An appraisal contingency protects the buyer and is used to ensure a property is valued at a minimum, specified amount. If the property does not appraise for at least the specified amount, the contract can be terminated, and in many cases, the earnest money is refunded to the buyer.
An appraisal contingency may include terms that permit the buyer to proceed with the purchase even if the appraisal is below the specified amount, typically within a certain number of days after the buyer receives the notice of appraisal value. The seller might have the opportunity to lower the price to the appraisal amount. The contingency specifies a release date on or before which the buyer must notify the seller of any issues with the appraisal. Otherwise, the contingency will be deemed satisfied, and the buyer will not be able to back out of the transaction.