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It is enforced by law that a real estate appraiser acquire and maintain a license to produce appraisals for federally-related transactions in California. The law allows you to get a copy of your finished appraisal report from your lending agency after it has been produced. Contact our professional staff if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

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

Myth: Market value must be equivocal to the assessed value of the property.
Reality: It is probable that California, like most states, supports the common myth that the assessed value equals the market value; however, this is not always true. Generally when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is not aware of the improvement or properties in the area have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary widely.

Myth: Depending on if the appraisal is done for the buyer or the seller, the cost of the home will vary.
Reality: There is no vested interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the appraisal, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, despite of for whom the appraisal is created.

Myth: Market value will equal replacement cost.
Reality: The way market value is derived is based on what a buyer would be willing to pay a willing seller for a home without being under pressure from any external party to buy or sell. If the house were reconstructed, the dollar amount required to do so would make up the replacement cost.

Myth: Specific methods, like the price per square foot, are the methods appraisers use to arrive at the value of a house.
Reality: There are many varied processes that an appraiser will use to make a full analysis of every factor in consideration of the house, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to specific facilities and the values of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the sales prices of homes are found to be appreciating by a certain percentage, the other homes in the vicinity can be expected to appreciate based on that same percentage.
Reality: An increase in value of a specific property must be concluded on a case-by-case basis, factoring in data on comparable properties and other relevant specifications within the home itself. This is true in strong economic times as well as poor.

Myth: You can usually find what a property is worth simply by looking at the outside.
Reality: There are a number of different variables that conclude the value of a house; these factors include location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this data from just looking at the house from the exterior.

Myth: Considering that the consumer is the party who puts up the funding to pay for the appraisal when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, by law the appraisal report is theirs.
Reality: Legally, the appraisal is owned by the lending company unless the lender releases their interest in the appraisal. However, consumers have to be provided with a copy of the report upon written request, through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no reason for consumers to even worry about what the report contains so long as their lending institution is satisfied.
Reality: Only when home buyers check out a copy of their appraisal report can they ensure 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 near perfect record for future reference, comprised of useful and often-revealing data - including, but not limited to, 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 company.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and often do perform a lot of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: An appraisal is no different than a home inspection.
Reality: An appraisal report does not serve the same purpose as an inspection report. The reason behind an appraisal report is to find an opinion of market value during the appraisal process and the completion of the report. House inspectors will compose a report that will show the condition of the property and its major components and possible damage.

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