is on the top of your list.
Repeat monthly until the item on the top of your list is paid in full.

After you’ve paid off the first item, take the money you were using to pay if off and now apply it to the second item on the list. Knock off each #1 item every month until all balances are paid off in full.

Image the encouragement you’ll receive once you start knocking off those payments each month!


Cut Your Expenses

So, if you are already in debt, how can you expect to pay anything extra to the bill at the top or your list? Just like a well-crafted movie: clever editing. If you spend $100 a week on groceries, try to spend $5 fewer dollars.


Other Ways To Cut Your Expenses:

Get Rid Of Unused Subscriptions!  We all have good intentions to fully use that gym membership but if you aren’t using the gym, there is no reason to keep paying for it. Take up running or walking (free) or buy some used free weights on Craigslist (cheap).

You get the idea. Whatever you can cut out of your weekly spending, you can add to the payment to the top item on your Snowball or Avalanche list.


Create An Emergency Fund

Set aside some money you save from cutting your expenses and stash it into a special savings account that is created just for this purpose. That way when tough times arrive, you’ll be ready. The emergency fund can be used instead of pulling out your credit card.


Set Incremental Goals (And Reward Yourself For Reaching Them)

Give yourself incremental milestones ($500, $1000, $1500, etc.) and reward yourself with something fun. If this reward costs money, then set aside a little cash each month to save for this very purpose. There is no sense adding to your debt due to your celebration of reducing it. Keep the reward under $100. 


Being prepared financially to purchase a home isn’t something we hear about often but can be the best advice you’ve heard in a long time. Buying your first home does not have to be a fairy tale, but a dream worth dreaming. It just may take dedication and self-control to make it happen. 

Find an appraiser in your area:
|Dekalb County|Dunwoody|Fulton County|Gwinnett County|Marietta|Sandy Springs


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