|not necessarily in order but here are my thoughts as mortgage broker and 5 years as appraiser.|
1, Did seller agree to lower price w/o agent representation? if so why? Agent out of country doesn't preclude them from doing business-unless they were without phone service, and then they should have had another broker handling.
2. what does the contract say? obviously there was one with two agents involved.
3. Was lender involved in 2nd appraisal? if so, why?
4. Was second appraisal completed and presented to seller within the buyers inspection period? if so, perfectly legit. if not, seller did not have to agree as it would have been breach of contract. Was seller advised? Possible claim against agent but sticky if after the fact.
5. re the appraisals: this is only a 2.7% difference in value. I and any legit appraiser would know, they just are not that good that they can call a value that is 2.7% of the sales price. unless there was some glaring mistake in the first appraisal, the buyer should have been advised to pound sand and follow through on original deal.
6. that being said, $18k may seem like a lot but its only 2.7%, and if it was within the inspection period the seller was likely wise to take it and move on.