Ask Esther – Buyers: Use Them or Lose Them?

Dear Esther,

The buyers of my home were not able to get a mortgage because it was not appraised for what they agreed to pay for it. I have to either sell it for what it was appraised for or lose my buyers. What do you suggest that I do?



Dear Unsure,

In this market, when values are down, this problem is more common than you might think. You meet with an agent to list your home, look at comparables to help you price it, and put a lot of work into getting it ready. You finally get a contract contingent on a mortgage and the appraiser decides your home is not worth what your buyers agree to give you.

You can respond in 1 of 3 ways:


1. Agree to lower your price to the appraised value (assuming you can afford this). By doing this, your contract is secure, you have buyers and you can move on.

2. Keep your price at the original contract price. Your buyers may have extra money and still be able to purchase your home. If not, you’ll lose them. You may lose them anyway because they may not be interested in paying more for a home than it’s valued.

3. Negotiate a price somewhere in between with information to convince your buyers that the appraised value was not accurate. This is again assuming your buyers have extra money since their mortgage will only finance the appraised value.

If you have information to indicate the appraised value is inaccurate, I suggest that you begin with option 3. If your buyers are not convinced and you’re anxious to sell (and can afford to get less for your home), move on to option 1. If you have to take option 2 because you cannot take less for your home, it is important to remember that you may see this problem again when your next buyers sign a contract.

Selling a home in this market is not easy. A good agent will explain your options and guide you through the process to help you find the solution that works the best for you.

Thank You,


Send your questions to me – Esther Prosser,, 484.269.7153, PO Box 20, Elverson, PA 19520.

Disclaimer – Esther Prosser is a realtor with Stoltzfus Enterprises, LTD, which advertises with Journal Register Co. publications.