Appraisal myths debunked

Legally, a real estate appraiser must be state certified to produce substantiated appraisal reports for federally-supported sales. Also by law, you are entitled to receive a copy of the completed report from your lender. Contact Crescent Appraisal Group, Inc. if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

Myth: Market value should be the same as the assessed value of the property.

Fact: This is not often the case; most states do support the suggestion that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. At times when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or other homes in the area have not been reassessed for quite a while, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The appraised value of a home will vary depending upon if the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller.

Fact: The appraiser has no personal interest in the outcome of the report and should conduct services with independence, objectivity and impartiality - no matter for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: The replacement cost of the home should be is on par with the market value.

Fact: Without any suggestion from any external parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a particular property. The dollar amount needed to rebuild a home is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: There are specific ways that real estate appraisers use to show the cost of a property, such as the price per square foot.

Fact: There are many varied methods 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 undesirable facilities and the value of recently sold comparable houses.

Myth: In a strong economy - when the sales prices of homes in a given neighborhood are reported to be increasing by a certain percentage - the worth of individual houses in the vicinity can be expected to rise by that same percentage.

Fact: Any price at which an appraiser concludes concerning a certain house is always personalized, based on certain factors pulled from the information of comparable homes and other specifications within the house itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

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Myth: Just examining what the home looks like on its exterior gives an excellent idea of its value.

Fact: To conclude an accurate price beyond all doubt, an appraiser must assess the home on a variety of factors based on area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. Obviously, none of these things can be found simply by examining the home from the exterior.

Myth: Because the consumer is the person who provides the money to pay for the appraisal report when applying for a loan for any real estate transaction, by law the appraisal belongs to them.

Fact: Unless a lender releases its vestment in the report, it is legally owned by the lending company that ordered the appraisal. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, any home buyer requesting a copy of the report 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.

Fact: A consumer should definitely inspect their appraisal report; there might be some questions or some worries 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 appraisal report can double as a record for the future, containing 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 home needs its worth estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a multitude of different services including - but certainly not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: You don't need to get an appraisal if you get a home inspection.

Fact: A home inspection report serves a completely different purpose than an appraisal report. The task of the appraiser is to arrive at an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through writing the report. House inspectors will write a report that will determine the condition of the house and its major components and possible damage.