Ask the expert: Other than increasing our down payment is there anything else we can do about a low appraisal? You can challenge the appraisal. That could work if you can show that the appraiser made what you feel are legitimate mistakes in the calculation, if the appraiser was unfamiliar with property values in the neighborhood, or if one or more foreclosed properties or short sales were included in the comps. According to the National Association of Realtors, recently 9 percent of real estate agents reported a contract cancelation, 10 percent reported a delay and 13 percent experienced lower sales price negotiations due to a low appraisal. To challenge an appraisal, you need to make your case with the commissioning lender. Though lenders are prohibited from communicating the appraiser, they will commonly send the borrower's rebuttal to a third-party entity that hires appraisers for review. A rebuttal needs to be limited to actual errors, flawed methodology by the appraiser, and/or additional new or missed comps, which are recently sold homes that are comparable to the house that is for sale. You have to write a formal rebuttal letter, also called a reconsideration letter, with input from a real estate agent or an appraiser. Be sure to show no emotion in your letter. Just tell the facts. Many lenders now work with appraisal management companies which may have appraisers with limited experience. The lender gets a certain amount for an appraisal and may choose to select an appraising company that charges less. Find out if the lender used an appraiser who comes from your county and who is a certified senior residential appraiser (SRA) or who is a member of the Appraisal Institute (MIA). Meet the new appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps. Mention any expensive updates that the first appraiser might have missed.