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When a property appraises for less than the selling price there’s often a difficult decision for both the buyer and seller. If the seller doesn’t want to bring the price down and the buyer doesn’t have enough cash to cover the shortfall, the deal can fall through.

In a piece for, Jay MacDonald offers advice to both buyers and sellers to help avoid a low appraisal.

For buyers, he says it’s wise to:

-Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county. After all, you’re paying for the appraisal.

-Meet the appraiser when he inspects the home, and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that could skew the comps. You can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition applies only to your lender.

For sellers:

-Get an appraisal before you list a home.

-Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home.

-Question a low appraisal. There’s always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.

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