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By law, an appraiser must be state-licensed to offer appraisals for federally-related transactions. 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 process.

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

Myth: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser is required to be the same as the market value.
Reality: While most states uphold the idea that assessed value is equal to estimated market value, this often is not the case. Interior remodeling that the assessor has not investigated and a lack of reassessment on nearby homes are excellent examples of why this occurs.

Myth: The opinion of value of a house will differ depending upon if the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: The cost of the home does not affect the salary of the appraiser; as such, the appraiser has no vested interest in the opinion of value of the house. This means that he will conduct services with impartiality and independence regardless of for whom the appraisal is created.

Myth: Market value should mirror replacement cost.
Reality: The way market value is derived is based on what a home buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a house without being under duress from any external party to buy or sell. The dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a home is what constitutes the replacement cost.

Myth: There are certain ways that real estate appraisers use to determine the value of a home, such as the price per square foot.
Reality: Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors in consideration to the value of a house, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable homes.

Myth: In a robust economy - when the values of houses in a given neighborhood are reported to be increasing by a particular percentage - the values of individual houses in the vicinity can be expected to rise by that same percentage.
Reality: Any value an appraiser reports concerning a particular property is always personalized, based on certain factors found from the data of comparable homes and other considerations within the house itself. It makes no difference if the economy is excellent or on the decline.

Myth: Just looking at what the home looks like on its exterior gives an excellent idea of its value.
Reality: House value is determined by a number of factors, including location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An exterior inspection certainly can't provide all of the data required.

Myth: Since you're the one funding for the appraisal report when applying for the loan to buy or refinance your home, you own the ordered appraisal.
Reality: Unless a lender releases its vestment in the document, it is legally owned by the lending company that purchased the appraisal. Due the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer requesting a copy of the document must be given one by their lender.

Myth: It doesn't concern consumers what's in the appraisal so long as it satisfies the requirements of their lender.
Reality: A consumer should definitely read through their appraisal; there might be some questions or some concerns with the accuracy of the appraisal report that should be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal makes a valuable record for future reference, comprised of helpful and often-revealing information - 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: Appraisals are ordered only to assess house values in property sales involving mortgage-lending transactions.
Reality: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do perform a variety of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: An appraisal is the same as a home inspection.
Reality: Appraisal reports have almost nothing in common with a home inspection report. The function of an appraisal report is to conclude upon an opinion of market value during the appraisal process and the completion of the appraisal report. A home inspector analyzes the condition of the building and its main components and reports these findings.

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