Beware of Bad Santa Cruz Real Estate Appraisals

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at 1:01am.

You’ve got a contract on your Santa Cruz real estate and have a closing date set. Whether or not everything goes smoothly comes down to the home’s appraisal. Waiting to hear that all is well can be frustrating enough, but when the news is unfavorable, it might seem like the end of the world.

Just because your home receives poor marks doesn’t mean that you didn’t take care of it — it could be you received a bad Santa Cruz real estate appraisal. While most appraisers are completely competent at their jobs, some might be unfamiliar with an area or use inappropriate comparisons. Below are common appraisal problems of which you should be aware.

• Inconsistent appraisals – If the appraiser finds issues that don’t makes sense, like claiming the home needs a new roof when you replaced it last year, or the appraisal comes in absurdly low, have your Realtor do some research. If the appraiser has complaints filed against him or her or a history of inconsistent appraisals, you might want to fight back.

• Inaccurate comparisons – Some appraisers will pull comparables without taking into consideration whether they’re foreclosure, abandoned or short sale properties. All of these types of listings can drive down the value of your home.

• Ignored market conditions – The market can turn around quickly, so this is a common mistake some appraisers make. They need to take into account rising prices, multiple offers and low inventory, and not use outdated information.

• Slow turn-around time – Appraisers know there are time constraints when it comes to purchasing property. They should be familiar with your area and able to give a ballpark estimate. If the buyer’s appraiser is taking an unusually long time to crunch the numbers, it could be a sign that they’re unsure; you might want to double-check their figures.

If the appraisal on your Santa Cruz real estate just isn’t sitting right with you, don’t be afraid to do some research with your Realtor and fight back!

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market and would like more information on the selling process, please call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional real estate information, please visit my website at


About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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