Appraisal Gap: How Home Buyers Can Deal With a Low Appraisal

An appraisal gap happens when the house appraises for less than your offer. You can pay the difference or renegotiate.

Updated
Profile photo of Holden Lewis
Written by Holden Lewis
Senior Writer/Spokesperson
Profile photo of Michelle Blackford
Reviewed by Michelle Blackford
Profile photo of Mary Makarushka
Edited by Mary Makarushka
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

Some or all of the mortgage lenders featured on our site are advertising partners of NerdWallet, but this does not influence our evaluations, lender star ratings or the order in which lenders are listed on the page. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners.

Sometimes when you're trying to buy a home, your mortgage lender's appraiser says the house is worth less than you agreed to pay. This is known as an appraisal gap or a low appraisal. You may have to pay the difference in cash or renegotiate with the seller to keep the deal alive.

An appraisal gap resulting from a low appraisal can happen under any market conditions. It's more likely to occur while home prices are rising rapidly, but it can happen even when home values are falling.

Mortgage loans from our partners

NBKC - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on NBKC

NBKC

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
0%

Check Rate

on NBKC

Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
580

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Better - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Better

Better

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Better - PURCHASE logo

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
620

Min. down payment 
3%

Check Rate

on Better

Tomo - PURCHASE logo
Check Rate

on Tomo

Tomo

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Tomo - PURCHASE logo

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Min. credit score 
580