Appraisal myths & facts

Legally, an appraiser must be state certified to produce legitimate real estate appraisals for federally-related purchase. The law entitles you to get a copy of your finished appraisal report from your lending agency after it has been provided. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal process.

Myth: The value that is ascertained by the appraiser must be the same as the market value.

Fact: It is probable that Washington, like most states, supports the idea that the assessed value is the same as the market value; however, this is not often the case. There are times when interior remodeling has occurred and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or properties in the neighborhood have not been reassessed for quite a while, it may vary wildly.

Myth: Depending on whether the appraisal is drawn up for the buyer or the seller, the opinion of value of the house will vary.

Fact: There is no vested interest on the part of the appraiser in the outcome of the analysis, therefore he will conduct his work with impartiality and independence, regardless for whom the appraisal is written.

Myth: The replacement cost of the property is always is on par with the market value.

Fact: Market value is found by what a willing buyer would likely pay a willing seller for a certain home, with neither being under undue influence to buy or sell. The dollar amount required to rebuild a home is what shows the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, such as a certain price per square foot, to figure out the worth of a home.

Fact: An appraisal report is an amalgamation of data based on the home's size, location, proximity to undesirable facilities, the condition of the house and the price of recent comparable sales. You can depend on Kent & Associates Appraisal's staff to be honest in assessing this data.

Myth: When the economy is on the rise and the worth of homes are reported to be appreciating by a certain percentage, the other homes in the vicinity can be expected to appreciate based on that same percentage.

Fact: Value increase of a specific home is always determined on a case-by-case basis, factoring in data on comparable homes and other relevant considerations. This is true in strong economic times as well as poor.

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Myth: The house's outside is determinate of the actual worth of the property; there is no need to do an interior inspection.

Fact: To determine an accurate value beyond all doubt, an appraiser must inspect the home on a variety of factors based on location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. An external inspection certainly can't provide all of the information needed.

Myth: Because consumers fund appraisals when applying for loans to purchase or refinance real estate, they own their appraisal report.

Fact: Unless a lending agency releases its interest in the report, it is legally owned by the lending company that purchased the appraisal. Home buyers must be provided with a version of the document upon written request as per the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't mean anything to consumers what's in the appraisal report so long as it meets the needs of their lending agency.

Fact: A consumer should definitely read through their report; there could be some questions or some worries about the accuracy of the appraisal report that need to be addressed. 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, since it contains an exorbitant 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 proximity.

Myth: The only reason someone would order an appraisal is if a home needs its value assessed in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Depending upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and do perform a series of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

Myth: An appraisal report is the same as a home inspection report.

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