What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about the Appraisal Gap

It’s economy 101 – when supply is low and demand is high, prices naturally rise. That is the simple principle that accounts for today’s housing market. Home prices are appreciating at near-historic rates, and that’s creating some challenges when it comes to home appraisals.

In recent months, it’s become increasingly common for an appraisal to come in below the contract price on the house. Shawn Telford, Chief Appraiser for CoreLogic, explains it like this:

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

Recently, we observed buyers paying prices above listing price and higher than the market data available to appraisers can support. This difference is known as ‘the appraisal gap . . . ’”

Why does an appraisal gap happen?

Basically, with the heightened buyer demand, purchasers are often willing to pay over asking to secure the home of their dreams. If you’ve ever toured a house you’ve fallen in love with, you understand. Once you start to picture yourself and your furniture in the rooms, you want to do everything you can to land the property, including putting in a high offer to try to beat out other would-be buyers.

When the appraiser comes in, they look at things a bit more objectively. Their job is to assess the inherent value of the home, so they’re going to study the facts. Dustin Harris, Appraiser Coach, drives this point home:

It’s important for everyone to understand that the appraiser’s job in the end is to remain that unbiased third party, to truly tell the client what that home is worth in the current market, regardless of what decisions have been made on the price side of things.”

In simple terms, while homebuyers may be willing to pay more, appraisers are there to assess the market value of the home. Their goal is to make sure the lender isn’t loaning more money than the home is worth. It’s objective, rather than emotional.

In a highly competitive market like today’s, having a discrepancy between the two numbers isn’t unusual. Here’s a look at the increasing rate of appraisal gaps, according to data from  CoreLogic (see graph below):

What Buyers and Sellers Need To Know About the Appraisal Gap | MyKCM

What does this mean for you?

Ultimately, knowledge is power. The best thing you can do is understand appraisal gaps may impact your transaction if you’re buying or selling. If you do encounter an appraisal below your contract price, know that in today’s sellers’ market, the most common approach is for the seller to ask the buyer to make up the difference in price. Buyers, be prepared to bring extra money to the table if you really want the home.

Above all else, lean on your real estate agent. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your trusted advisor is your ally if you come up against an appraisal gap. We’ll help you understand your options and handle any additional negotiations that need to happen.

Bottom Line

In today’s real estate market, it’s important to stay informed on the latest trends. Let’s connect so you have an ally to help you navigate an appraisal gap to get the best possible outcome.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 


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Why (and How) to Price a Home Right!

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today

Even in today’s sellers’ market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do. According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase by 4.5% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing next year. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“We expect price gains to ease somewhat in 2021 and end 5.7% above 2020 levels, decelerating steadily through the spring and summer, and then gradually reaccelerating toward the end of the year.”

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

How to Price Your House

When it comes to setting the right price for your house, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

As a seller in today’s market, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers.

Why It’s Important to Price Your House Right Today | MyKCM

Right now, even when there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running if it isn’t priced just right from the very beginning.It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working with a trusted real estate professional throughout the process. When you price it competitively from the start, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer. Instead, you’ll likely have multiple buyers competing for the house, potentially increasing the final sale price.

The key is to make sure your house is priced to sell immediately. This way, it will be seen by the greatest number of buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and it will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to price your house correctly from the start so you can maximize your exposure and your return.

It is my true pleasure to  work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Cape Cod.  Please let me know what questions you may have and how I can be of the best assistance to you.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA, RI, and Cape Cod & Islands Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate
New Homes Team Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor
real people. real estate. 

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Whose market is it anyway?

Ah, the age old question in real estate from clients… is it a buyers’ market?  sellers’ market?   Economists define the state of our local real estate markets based on the amount of housing inventory available.   Inventory determines sellers or buyers market

In general, when there is less than a 6 month supply of housing inventory, we refer to that as a Sellers’ Market where home prices will tend to be increased.   When there is a 6-7 month supply of housing inventory,  this is a Neutral Market.  In a neutral market, home prices will follow the trend of inflation and not see significant price increases or decreases.  When there is more than a 7 month supply of inventory, this is referred to as a Buyer’s Market.  In a Buyer’s market, home prices will be decreased over time.

A key fact to remember … the type of market you fall into can vary based on your specific price point, your specific town, and even the specific area of town in which the property is located. 

So what does this mean when pricing your home or submitting an offer on a home to purchase?  These definitions merely provide a general guage of market activity.   It means you still must evaluate the active listing competition on the current market,  recent properties that have gone under agreeement, recent Sold property prices, AND how much selling or buying that specific property means to you.   Sometimes you only get one chance to make the sale or purchase a specific property.

Manorahan closing pictureThere is absolutely a business side to all real estate transactions, for investors, this is the critical piece to a transactions in purchasing and reselling properties.  For most consumers, though, buying and selling a Home also has a unique personal aspect.  Getting hung up on economic theory is not a reason to miss out on purchasing a new home or being able to sell to make a move that may be perfect for you and your personal situation.

Curious where your current property fits into the housing market?  Or are you looking for a property to finally call Home?  I’d love to help you gather the information needed to help you make the right real estate decisions for you… just give a call 508-930-5259, e-mail jen.mcmorran@gmail.com, or fill out the contact form below.

Always a pleasure to be of any assistance to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying or selling a home. I love to work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Assocate
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage
508-930-5259
Jen.McMorran@gmail.com
www.jenmcmorran.realtor

real estate for real people.

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