According to the National Association of Realtors, 20% of real estate agents have lost a sale due to a low appraisal.  Here are some suggestions for buyers and sellers to protect yourselves.

For Buyers:

Ask you lender to use an appraiser from your county.  Be sure the appraiser has a residential certification and a professional designation.  For example: SRA-Appraisal Institute’s senior residential appraiser, MAI-member of the Appraisal Institute.  Attending the inspection is a good idea also.  A good appraiser will appreciate any information you can give regarding your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps in your neighborhood.

For Sellers:

Find a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute site.  Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home and share this information with the buyers appraiser.  Professional appraiser’s will understand that you are trying to add more data and another perspective and won’t be offended by your additional information.