What Is FHA Amendatory Clause?

FHA Amendatory Clause

When it comes to buying a home with an FHA loan, there’s a lot more than just picking out the right place and getting a good interest rate. One part of the process that often causes confusion is understanding the various loan disclosures and clauses involved. Among these, the FHA Amendatory Clause stands out as particularly important.

This clause might seem like just more paperwork, but it’s actually a key protection for you, the buyer, ensuring you’re not bound to purchase a home that doesn’t appraise at its selling price or more. Essentially, it offers a safety net in your home buying journey.

But what does this all mean for you? Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to refinance, navigating these disclosures is crucial for a smooth transaction. Let’s break down the FHA Amendatory Clause and other disclosures to help you understand what you’re signing and why.

What Is An FHA Amendatory Clause? 

The FHA Amendatory Clause is a form that can sometimes feel like a bit of a mystery. Put simply, it’s a document that ensures homebuyers using an FHA loan can back out of a sale if the appraised value of the house isn’t equal to or higher than the selling price.

Why is this important?

Imagine you find your dream home, and it’s priced at $300,000. You agree to the price, eager to move forward. However, when the appraisal comes back, it shows the home is only worth $280,000. Without the FHA Amendatory Clause, you might be stuck having to cover the $20,000 difference or lose your deposit. With it, you have the option to renegotiate the price or walk away from the deal with your deposit in hand.

What’s in the Clause?

In essence, the clause states:

  • The buyer is not obligated to complete the purchase of the property if the appraisal is lower than the agreed-upon selling price.
  • The buyer can back out of the deal without losing their earnest money deposit if the appraisal comes in low.
  • All parties involved in the sale must sign the clause for it to be valid.

This protective measure ensures you’re not cornered into a deal that doesn’t make financial sense based on the appraised value of the home. It’s an essential piece of the puzzle for ensuring fairness and security in the home buying process through FHA.

The Timing of the FHA Amendatory Clause

Knowing when the FHA Amendatory Clause comes into play during the home-buying process is crucial. Essentially, this clause is introduced and needs to be signed before you finalize the sales agreement or at the time the agreement is being executed.

Why so early? It’s all about protection. By signing this clause before you reach the point of no return, you and the seller both acknowledge that the sale is contingent on the home’s appraisal. This means you won’t find yourself trapped in a contract that’s contingent on you buying a home for more than its appraised value.

How It Benefits Buyers

This timing is particularly beneficial for buyers because it:

  • Gives them leverage to renegotiate the selling price based on the appraised value.
  • Offers a clear exit strategy if the numbers just don’t add up, safeguarding the earnest money deposit.
  • Ensures the buyer is fully informed and protected throughout the purchasing decision.

It emphasizes that the FHA loan’s approval and the buyer’s commitment are conditioned upon the home meeting or exceeding the appraised value set forth in the sales contract.

Impact on Sellers

For sellers, understanding the clause’s timing is equally important. It means the seller must be realistic about their home’s value and be prepared for possible negotiations if the appraisal comes in lower than expected. It encourages transparency and fairness in the sales process, ensuring both parties are on the same page regarding the property’s value.

Breaking Down the FHA Amendatory Clause

Understanding the exact wording of the FHA Amendatory Clause can help demystify what it entails. The clause typically reads something along the lines of:

“It is expressly agreed that notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the purchaser shall not be obligated to complete the purchase of the property described herein or incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money deposits or otherwise unless the purchaser has been given in accordance with HUD/FHA or VA requirements a written statement by the Federal Housing Commissioner, Veterans Administration, or a Direct Endorsement lender setting forth the appraised value of the property of not less than $__________. The purchaser shall have the privilege and option of proceeding with consummation of the contract without regard to the amount of the appraised valuation. The appraised valuation is arrived at to determine the maximum mortgage the Department of Housing and Urban Development will insure. HUD does not warrant the value or the condition of the property. The purchaser should satisfy himself/herself that the price and condition of the property are acceptable.”

In layman’s terms, this clause:

  • Protects the buyer from being forced to buy a home that doesn’t appraise for the agreed-upon purchase price or higher.
  • Allows the buyer to back out without penalty if the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price.
  • Clarifies that the appraisal is for mortgage insurance purposes and not a guarantee of the home’s condition.

Who Needs to Sign It?

The FHA Amendatory Clause requires signatures from several parties:

  • The Buyer(s) who are applying for the FHA loan.
  • The Seller(s) of the home.
  • Real Estate Agents involved in the transaction, if any.

The involvement and acknowledgment of all these parties ensure that everyone is informed of and agrees to the terms set by the FHA Amendatory Clause, maintaining transparency and understanding throughout the home-buying process.

When Is the FHA Amendatory Clause Not Required?

There are specific scenarios where the FHA Amendatory Clause does not apply, giving buyers and sellers a clearer picture of when this clause becomes essential and when it can be sidestepped.

