When the real estate purchase appraisal is low people worry.

The buyer may worry that he will have to pay more than the home is worth. But if the buyer used the standard Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract, there would have been an appraisal contingency on page 2. The contingency would give the buyer 5 days to cancel the contract after he first learned that the property didn’t appraise for the purchase price.

The seller, however, should worry indeed. Often when the appraisal comes in low, the seller will have to lower the purchase price to the appraised value, otherwise the buyer will likely bolt.

Sure, during the crazy market of 2004 and 2005, some buyers paid more than the appraised value. They saw the rapid appreciation and believed the home would soon be worth far more than the offered price, even if it wasn’t worth it at the time.

Today, it would have to be pretty uncommon for a buyer to pay more than the appraised value.