Legally, a real estate appraiser has to be state certified to create legitimate appraisal reports for federally-related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the finished report from your lender. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal process.

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

Myth: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser must be equivalent to the market value.
Reality: While most states support the concept that assessed value is equal to estimated market value, this commonly is not the case. Examples include when interior remodeling has happened and the assessor is unaware of the improvements, or when homes in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an prolonged period of time.

Myth: The buyer or the seller sometimes may have an influence in the cost of the house depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.
Reality: The value of the house does not affect the salary of the appraiser; as a result, the appraiser has no personal interest in the opinion of value of the house. Obviously, he will conduct services with impartiality and independence 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 pressure from any external parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a particular home. If the property were rebuilt, the dollar amount needed to do so would make up the replacement cost.

Myth: Certain formulae, like the price per square foot of the property, are the ways appraisers use to ascertain the value of a house.
Reality: An appraisal report is an assertion of data concluded from the property's size, location, proximity to undesirable facilities, the condition of the property and the values of recent comparable sales. You can rely on WalshStreet Appraisals's appraisers to be ethical in assessing this data.

Myth: When the economy is doing well and the sales prices of properties are found to be increasing by a certain percentage, the other houses in the area can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.
Reality: An increase in value of a specific property is always determined on a case-by-case basis, factoring in information on comparable homes and other relevant considerations. It makes no difference whether the economy is excellent or on the decline.

Myth: The property's exterior is determinate of the expected price of the property; it is unnecessary to do an interior appraisal.
Reality: There are a multitude of different variables that determine the value of a home; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. Obviously, none of these things can be found just by viewing the home from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one coughing up the cash for the appraisal report when applying for your loan to purchase or refinance real estate, you own the ordered appraisal report.
Reality: Legally, the report is owned by the lending agency unless the lender releases their interest in the report. However, home buyers must be given a copy of the document upon written request, due to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't mean anything to consumers what's in the report so long as it meets the necessities of their lending agency.
Reality: It is almost imperative for home buyers to read a copy of their report so that they can double-check the accuracy of the report, in case there is a need to question its accuracy. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. There is a great deal of information contained in a report that could be useful to the home buyer 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: The only reason someone would order an appraisal is if a home needs its value assessed in a lender sales transaction.
Reality: Appraisers can have many varied qualifications and designations which allow them to provide a variety of different services including - but certainly not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: An appraisal report is no different than a home inspection.
Reality: An appraisal report does not fulfill the same purpose as an inspection report. The task of the appraiser is to conclude an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. House inspectors will create a report that will show the condition of the house and its major components and possible damage.

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