Q: I'm in the middle of selling my home. Houses are selling like gangbusters in my neck of the woods, so after waiting for almost two years I decided to put my place on the market. We had several offers and it really was a small bidding war. I accepted the highest offer and signed the contract but the appraisal came in $50,000 below the contract price! I have no idea why -- my home has lots of upgrades, and several homes in my neighborhood are currently in contract above the asking prices. I suspect the buyer might have done something to keep the appraisal low, because now they're asking me to lower the price. My agent doesn't think they did anything underhanded but is also telling me to lower the price. What are my options? A: Unfortunately, your problem -- a low appraisal -- is more common these days than you might expect. Appraisals are based on the sale prices of similar homes in the recent past. That means in an ascending market (a phase where prices are going up), t...
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