Language is important. We often get so caught up in the moment, so laser-focused on how we feel about something, that we become casual in the verbiage that we use. Often, we say one thing without realizing or considering that it could mean something else. This is why it is so important to be exact and precise in the words we use.
I recently saw a post in a Facebook group that I’m a part of that illustrates this principle. This person was frustrated. They were excited initially when they arranged for this “fix and flip” property. They were upset, however, when after all their hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, the time came to sell the property and the appraisal came back “low.”
Because language and verbiage are important, let’s look at that word: “low.” What exactly do we mean when we say “the appraisal came in low?” Is it that the appraisal was actually lower than the market price, or was it that it came in lower than the purchase price? Let’s think for a moment: what possible motivation would an appraiser have to give a “low” price?
The truth of the matter is, no matter how you feel in the moment, there is little to no incentive for appraisers to appraise a property at a price lower than its market value. We’re actually more likely to be given serious scrutiny and ”get in trouble” over a low appraisal than a high one. If anything, the pressure is to go high, rather than to go low (though neither is acceptable). When it comes right down to it, appraisers are professionals; as such, they should be giving you the true value of the property, regardless of its purchase price.
So, next time you hear someone say that an appraiser “came in low,” consider what exactly they mean by that. In what way did they give an appraisal that was lower than expected? Taking the time to think about (and maybe educate others on) this one phrase will help to prevent unnecessary misunderstanding and tension for all involved.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: