Legally, a real estate appraiser must be state certified to perform legitimate appraisal reports for federally-related transactions. Also by law, you are allowed to request a copy of the completed appraisal from your lending agency. 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 will be similar to the assessed value of the property.
Reality: While most states back the idea that assessed value approximates estimated market value, this usually is not the case. Sometimes when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is has not investigated the improvement or properties in the area have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary widely.

Myth: The buyer or the seller can have impact in the value of the property depending upon for whom the appraiser is working.
Reality: The appraiser has no vested interest in the result of the appraisal report and should conduct his job with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: The replacement value of the house will be on par with the market value.
Reality: Market value is based on what a willing buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a specific property, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The replacement cost is the dollar amount required to reconstruct a property in-kind.

Myth: Specific formulae, like the price per square foot, are what appraisers use to determine the value of a home.
Reality: There are many different calculations that an appraiser will use to make a comprehensive analysis of every factor in consideration of 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: In a strong economy - when the values of houses in a given area are found to be rising by a particular percentage - the prices of individual properties in the vicinity can be expected to increase by that same percentage.
Reality: Any value an appraiser derives concerning a particular property is always individualized, based on certain factors found from the data of comparable homes and other specifications within the home itself. It makes no difference whether the economy is powerful or on the decline.

Myth: You can generally see what a house is worth simply by looking at the exterior.
Reality: Home value is concluded by a number of variables, including - but not limited to - location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this data from just examining the house from the outside.

Myth: Because consumers pay for appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance their home, they legally own their appraisal report.
Reality: Legally, the appraisal report is owned by the lending company unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the document. By the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer asking for a copy of the appraisal report must be given it by their lending company.

Myth: There's no need for home buyers to even worry about what the report contains so long as their lending company is fine with the contents therein.
Reality: It is almost imperative for home buyers to go through a copy of their appraisal so that they can double-check the accuracy of the report, in case they need to question its veracity. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An appraisal report can serve as a record for the future, since it contains a great deal of data - including, but certainly 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 area.

Myth: The only reason someone would order an appraisal is if a property needs its value assessed in a lender-based sales transaction.
Reality: Ordering an appraisal can fulfill a variety of wants depending on the designations and certifications of the appraiser involved; appraisers can provide a great deal of different services, including benefit/cost analysis, tax assessment, legal dispute resolution, and even estate planning.

Myth: An appraisal report is the same as a home inspection.
Reality: Appraisal reports are nothing like a home inspection. An appraiser concludes on an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting appraisal report. A home inspector analyzes the condition of the house 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.