Home Buying Dilemma, To Waive or Not to Waive the Appraisal Contingency?

Home Buying Dilemma, To Waive or Not to Waive the Appraisal Contingency?

Purchasing a home is a significant milestone, and it often involves navigating a complex web of contracts and contingencies. Among these contingencies, the appraisal contingency holds a crucial role in protecting homebuyers from overpaying for a property. However, in a competitive real estate market, some buyers may consider waiving the appraisal contingency to strengthen their offer. In this blog, we will explore what it means to waive an appraisal contingency when buying a home, the potential risks and benefits, and how to approach this decision cautiously.

What is an Appraisal Contingency?

An appraisal contingency is a clause included in a real estate purchase contract that allows the buyer to renegotiate or withdraw their offer if the appraised value of the property is less than the agreed-upon purchase price. Essentially, it ensures that the buyer is not bound to pay more than the property's fair market value as determined by a professional appraiser.

Why Buyers Consider Waiving the Appraisal Contingency

In a competitive seller's market where multiple buyers are vying for limited inventory, waiving the appraisal contingency can make a buyer's offer more attractive to sellers. By doing so, buyers signal to sellers that they are willing to proceed with the purchase even if the property appraises for less than the offered price. In some cases, this may give the buyer an edge in a bidding war, increasing the likelihood of their offer being accepted.

The Risks of Waiving the Appraisal Contingency

  1. Overpaying for the Property: The most significant risk of waiving the appraisal contingency is that the property might be valued at a lower price than the buyer's offer. Without the safety net of renegotiating or backing out, the buyer may end up overpaying for the home.
  2. Financial Consequences: If the buyer's lender uses the appraised value to determine the loan amount, a lower appraisal could result in the lender offering a smaller mortgage. This may leave the buyer responsible for covering the difference, which can be a substantial financial burden.
  3. Limited Room for Negotiation: Waiving the appraisal contingency weakens the buyer's bargaining power in negotiations. If issues arise during the home inspection or if unforeseen problems are discovered, the buyer may have fewer options for requesting repairs or price adjustments.

Proceed with Caution

While waiving the appraisal contingency can be tempting in competitive markets, it is a decision that requires careful consideration. Homebuyers must assess their financial situation, market conditions, and the property's condition before taking this step.

If a buyer is considering waiving the appraisal contingency, they should:

  1. Work with Experienced Professionals: Consult with a knowledgeable real estate agent and a trusted lender to understand the potential risks and implications of this decision.
  2. Get a Pre-Approval: Secure a mortgage pre-approval to understand the maximum loan amount the lender is willing to offer, which can help set a budget for the home search.
  3. Perform Due Diligence: Conduct thorough research on the local housing market, recent comparable sales, and property condition to make an informed decision.


Waiving an appraisal contingency can be a powerful tool in a competitive real estate market, but it comes with significant risks. Homebuyers must carefully evaluate their financial capabilities and market conditions before deciding to proceed without this protection. Ultimately, working with experienced professionals and performing due diligence will enable buyers to make the best decision for their unique circumstances and ensure a smoother and more successful home buying experience.



Let's Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.