Legally, an appraiser has to be state certified to perform legitimate appraisal reports for federally-related transactions. Also by law, you have the right to request a copy of the completed appraisal from your lending agency. Contact us if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

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

Myth: Market value has to be the same as the assessed value of the property.
Reality: This usually isn't true; most states do support the suggestion that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. Interior remodeling that the assessor is not aware of and a dearth of reassessment on nearby homes are perfect examples of why the price can vary.

Myth: The value of a property will vary depending upon if the appraisal is produced for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: The price of the home does not affect the salary of the appraiser; due to this, the appraiser has no pressured interest in the value of the home. This means that he will render business with impartiality and objectivity regardless of for whom the appraisal is created.

Myth: The replacement cost of the home should be on par with the market value.
Reality: Without any influence from any external parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a specific home. Replacement cost is the dollar amount needed to reconstruct a home in-kind.

Myth: There are certain methods that real estate appraisers use to determine the value of a house, like the price per square foot.
Reality: There are many different ways that an appraiser will use to make a detailed investigation of every factor pertaining to the house, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to certain facilities and the sales prices of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: As homes increase in value by a certain percentage - in a robust economic state - the houses nearby are expected to appreciate by the same amount.
Reality: All appreciation of value is on an individual basis, determined by information on relevant elements and the data of comparable homes. It makes no difference whether the economy is robust or poor.

Myth: You can commonly find what a property is worth simply by looking at the outside.
Reality: To determine a concrete value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must assess the property on a variety of factors based on location, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. There's no real way to get all of this data from just examining the house from the outside.

Myth: Considering that the consumer is the person who puts up the funding to pay for the appraisal report when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, by law the appraisal report is theirs.
Reality: Legally, the appraisal report is owned by the lender unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the report. However, home buyers must be given a copy of the document upon written request, because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Home buyers need not care about what is in their appraisal report so long as it satisfies the requirements of their lending company.
Reality: A consumer should definitely look through their document; there could be some questions or some worries about the accuracy of the report that must be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal report makes a near perfect record for future reference, containing helpful 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 area.

Myth: The only reason someone would order an appraisal is if a home needs its value assessed in a lender-based sales transaction.
Reality: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a variety of different services including - but definitely not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: There's no need to get an appraisal if you order a home inspection.
Reality: An appraisal report does not fulfill the same purpose as an inspection. The job of the appraiser is to find an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. A home inspector analyzes the condition of the house and its major components and reports these findings.

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