By law, an appraiser needs to be state-licensed to offer appraisals for federally-related transactions. You are also entitled by law to request a copy of the completed appraisal report from your lending agency. Contact WalshStreet Appraisals if you have any concerns about the appraisal procedure.

WalshStreet Appraisals discusses myths and realities about real estate appraisals and appraisers

Myth: Market value will always be similar to the assessed value of the property.
Reality: It might be that California, like most states, validates the common myth that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is sometimes the exception rather than the rule. Examples include when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when houses in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an prolonged period.

Myth: The appraised value of a house will vary depending upon whether the appraisal is produced for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: There is no personal interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal report, therefore he will conduct his work with impartiality and independence, no matter of for whom the appraisal is ordered.

Myth: Market value will equal replacement cost.
Reality: Without any influence from any different parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a specific property. The dollar amount needed to reconstruct a house is what forms the replacement cost.

Myth: There are certain ways that appraisers use to find the value of a home, such as the price per square foot.
Reality: An appraisal is a collection of data based on the property's size, location, proximity to specific facilities, the condition of the property and the values of recent comparable sales. You can rely on WalshStreet Appraisals's appraisers to be professional in assessing this information.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the sales prices of properties are found to be appreciating by a certain percentage, the other properties in the vicinity can be expected to appreciate based on that same percentage.
Reality: The appreciation of a certain house is always concluded on an individualized basis, factoring in information on comparable properties and other relevant considerations. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Myth: Just seeing what the property looks like on the outside gives an excellent idea of its value.
Reality: Home value is concluded by a multitude of factors, including area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An outside-only inspection obviously can't provide all of the data necessary.

Myth: Since the consumer is the party who provides the capital to pay for the appraisal when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, by law the appraisal belongs to them.
Reality: The document is, in fact, legally owned by the lender - unless the lender "relinquishes its interest" in the document. However, consumers must be given a copy of the appraisal upon written request, through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't matter to consumers what's in the appraisal report so long as it meets the necessities of their lender.
Reality: Only when consumers read a copy of their appraisal can they verify its accuracy and know if they should ask questions. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal makes a valuable record for future reference, filled with useful and often-revealing information - including the legal and physical description of the property, square footage measurements, list of comparable properties in the neighborhood, neighborhood description and a narrative of current real-estate activity and/or market trends in the proximity.

Myth: There is no reason to order an appraisal unless you are trying to get an estimate of the value of a property during a sales transaction involving a lending institution.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and may perform a variety of services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: A home inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.
Reality: An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. An appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting report. The task of a home inspector is to find the condition of the house and its major components, then produce a report on these conclusions.

Contact our professional staff if you have any other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Los Angeles or Los Angeles, California.