Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Unrealistically Low Appraisal Values in Up Markets a Problem

Each month, the National Association of REALTORS® obtains up-to-date and on-the-ground incisive comments from REALTORS® who participate in the REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) survey. The RCI survey tracks expectations about overall market conditions, buyer/seller traffic, price, buyer profiles, and issues affecting real estate:

The selected comments reflect the general sentiment expressed by REALTORS® who participated in the October 2012 survey, conducted during October 22 through November 5, 2012. All real estate is local and conditions in specific markets may vary from the national trend.

Appraisal Issues
REALTORS® continue to report that unrealistically low appraisal values continue to jeopardize sales. Appraisal values are in some cases affected by REOs which in some cases are reported as being used as comparable properties. In other cases, appraisals are reported as not keeping up with the market. Also, there continue to be reports of appraisers having poor knowledge of local conditions as they come from outside areas (in some cases as far as 100 miles according to one REALTOR®).

  • “Appraisals and BPO values are likely low because of the sort of comps that are available on the market. REO properties and lower value sales comprise the bulk of market activity which in turn leads to low appraisal and BPO values.”
  • “Appraisals are definitely a problem. We are in a Vacation, second home area and we are getting appraisers from 100's of miles away to appraise Lake Property. They don't understand the values."
  • "Buyers are coming in with cash to close the gap between low appraisals and sellers sticking to their house price.”
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