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How to Dispute a House Appraisal

by Anna Assad, studioD

A home appraisal report can make or kill your real estate deal. Whether you're buying, selling or refinancing, the appraiser's estimation of your home's value comes into play. Lenders use appraisal reports to determine whether the borrower's loan amount is reasonable. If your home is valued too low, you may not get the approval for a loan refinance or lose a buyer because of financing problems. Luckily, you can dispute a home appraisal if you believe the appraiser is wrong.

Review each section of the appraisal report. Highlight any mistakes and make note of any omissions. For example, if you find incorrect bedroom dimensions, highlight the dimensions on your report. Look at the comparable sales data your appraiser used to confirm your home is similiar to the homes used.

Gather proof of your position on errors and omissions. For example, if the appraiser missed an update in your kitchen, take photos of the update with a time stamp and get the receipts associated with the update cost.

Look at recent sales for homes similiar to yours in your neighborhood and document your findings. Your appraisal amount is significantly based on comparable home sales. Focus on homes of around the same size with the same features as yours. Contact a local real estate agent or firm for lists of home sales in your area if you need help. Compare your research to the price your appraiser gave. Note any significant variance.

Contact your real estate agent. Arrange a meeting. Bring all your documentation, research and the appraisal report. Go over your findings with the agent. Ask the agent to speak to the appraiser to dispute his findings. The appraiser may adjust your home's appraised value.

Contact your loan officer if your agent is unsuccessful. Explain what you uncovered about the original appraisal, such as errors. Offer and present your evidence. Ask the lender to request a new appraisal. The lender is more likely to agree to ordering a new appraisal than internally overriding the existing appraisal.

Order an independent appraiser if your lender won't order a second one. You'll have to pay out of pocket, but the lender will look at your new report and speak to the first appraiser. The lender may go with your appraisal or order another one if the first appraiser disputes the independent findings. Ask your agent or lender for a list of licensed appraisers in your area.


  • Find out where the first appraiser is based. If the appraiser is unfamiliar with your area, you'll have more leverage with the lender if you asking for a new appraisal.


  • An independent or second appraisal from the lender may give your home a lower value than the first report.

About the Author

Anna Assad began writing professionally in 1999 and has published several legal articles for various websites. She has an extensive real estate and criminal legal background. She also tutored in English for nearly eight years, attended Buffalo State College for paralegal studies and accounting, and minored in English literature, receiving a Bachelor of Arts.