Buyers, sellers chafe at low home appraisals that hurt sales

Low appraisals continue to block people from selling homes or refinancing mortgages, leaving many sellers and real estate agents unhappy.
When a sale collapses because of a low appraisal, the buyer is angry for having agreed to pay more than the home is thought to be worth. Meanwhile, the seller puts the home back on the market and considers adjusting the price – all the while not knowing whether another potential sale will suffer the same fate.
A May 2009 law required that appraisers work independently and without undue influence from mortgage brokers, lenders and real estate agents. Mortgage fraud prosecutors say the overhaul was necessary to curtail conflicts of interest and bloated estimates that contributed to the housing debacle.
More than two years later, the change has inadvertently led to inaccurate appraisals, which is delaying a housing recovery.

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