Low appraisals weigh down home values

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

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ATLANTA - Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland discovered rising home values are being weighed down by low appraisals.         
         
Home seller Cheryl Mauldin, of Marietta, showed him a deal with a buyer willing to pay $544,900.  It fell through when an appraisal of only $455,000 ruined the buyer's chance at getting a loan for the higher price.
         
"It was $90,000 difference, and it was a shock," said Mauldin. "That you have somebody out there that is willing to buy it.  You know what you've put into it, and you're not able to get what your house is worth."
         
Forty-year appraisal veteran John Bryant said he’s heard similar stories.

"I've heard it all over the place," he said. 

He told Strickland there are not enough recent comparable sales to properly price the market.  Bryant said the appraiser is sometimes trapped using dated sales numbers.
         
"He would rather be on the low end and not get into trouble than be on the high end and be wrong," Bryant said.
         
Realtor Terry Burger said the appraisal time lag hurts his clients and is slowing the market recovery.
         
"It was allowed to crash really quickly, but it feels like we're not able to get those values up as quickly," said Burger.



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