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Appraised Value of Property Questions

Appraised value refers to the assessed value of a piece of property that is determined by a qualified appraiser or valuer. Lenders get properties appraised to assess the monetary value of them to justify the loan amounts they will sanction.

Listed below are a few questions answered by lawyers on appraised value related issues.

How can I refinance my house when the appraised value is now less than the loan value by $35K?

Your lender may be able to get you another appraisal unless this is an FHA or VA appraisal. Or your lender could even have the appraiser re-examine the appraisal for you.

You could also check with your lender to see if you are eligible for a refinance from a Federal Program called the Making Homes Affordable refinance program. This may be possible so long as the balance of the loan does not exceed more than 125% of the value of your home.

If my house is sold for less than the appraised value, can the difference be taken as a loss on my income tax?

This would probably not be possible. You can usually only incur a loss if you sell it for less than what you bought it for.

Can you tell me if real estate usually sells for the appraised or assessed value?

In response to your question, real estate sells at what the market will bear, which means it will sell for whatever a buyer agrees to pay. Having said that, it is more likely than not real estate will sell closer to the appraised value than the assessed value. The assessed value of a property is usually much lower than the appraised value because of the nature of how assessments are made.

My home was appraised for $12k less than the buyer's offer. Now the buyer says he doesn’t possess the funds to make up the difference in price. Can I ask for a second appraisal?

You could ask for a second appraisal, but sadly because of certain issues that caused the real estate market crash three years ago, a lot of appraisers would not want to go against other appraisers. Therefore, unless you can furnish some proof the appraisal was deficient in some way, you can’t do much other than get the buyer to take a second loan or enter into a written agreement with the buyer and offer to finance the difference.

A home I purchased for $389,000 was appraised for only $350,000. The seller got me to sign a trust deed for $39,000. This was recorded after escrow since there was no other way that the lender would agree to fund the loan. Would this trust deed be considered legal and enforceable?

Based on the facts of your case, it seems your trust deed would be considered valid. In all probability, everyone knew the appraised value and deciding to pay more was your choice. Also, remember it would not be possible for you to claim an illegal contract if you decided to participate in the action yourself.

If a property has a low appraised value, it can affect the buyer’s ability to purchase it since the loan would seem too high. In a situation like this, a real estate lawyer may be able to help you with specific questions depending on the situation.
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