By law, an appraiser is required to be state-licensed to perform appraisals for federally-related transactions. Also by law, you have the ability to receive a copy of the finished appraisal from your lender. Contact us if you have any concerns about the appraisal procedure.

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

Myth: Market value must be similar to the assessed value of the property.
Reality: While most states back the idea that assessed value approximates estimated market value, this commonly is not the case. Examples include when interior remodeling has happened and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when houses in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an extended period of time.

Myth: The value of a home will change depending upon if the appraisal is produced for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: The appraiser has no personal interest in the outcome of the appraisal and should complete his job with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: Any time market value is calculated, it should equal the replacement cost of the home.
Reality: The way market value is arrived at is based on what a buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a house without being under influence from any outside party to purchase or sell. Replacement value is the dollar amount needed to reconstruct a house in-kind.

Myth: Certain formulae, like the price per square foot, are the ways appraisers use to arrive at the value of a property.
Reality: An appraisal is an amalgamation of information based on the house's size, location, proximity to certain facilities, the condition of the property and the values of recent comparable sales. You can depend on WalshStreet Appraisals's appraisers to be ethical in assessing this information.

Myth: In a robust economy - when the sales prices of homes in a given neighborhood are found to be appreciating by a particular percentage - the values of individual properties in the area can be expected to appreciate by that same percentage.
Reality: The appreciation of a certain property must be determined on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable houses and other relevant considerations. It doesn't matter if the economy is on the rise or declining.

Myth: The property's outside is determinate of the actual value of the house; it is unnecessary to do an interior inspection.
Reality: To find a genuine value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must examine the home on a variety of factors based on location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from just examining the home from the outside.

Myth: Because consumers pay for appraisal reports when applying for loans to purchase or refinance their home, they own their appraisal.
Reality: Unless a lender releases its interest in the report, it is legally owned by the lending agency that purchased the appraisal. Because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer requesting a copy of the report must be provided with it by their lending agency.

Myth: Home buyers need not be concerned with what is in their appraisal report so long as it meets the needs of their lending agency.
Reality: It is a very good idea for consumers to read a copy of their appraisal so that they can double-check the accuracy of the document, in case they need to question its veracity. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. There is a great deal of information stored in an appraisal that will probably be useful to the consumer in the future, such as 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: Appraisals are ordered only to estimate house values in property sales involving mortgage-lending deals.
Reality: Appraisers can have many varied qualifications and designations which allow them to provide a multitude of different services including - but not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: You shouldn't need to get an appraisal if you have had a home inspection.
Reality: A home inspection report has a completely different purpose than an appraisal report. The appraiser forms an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting appraisal. House inspectors will create a report that will show the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.

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