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How to beat a lowball appraisal

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ATLANTA -

In today's real estate market, an appraisal is an important key to a sale. Many in the metro area have recently received your property assessments in the mail. What do you do if that assessment is either too low or too high?

Real estate expert John Adams joined Good Day with some answers.

For more information, visit John's website at Money99.com

Before the appraisal is ordered:

1.  Have a justifiable target value in hand before you start. That means you need to find 3 or 4 comparable sales from the past 6 to 12 months.
2.  Meet the appraiser when they come to the property.  Don't allow them to tour the house when you are not there.  This allows you to share your information with them.
3.  Give them your comps and improvements in written form. Get a real estate agent to help you prepare a written comparable sale analysis.  Then use it.

After the appraisal comes back low:

1.  Check for mistakes in square footage, bedroom/bath count, upgrades, lot size.
2.  Evaluate the appraiser's comparable sales. If the appraiser chooses inappropriate comparables, your appraisal will be off base. Instead, do their work for them.
3.  Ask the appraiser to reconsider based on data errors or comparable sales.  Demand geographic competency.
4.  Request a new appraisal. It may cost as much as $400, and you may have to pay for it, but its really your last resort.

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