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What can I do if a bank refuses to accept the appraised value of my property?

January 5, 2012: 5:05 PM ET

What are my options when a bank refuses to accept the appraised value of my property? The same bank is the lender for both the seller and buyer. The bank had agreed to accept $180,000 for the property, but the appraised value came in at $172,000. What's my next move? —Name withheld, San Bernardino, Calif.

Though it's probably little comfort at this point, more sellers are finding themselves in the exact same predicament due to declines in real estate values. Your best move: Ask your buyer to put in a loan application with another bank so that you can have a new appraisal done in the hopes that it will hit the sale price, advises Carolyn Cedar, a real estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman based in Brooklyn, NY. It's almost impossible to get a bad appraisal rescinded, even if you provide clear proof that it is inaccurate, she says.

If your buyer doesn't want to do that, or the new bank comes up with the same appraisal value, you have three alternatives to get the deal done, suggests Cedar: You can try to get the buyer to come up with the $8,000 difference in cash, you can lower your selling price to the appraised value of $172,000, or both parties can split the difference out of pocket. A good real estate agent or attorney should be able to help with these strategies and the negotiations that need to take place with the buyer and the bank.

-- Walecia Konrad

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