By law, an appraiser is required to be state-licensed to offer appraisals for federally-related transactions. You have the ability to acquire a copy of the completed appraisal report 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: Assessed value should equate market value.
Reality: This usually isn't true; most states do support the concept that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. There are times when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or other homes in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for years or more, it may vary widely.

Myth: Depending on whether the appraisal is ordered for the buyer or the seller, the appraised value of the house will vary.
Reality: The cost of the property does not affect the salary of the appraiser; as such, the appraiser has no vested interest in the value of the house. Obviously, he will provide services with impartiality and independence regardless of for whom the appraisal is provided.

Myth: Any time market value is established, it should match the replacement cost of the home.
Reality: Market value is found by what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a specific property, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The dollar amount necessary to reconstruct a house is what constitutes the replacement cost.

Myth: Certain formulae, such as the price per square foot of the property, are the methods appraisers use to determine the value of a property.
Reality: There are many numerous ways that an appraiser will use to make an in-depth analysis of every factor in consideration of the home, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to specific facilities and the values of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: As homes increase in value by a specific percentage - in a strong economic state - the properties around the appreciating properties are figured to appreciate by the same amount.
Reality: An increase in value of a specific house must be concluded on a case-by-case basis, factoring in information on comparable homes and other relevant specifications within the property itself. It makes no difference if the economy is powerful or poor.

Myth: Just looking at what the property looks like on the outside gives an idea of its value.
Reality: There are a number of different variables that conclude property value; these factors include location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from just looking at the house from the outside.

Myth: Since the consumer is the person who puts up the money to pay for the appraisal report when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, legally the appraisal is theirs.
Reality: Legally, the document is owned by the lender unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the document. However, consumers have to be supplied with a copy of the report upon written request, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Consumers need not care about what is in their appraisal report so long as it satisfies the needs of their lending group.
Reality: A home buyer should definitely read through their report; there could be some questions or some concerns with the accuracy of the inspection that must be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An report can double as a record for the future, as it contains a great deal of 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 area.

Myth: Appraisals are ordered only to assess building values in house sales involving mortgage-lending transactions.
Reality: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a multitude of different services including - but definitely not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: An appraisal is the same as a home inspection.
Reality: A home inspection serves a completely different purpose than an appraisal. An appraiser decides upon an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting appraisal. A home inspector determines the condition of the building and its major 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.