It is enforced by law that an appraiser acquire and maintain a license to create appraisal reports for federally-related transactions in California. You also have the right to receive a copy of the finished appraisal from your lending agency. Contact WalshStreet Appraisals if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

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

Myth: Market value will be equivocal to the assessed value of the property.
Reality: It is possible that California, like most states, supports the common myth that the assessed value equates to the market value; however, this is sometimes the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or other homes in the Los Angeles have not been reassessed for years or more, it may vary widely.

Myth: The value of a property will vary depending upon if the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: There is no personal interest on the part of the appraiser in the outcome of the report, therefore he will conduct his work with impartiality and independence, regardless of for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value will equal replacement cost.
Reality: Market value is acquired by what a willing buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a specific home, with neither being under undue influence to buy or sell. If the house were reconstructed, the dollar amount required to do so would form the replacement cost.

Myth: Specific methods, like the price per square foot of the property, are the methods appraisers use to determine the value of a house.
Reality: Appraisers complete a full analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of a property, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable properties.

Myth: In a strong economy - when the prices of homes in a given neighborhood are reported to be rising by a certain percentage - the prices of individual houses in the area can be expected to increase by that same percentage.
Reality: An increase in value of a specific home must be concluded on an individualized basis, factoring in information on comparable homes and other relevant specifications within the home itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is on the rise or declining.

Myth: Just examining what the property looks like on its exterior gives a good idea of its value.
Reality: To find a solid value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must inspect the property on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and current market trends. There's no real way to get all of this data from simply examining the home from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one coughing up the cash for the appraisal report when applying for the loan to purchase or refinance your home, you own the produced appraisal.
Reality: Legally, the appraisal is owned by the lending agency unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the appraisal. Because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer asking for a copy of the document must be provided with one by their lender.

Myth: Home buyers need not worry about what is in their appraisal document so long as it exceeds the requirements of their lending company.
Reality: Only when consumers examine a copy of their appraisal can they double-check its accuracy and know if they should ask questions. 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, containing an incredible amount 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 vicinity.

Myth: Appraisers are hired only to estimate home 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 provide a variety of different services, including benefit/cost analysis, tax assessment, legal dispute resolution, and even estate planning.

Myth: A house inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.
Reality: An appraisal report does not fulfill the same purpose as an inspection. The task of the appraiser is to form an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. House inspectors will create a report that will explain the condition of the property and its major components and possible damage.

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