Appraisal myths debunked

Legally, an appraiser needs to be state certified to write legitimate real estate appraisals for federally-backed transactions. You also have the right to request a copy of the completed report from your lending agency. Contact Kent & Associates Appraisal if you have any questions about the appraisal procedure.

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

Fact: This is not often the case; most states do support the idea that the assessed value is the same as market value, but not always. Examples include when interior remodeling has happened and the assessor does not know about the improvements, or when homes in the vicinity have not been reassessed for an extended period of time.

Myth: Depending on if the appraisal is provided for the buyer or the seller, the value of the property will vary.

Fact: There is no personal 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 ordered.

Myth: The replacement cost of the home will be 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 property, with neither being under undue influence to buy or sell. The dollar amount necessary to rebuild a property is what constitutes the replacement cost.

Myth: There are certain methods that appraisers use to show the opinion of value of a home, like the price per square foot.

Fact: An appraisal report is an assertion of data based on the property's size, location, proximity to specific facilities, the condition of the house and the price of recent comparable sales. You can rely on Kent & Associates Appraisal's staff to be professional in assessing this information.

Myth: As houses increase their worth by a specific percentage - in a robust economy - the houses within the same neighborhood are figured to appreciate by the same amount.

Fact: All appreciation of price is on an individual basis, concluded by data on relevant considerations and the data of comparable houses. This is true in good economic times as well as bad.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Snohomish County or Mill Creek, WA?

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Myth: Just seeing what the home looks like on the outside gives an idea of its worth.

Fact: House value is concluded by a number of factors, including area, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these variables can be found simply by viewing the home from the exterior.

Myth: Since you're the one paying for the appraisal when applying for the loan to purchase or refinance real estate, you own the provided appraisal report.

Fact: The appraisal report is, in fact, legally owned by the lending agency - unless the lender "releases its interest" in the appraisal report. However, consumers have to be supplied with a copy of the report upon written request, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Home buyers need not care about what is in their document so long as it meets the needs of their lending group.

Fact: It is a very good idea for home buyers to look at a copy of their appraisal so that they can double-check the accuracy of the document, in case it's required to question its accuracy. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal makes an invaluable record for future reference, comprised of useful and often-revealing 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 property needs its value estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Hiring an appraiser can fulfill a variety of needs depending on the designations and certifications of the appraiser involved; appraisers can provide a multitude of different services, including benefit/cost analysis, tax assessment, legal dispute resolution, and even estate planning.

Myth: A home inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.

Fact: A home inspection has a completely different purpose than an appraisal report. The job of the appraiser is to come to 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.