A home appraisal can effect your purchase in a number of ways:
- As a Buyer – If the appraisal comes in lower than your purchase price (for example, you are paying $150,000, and the appraisal comes back at $145,000), then you will have issues with your lender. Your new home is security for the loan, and if the house isn’t worth as much as you want to borrow, then they will drop the amount they are willing to loan. You will need to work with the Seller to see if you can drop the price, or look into getting additional cash to bring to the closing.
- As a Seller – You are on the reverse of the above situation – You are selling for a higher amount than the home is worth, according to the appraiser. So, you will either need to drop the price for your home, or ask the Buyer to bring cash to make up the difference. This can be tricky, as a Buyer probably won’t want to pay more than the house is worth.
Your agent can help you with this problem – there are ways to request changes to the appraisal, although it can be a tough battle.
More information on home appraisals and how to understand the process can be found here – http://home.howstuffworks.com/real-estate/buying-home/home-appraisals.htm