It is required by law that a real estate appraiser acquire and maintain a license to create appraisals for federally-related transactions in California. You have the ability to demand a copy of the finished appraisal report from your lender. 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: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser must be equivalent to the market value.
Reality: This is not often the case; most states do support the concept that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. Examples include when interior remodeling has happened and the assessor is unaware of the improvements, or when properties in the area have not been reassessed for an extended time.

Myth: The opinion of value of a home will change depending upon whether the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller.
Reality: There is no real interest on the part of the appraiser in the result of the report, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, regardless of for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: Any time market value is determined, it should be the same as the replacement cost of the property.
Reality: Market value is derived from what a willing buyer would be interested in paying a willing seller for a particular home, with neither being under duress to buy or sell. The dollar amount required to rebuild a house is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: Certain formulae, such as the price per square foot of the property, are the ways appraisers use to come to the value of a property.
Reality: Appraisers complete an exhaustive analysis of all factors in consideration to the value of a property, including its location, condition, size, proximity to facilities and recent sale prices of comparable properties.

Myth: In a powerful economy - when the sales prices of houses in a given area are reported to be appreciating by a particular percentage - the values of individual houses in the area can be expected to rise by that same percentage.
Reality: An increase in value of a specific property is always concluded on an individualized basis, factoring in data on comparable homes and other relevant elements. It doesn't matter if the economy is on the rise or declining.

Myth: The property's outside is determinate of the actual value of the property; there is no need to do an interior appraisal.
Reality: There are a multitude of different factors that show property value; these factors include area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from simply viewing the property from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one paying for the appraisal when applying for your loan to purchase or refinance your home, you own the ordered appraisal report.
Reality: Legally, the report is owned by the lender unless the lender releases their interest in the report. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer demanding a copy of the document must be provided with it by their lending company.

Myth: Home buyers need not worry about what is in their appraisal document so long as it meets the necessities of their lending company.
Reality: A consumer should definitely read through their report; there may be some questions or some worries with the accuracy of the analysis that should be addressed. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal makes an excellent record for future reference, containing helpful and often-revealing information - including 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: There is no reason to order an appraisal unless you are trying to get an estimate of the value of a house during a sales transaction involving a lending institution.
Reality: Based upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and will provide a series of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: A house inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.
Reality: A home inspection report has a completely different purpose than an appraisal. The purpose of the appraiser is to find an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. A home inspector assesses the condition of the house and its main components and reports their findings.

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