Finding the right house isn't always the toughest part of the real estate transaction, getting the whole shebang to the Settlement Table is. There are so many components to guiding your Buyers (and Sellers) through the morass of Due Diligence. Unless there is a hidden defect, I don't usually sweat the home inspection but sometimes there is a knot in my stomach until that all important appraisal comes in.
Most consumers, including the Buyers and Sellers, are unaware that the Appraisal is actually just an "opinion" from a human. A well educated and disciplined human with many sophisticated tools at hand but nonetheless - a human. Don't get me wrong, I am in awe of the restrictions the appraisers work within as well as the crazy time invested in each appraisal. Honestly, I don't know how they do it!
When agents assist buyers and sellers in pricing their offers or listings, we are always listening to our inner appraisers trying to anticipate the number$ that will seem reasonable to them. In a dozen years of real estate transactions, I've only had one one deal that didn't appraise for the contract price. Even in that one, we provided the appraiser with additional comparable sales and the opinion was revised upward slightly but not enough. In that case, buyers and sellers both had to give up a little. Buyer paid more, seller took less.
Negotiation is a science and whomever you choose for your real estate agent, this is one area you would like them to have a good track record. If you don't hit the right price mark with a negotiated purchase price then there's a whole lot of hurt going to happen on both sides.
I just got the thumb's up on the long awaited appraisal yesterday and all parties are breathing easier now. Even though my track record is good, I never take it for granted. I try to keep in touch with my appraiser friends so that I can stay informed on which guidelines the appraiser is operating under currently and keep the negotiations based in something real for a happy and successful outcome. We're all smiles now as we round the corner for a good closing!