Multiple Offers? Tell your appraiser

This blog is for all of the Realtors who lost a deal because the appraisal came in below the contract price. You may have had multiple offers with most of them above the appraised value. If this happened to you, I understand your frustration. I know you are thinking to yourself, “ If I have 4 different buyers willing to pay $400,000, how could the appraiser say this it is only worth $390,000?” Keep in mind that as appraisers we are reporting our “opinion of value” and that MUST be supported by facts and market data. We can’t just say that we THINK it is worth $400,000. We have to support our appraisal with facts and market data (aka comparables sales, listings, and market trends). If you have multiple offers you should make the appraiser aware of this.

The appraiser will want to know this information because if the contract price is higher than the listed price the appraiser will take that into consideration, multiple offers could help explain this. We must analyze the sales contract and listing history for the subject property. The lenders require a comment or explanation when a contract price is higher than the listed price. Disclosing there are multiple offers supports a demand for the property at that specific price point. If a home was listed on the MLS for 5 days and has multiple offer, it would indicate that the list price is at or below market value. Or it could signal that inventory levels are low and buyers have very few choices, or both.

Multiple offers may possibly alert a good appraiser to dig deeper. When analyzing comparable sales and they are indicating a value below the contract price, I call the agents on the listings and see if I am missing something. I verify overall condition, sales allowances and seller’s motivation for any duress items (bankruptcy, foreclosure, divorce, etc.) When values are increasing the appraiser should adjust comparables that sold several months ago upwards to bring that sales price to today’s market  levels. As always, this needs to be supported by the market data.

I am not saying that if you have multiple offers you are guaranteed the appraisal will come in at sales price, this information can be a significant piece of the appraisal puzzle. I highly recommend you make the appraiser aware that there have been several offers.

Our definition of market value tells us we must appraise it as the most probable price the property will sell for. When we are finished adjusting our comparable sales, we typically end up with a range of values. Let’s say the range of adjusted comparables sales prices is $380,000 – $405,000. If the appraiser was handed copies of multiple offers with contract prices of $390,000, $395,000, $400,000, and $405,000, it may provide enough support to reconcile the final opinion of value at the upper end of the range. After all, we are supposed to be determining the most probable price that a property will sell for. If the appraiser analyzes the market and determines that there is a shortage of inventory and prices are increasing, they may be even more inclined to be aggressive with their opinion of value.


Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule your appraisal appointment at 760-741-7699, or use our contact page on our website.

Brandlin Appraisals Inc. specialize in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, date of death, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more throughout San Diego county. For more information please contact us at (760)741-7699, or visit our website at, or email us at

Mike Brandlin
San Diego, CA // Real Estate Appraiser
(760) 741-7699

San Diego Real Estate Appraisal Services For:
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Bankruptcy Appraisals
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