  • Home Sales Between Family Members: If the sale is between family members, the clause might not be necessary because of the existing relationship and trust level.
  • Government-Owned Properties: Sales involving homes owned by government agencies often bypass this requirement as the selling process has its own set of regulations and protections.
  • HUD REO Properties: Similar to government-owned properties, homes that are Real Estate Owned (REO) by the Department of Housing and Urban Development are exempt from needing this clause due to specific protections already in place.
  • Refinancing: When a homeowner is refinancing their existing FHA loan, the amendatory clause is not required because there’s no sale transaction taking place.

FHA Loan Disclosures You Should Know

Apart from the FHA Amendatory Clause, there are several other disclosures that play a vital role in the transparency and protection of the FHA loan process.

The Role of the FHA Real Estate Certification

The FHA Real Estate Certification ensures that all parties involved in the sale affirm that the terms and conditions of the sales contract are true to the best of their knowledge and that any other agreements are fully disclosed. This certification is a standard part of the FHA loan process, providing an extra layer of security and honesty in the transaction.

The FHA Informed Consumer Choice Disclosure

This disclosure gives potential FHA loan borrowers a heads-up on all their options. It compares FHA loans against other housing finance methods, helping buyers make an informed choice based on costs, benefits, and other factors. It’s about ensuring borrowers know what they’re getting into and how it stacks up against alternatives.

Lower Your Costs: MIP Reductions in 2023

One vital update within FHA disclosures is the potential for lower Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) in 2023. This change can significantly impact your costs over the life of the loan, making FHA loans more affordable for new borrowers. Keeping an eye on these changes can help you plan your finances more effectively.

FHA Standards: Property Requirements

Another critical disclosure is about the FHA’s Property Condition Requirements. These standards ensure that the property is safe, secure, and structurally sound. Meeting these requirements is crucial for the loan to be approved, emphasizing the focus on buyers’ safety and investment quality.

Your Rights to Prepayment Under FHA

The FHA Prepayment Notice outlines your rights regarding paying off your loan early. FHA loans do not have prepayment penalties, meaning you can make extra payments or pay off your loan ahead of schedule without facing financial repercussions. This disclosure ensures borrowers are aware of their flexibility in managing their loan.

Safety First: FHA Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Especially relevant for homes built before 1978, the FHA Lead-Based Paint Disclosure requires sellers to disclose any known information on lead-based paint in the home. This disclosure is crucial for protecting buyers and their families from health risks associated with lead exposure.

Final Steps: Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosures

Lastly, Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosures provide a detailed breakdown of your loan terms, costs, and other critical information. These documents are designed to give you a clear understanding of what you’re agreeing to, ensuring there are no surprises at closing.

Why The FHA Amendatory Clause Matters

Here’s why the FHA Amendatory Clause is a game-changer for home buyers:

  • Protection: It’s like a safety net. If the house doesn’t appraise for the selling price and you can’t renegotiate, you can walk away without losing your deposit.
  • Awareness: It makes sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Everyone agrees to the terms up front.
  • Fairness: It levels the playing field. Sellers can’t force you to stick to a deal if the appraisal comes in low.

How It Protects Buyers

Imagine this: You find your dream home, but it appraises for less than the offer. Without the clause, you might be stuck or lose your deposit. With the clause? You have options. Here’s how it works:

  • Appraisal Lower Than Offer? You can back out and keep your deposit.
  • Negotiation Power: Sometimes, the seller is willing to lower the price.
  • Confidence in Buying: You know you won’t be overpaying for your new home.

Buying a home is a big deal, and the FHA Amendatory Clause is there to protect you every step of the way. Remember, knowing what this clause does helps you make smarter, safer choices in your home-buying journey.

About The Author

Channing Moore

Channing is the owner of Bayou Mortgage. He is passionate about empowering people through education and training to own a home. In his spare time you can catch him at church, reading a book or working on his latest project.

We're In The Business of Changing Stories


FHA Gift of Equity

FHA Gift of Equity

Your Guide To FHA Gifts Of Equity Buying a home is a big step. It’s exciting, but it can also be a little

FHA Foreclosure Waiting Period

FHA Foreclosure Waiting Period

Going through a foreclosure can feel like you’re stuck in a financial storm, but there’s a ray of hope with the possibility of

FHA Flipping Rule

FHA Flipping Rule Requirements

Understanding FHA Flipping Rules What are FHA Flipping Rules? Have you ever watched those TV shows where people buy a house, fix it

Are FHA Loans Assumable

Are FHA Loans Assumable?

Are FHA Loans Assumable?  Yes, FHA loans are “assumable,” meaning someone else can take over the loan. This happens when the current homeowner

FHA Self Employed Guidelines

FHA Self-Employed Guidelines

Getting a home is a dream for many, and if you’re self-employed, you might wonder how this works for you. The FHA loan,

FHA Hand Rail Requirements

FHA Railing Requirements

When it comes to securing an FHA loan for a new home, navigating the territory of FHA railing requirements and property standards can

How Many FHA Loans Can You Have?

How Many FHA Loans Can You Have?

Owning a home is a significant milestone in life. If you’re exploring home loans, FHA loans might be on your radar. Let’s dive

Get Your Mortgage Options Today!

Get Your Custom Rate Quote

See What You Qualify For

*We don’t sell or spam your information and you will only be contacted in the manner you choose. This info is for Bayou Mortgage Only