Discrepancy in Home Appraisal Value

by Betty from Waterloo, Iowa USA

Ask Kate about Discrepancy in Home Appraisal Value: Hi Kate, We were refused the initial amount requested for refinancing due to approximately a $10,000 discrepancy between what we said our property was worth and what it was appraised at. After thorough review of the appraisal, we noted four more major discrepancies.


Betty continues...

  1. The appraiser listed our $6000 newly installed hardwood floor as a laminate floor.

  2. Although we have newly installed granite counter tops and travertine flooring in 2 of our bathrooms, and newly installed marble wall tiles and spa tub, double sinks, etc., in a third bath, the marble and granite were not mentioned, even as amenities.

  3. The appraiser listed the downspouts and gutters as average to good, when-in-fact they are seamless ones, newly installed just months prior to the appraisal.

  4. We have a new furnace, 2 new water heaters (we previously only had one), new roof, new siding and new professional landscaping all of which were not even mentioned on the appraisal.
What recourse, if any, do we have?

Kate Answers: Discrepancy in Appraisal for Mortgage Refinancing

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Dear Betty,

I saw something similar once. It was my first year in mortgage lending.

The home being refinanced belonged to a Realtor.

It was a large new home, also full of amenities, with a breath-taking water view.

When I reported back to them after the appraisal was turned in, the real estate agent and her husband were horrified over the low value of their gorgeous 2-story home.

After much anguish (on my part and theirs), it was discovered that old data from a previous appraisal had accidentally replaced the floor plan and amenities when the appraiser compiled his data. A new appraisal confirmed the homeowners' claim that their home was indeed worth significantly more.

How to Dispute Appraisal for Mortgage Refinancing

Ask Kate about Discrepancy in Home Appraisal Value
So what should you do? If you want action, you have to take action.

But keep in mind, since everyone is growing numb to falling real estate values of the last few years (today being 2012), you might feel no one from the mortgage company is listening to your dispute.

If so, you have to speak more boldly. And begin following up all verbal communication in writing.

Hopefully, the mortgage company will allow you to contact the appraiser directly to discuss the property report. Again, follow up with written communication.

Sadly, there is no silver bullet to solve appraisal disputes. And no guarantees that adding in the amenities will change the appraiser's mind. But I urge you to not give up easily.

Best wishes,


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by: Synette

Okay, so what if the tax office has your home at 2300 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 story. But you built a 2800 sq ft, 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 2 story home.

The appraiser comes to your home, only takes pictures but no measurements. So you give her the floor plan as a reference for the home.

Yet the appraisal comes back at what is at the tax office, not listing any updates in 15 years. Your home has just turned 13 years with plenty of updates.

So you call and send them the builder's appraisal you signed off on. She comes out again, even though you want a new appraiser!!! and takes a few more pics? No measuring?

And still they are off saying 2600 sq ft, 5/3.5/2 but not changing the comparison homes (2300 sq ft) and only giving $30 for the difference in size.

Our neighborhood is selling at $80-90 sq ft also. We are 80 percent 2 story and it says mainly single story. Culdesac with park and pond view, two blocks from lake. No mention of this or any updates even after we say we aren't happy! What's up?

Thank You Kate. So glad I found your site!

Hi Synette, Kate here.

I understand the frustration of a poor appraisal experience like you describe!

I can't tell from your letter if the appraiser's messy work affected the outcome of your home's value.

I mention this because sometimes homes are valued high enough to complete the refinance but the errors in data bother the homeowner.

At this point, homeowners need to decide whether to invest their energy into closing their loan or getting a corrected appraisal.

But if the appraisal is not high enough to get loan approval and you want to appeal, you may have an uphill battle. Are you game?

If so, gather as many facts as you can and write a letter to the mortgage company. If you compare your house to recent sales in the neighborhood, include the addresses and dates they closed.

As a last resort, file a complaint with the governing body of your state. Do a search with your state name, ending with .gov to find your state government's website which should list the different departments. Look for the one that oversees appraisals.

Good luck! Kate

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