Legally, a real estate appraiser has to be state certified to produce substantiated appraisal reports for federally-related transactions. Also by law, you are entitled to request a copy of the finished appraisal report from your lending agency. 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: Assessed value should be similar to market value.
Reality: It is possible that California, like most states, validates the suggestion that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is not always true. Sometimes when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is has not investigated the improvement or properties in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for quite a while, it may vary widely.

Myth: The buyer or the seller will have an influence in the value of the property depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.
Reality: The value of the house does not affect the payment of the appraiser; as a result, the appraiser has no preconceived interest in the price of the house. What this means is he will conduct services with impartiality and objectivity regardless of for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Any time market value is determined, it should equal the replacement cost of the property.
Reality: The way market value is found is based on what a buyer would be willing to pay a willing seller for a property without being under duress from any outside group to purchase or sell. The dollar amount required to reconstruct a property is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, such as a certain price per square foot, to come to the value of a house.
Reality: There are many varied processes 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 specific facilities and the sales prices of recently sold comparable homes.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the sales prices of homes are found to be increasing by a certain percentage, the other homes in the vicinity can be expected to increase based on that same percentage.
Reality: Any value an appraiser reports in regards to a specific property is always personalized, based on certain factors concluded from the data of comparable properties and other considerations within the property itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Myth: The home's exterior is determinate of the expected price of the property; there is no need to do an interior appraisal.
Reality: There are a number of different variables that conclude property value; these factors include location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. Obviously, none of these variables can be found just by inspecting the house from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one providing the money for the appraisal report when applying for the loan to buy or refinance real estate, you own the provided appraisal.
Reality: Unless a lender releases its interest in the report, it is legally owned by the lending agency that purchased the appraisal. However, consumers must be provided with a copy of the report upon written request, through the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: There's no point for home buyers to even concern themselves with what the appraisal contains so long as their lending agency is fine with the contents therein.
Reality: Only when home buyers look at a copy of their appraisal 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. There is an incredible amount of data stored in a report that can 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 proximity.

Myth: Appraisers are hired only to estimate real estate property values in house sales involving mortgage-lending transactions.
Reality: Ordering an appraisal can fulfill a variety of needs depending on the designations and certifications of the appraiser involved; appraisers can perform a variety of different services, including benefit/cost analysis, tax assessment, legal dispute resolution, and even estate planning.

Myth: An appraisal is the same as a home inspection report.
Reality: An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection report. The job of the appraiser is to find an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through creating the report. A home inspector determines the condition of the property and its major components and reports these findings.

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